This Young Beninese Boosts Access to Solar Energy in His Country, and Others

By : Melchior Koba

Date : vendredi, 21 juillet 2023 11:59

After he completed his master's degree in energy economics in France, he returned to his home country where many people still struggle to have electricity. There, he founded ARESS, an innovative solution that solves this issue through solar energy.

Léonide Michael Sinsin (pictured) is a doctor in energy economics, who graduated from the Paris Dauphine University. He completed his whole schooling in France, and in 2012 during a trip to Benin, his country, he founded with Paul Berthomieu, a classmate who went with him, African Renewable Energy System Solutions (ARESS). Sinsin had just completed his Master’s. He is ARESS’ CEO.

ARESS is a small and medium enterprise (SME) specializing in the field of renewable energies. Active in Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, and Senegal, ARESS sells solar equipment, sets up solar installations, and provides energy audit and maintenance services.

At first, the business was selling energy equipment but quickly realized that rural customers had issues making the payments, despite having the capacity to pay in installments spread over months.

Sinsin and Berthomieu, however, found a way around this challenge. They set up a system that automatically deactivates the equipment in case of non-payment. Buyers could still pay in installments over 36 months.

In 2016, the new startup, MyJouleBox, which develops equipment, software, and economic and social solutions to innovate in solar development, was born from this Pay As You Go model. In 2022, the company was part of the top 45 most innovative startups in Africa at the AfricaTech Awards.

Since 2022, Léonide Michael Sinsin has also been the president of the Interprofessional Association of Renewable Energy Specialists of Benin (AISER-Benin), which promotes and defends the interests of actors in the renewable energy sectors. Between 2012 and 2015, he worked as a senior technical writer for the pan-African think tank "L'Afrique des Idées".

Melchior Koba


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