Cyril Bomba is an engineer and inventor from Cameroon who has developed the Afrisolar Lamp, a lamp that runs on photovoltaic energy (solar energy). It is in 2008, during the Journées Technologiques Nationales (National Technology Days), initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Technological Development of Cameroon, that Cyril Bomba presented his invention and won the first prize.
The petrol lamp is still used in Africa in both rural and urban centers, while a solar solution is certainly more suited to Africa which enjoys a high level of solar radiation. The industrial production of the Afrisolar Lamp would offer a viable and inexpensive electrical solution at the continental scale as access to electricity is still often a luxury.
The Afrisolar Lamp is 90% manufactured with local materials (including wood) and would cost about 38 euros (25,000 CFA francs) without subsidies or government support. Cyril Bomba believes that State support would reduce the selling price to about 24%, or 29 euros (19,000 CFA francs).
The Afrisolar Lamp comes with a solar panel that just needs to be installed on the roof or another location that can capture maximum sunlight. As for the solar panel, it is connected to the lamp by a power cable and has a lifespan of 25 years. The lamp has a reloadable battery with an autonomy of 12 hours and would light up as 26 petrol lamps altogether. The lifespan of the battery is about 5 years.
There is a model of the lamp equipped with one (1) bulb and a model with two (2) LED bulbs, with LED standing for light-emitting diodes with illumination capabilities greater than that of a traditional petrol lamp. This lamp also features an FM radio and can charge mobile phones.
Cyril Bomba has engaged with the OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization) to patent his invention. Initial estimates for the industrial production of the Afrisolar Lamp would average 91,500 euros (60 million CFA francs). Given the recurring energy problems on the continent, such an investment could be a winning ticket.