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Analysis of the Mobile Lighting and Battery Charging Market in Cameroon

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The overall objective of this study is to elucidate potential areas of intervention by SNV in the existing market for small RE lighting and charging systems, particularly in rural and peri-urban areas of Cameroon. This is to be accomplished through the following specific objectives: 

  1. Complete rapid market assessments of existing lighting and small electronic charging services and products in urban and rural regions of Cameroon. This assessment must include detailed maps of product and service pathways and associated charges/payments in the existing market. 
  2. In-depth interviews with larger players in the market, and organizations intervening in the distribution of relevant technologies or provision of services to highlight complementary objectives and lessons learnt from past and existing actions and interventions. 
  3. Develop models of the existing methods of provision of lighting and small appliance charging services and products, from traditional and renewable energy sources. 
  4. Use these models to develop detailed descriptions of weak linkages and potential areas of intervention, including estimated market size and returns for individual actors in the chain including ancillary services such as repair facilities. 

Research Methodology 

The study will employ both the Rapid Market Assessment (RMA) and the Value Chain Analysis (VCA) methods. The RMA shall be accomplished through the administering of questionnaires to rural and peri urban dwellers, while the VCA will be achieved largely through in-depth Interviews with manufacturers, Services Provider, Supplies and other intervening bodies. This study is expected to commence no later than November 1st, 2012 and be completed by the end of 2012. That is it will run from the 1st November to 24th December, 2012. 

Study design and methods 

This is a descriptive study because it involves gathering data that describe events and organizes, tabulates, depicts, and describes the data collection. The market research methodology is designed in two stages. The first stage is desk research phase where we will build up a list of targeted consumers who are currently using the product of interest/could use the product in the future. The desk research stage also contributed towards understanding the following: 

The desk research stage will contribute around 20% towards the overall research findings. 

The second stage of the research ‘The Fieldwork Stage’ will involve speaking to the key targets (both users and potential users) throughout the different geographies of interest (a mixture of tele-depth interviews and face-to-face interviews). This is where the bulk of the research findings will come from. The main objective of this stage will be: 

Convenience sampling which is a no probability method will be used. This means that subjects are chosen in a non random manner, and some members of the population will have no chance of being included. This sample will include: 

  • A total of Two Thousands Nine Hundred (2900) questionnaires in some sampled rural areas and semi urban areas in all the Fifty Eight (58) Divisions of the ten regions of the Republic of Cameroon i.e. two areas per division as follows: a rural area (a typical village off the National Grid) and a semi urban area (of a sub divisional headquarter). 
  • An interview guide will be designed to help the interviewer focus on topics that are important to explore, maintain consistency across interviews with different respondents, and stay on track during the interview process. That is, we preview a total 100 in-depth interviews with EE/RE Suppliers, Service providers and Intervening Bodies and Government agencies. 

In-depth interviews have been chosen because it will provide the structure to ensure that these conversations are both well-organized and well-suited to your purpose (SNV). We chose to use convenient sampling because the purpose of this study is for SNV to elucidate potential areas of intervention in the existing market for small RE lighting and charging systems particularly in rural and peri-urban areas of Cameroon. Only interested members of the community who will voluntarily accept do participate on approach and meet up with the description of those and/or areas eligible will take part in the study. The consent of the participant will be seek and confidentiality ensured before administering any questionnaire or conduct any interview .To achieve this goal, this will be done only at convenient and safe places for the respondent .Each instrument will take about 30minutes to administer. 

Data Analysis 

Qualitative modes of data analysis will be used to provide ways of discerning, examining, comparing and contrasting, and interpreting meaningful patterns or themes. Meaningfulness will be determined by the particular goals and objectives of the project at hand. 

Data collected through the use of questionnaires and interviews will be assembled and coded for analysis. The analyzed data will be stored and preserved and access to it will only be granted to the sponsors (SNV) and nobody else .All raw data will be store by the executing body and nobody will be allowed access to for some length of time and to discard with only after consulting the sponsors. 

While the initial categorizations of data will be shaped by the pre -established study questions, the qualitative analysis will remain open to inducing new meanings from the data available. 

Reporting Procedures 

The method of reporting and dissemination of the research results to both the participants and the wider public will be the prerogative of SNV. Data will be displayed, either in word or diagrammatic form, so as to allow SNV to extrapolate from the data and discern systematic patterns and interrelationships. 

One technique for displaying narrative data will be to develop a series of flow charts that map out any critical paths, decision points, and supporting evidence that emerge from establishing the data for a single site. 

Prior relevant experience of CAT 

Tendered won and executed the project “Improve Livelihood and Environmental Quality of the Rural Population of the North West Province in Cameroon, through the promotion of the use of renewable Energy Technologies” under the GATE Program, supervised by GTZ Germany 2004. 

Market survey to determine the market size for the marketing of d.lihgt nova solar lamps/chargers using micro finance networks unpublished. 

Have carried out feasibility studies designed and supplied ee/re and sustainable facilities to many consumers. E.g:

  1. Designed, construct and supplied of solar PV systems, A.C. inverter power backups for; the Mayor Nkum Council 2011, Government Health Center Akwaya 2012
  2. Designed Training Module and trained North West stakeholders on the design and construction of improved cook stoves, Under the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection (MINEP) 2011
  3. Designed Training Modules and trained students for the Masters Degree on the design and construction of solar agricultural dryers in the University of Ngoundere 2007
  4. Construction of a 20kw micro hydropower scheme for Camp Joy Youth Centre Sabga, Bamenda 2005
  5. Organization of radio/TV documentaries and publication of newsletters (CAT Info) to create higher awareness on the types, uses and benefits of energy efficient and renewable energies
  6. Designed and constructed an 18 KVA Three Phase Mini Hydro power for the Council of Akwaya. Funded by the Council Development budget 2011
  7. Constructed and installed a 3.2 KW solar electric system for the Babungo Mental and Integrated Health Centre. Funded by Babungo Foundation in Netherlands 2009.

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