26 May 2022 – The African Development Bank, MASEN and RES4Africa agreed to join forces on a dedicated Solar Energy Training Programme in 2022 to foster the uptake of solar energy in the said countries within the framework of the Desert to Power initiative. This was also announced in the opening remarks by Dr. Daniel Schroth, Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the, African Development Bank, during the RES4Africa Annual Conference and 10th Anniversary on the 24th of May in Rome.
The Training Programme aims to support the uptake of solar energy initially in five Sahel countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger - in line with the objectives of the Desert to Power initiative. The DtP initiative aims to transform the Sahel by harnessing the region’s abundant solar potential. The two-part capacity building programme will focus on energy professionals and policy makers from the target countries in the Sahel and proposes an institutional training course at a first stage in June/July, followed by a vocational mini-grid focused training course in September/October. In line with the DtP objectives, the Training Programme will aim to support overcoming capacity building barriers in the proposed countries, delving deeper into policy, regulations, finance and technological aspects for the uptake of renewable energy.
All three organizations underscored the importance of this training programme. “This training programme and tripartite collaboration comes as a timely opportunity given the cross-cutting importance of capacity building for the Desert to Power initiative. The planned sessions are relevant to all aspects of the solar energy value chain and landscape – from utility scale to decentralized uses. Adequate capacity building supports solar energy deployments in the Sahel region, and it will help accelerate the energy transition” said Dr. Schroth (AfDB). On behalf of MASEN, Mr. Zerouali, Head of Cooperation and International Development, MASEN, highlighted that “MASEN appreciates the start of this training collaboration and underlines that, in line with the strategic guidelines set by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in favour of strengthening South-South cooperation, notably embodied in the objectives attributed to the CSEA – Coalition for Sustainable Energy Access – to contribute to the achievement of SDG7 by 2030 in Least Developed Countries and ODCs, Sahel countries in particular will capitalize on this dedicated training programme to increase their own capabilities in order to accelerate their energy transition leaving no one behind for an inclusive social and economic development.
The three partners concur that providing tailored skills training is vital and will create a level playing field among institutional and private sector stakeholders, and also foster intersectoral dialogue and exchange of expertise at institutional level in the five Sahel countries. “These organizations’ mutual experience shows the real value of capacity building on creating markets, overcoming barriers, developing skills and opportunities in the long term, and we aim to contribute to the growth of the Sahel’s solar energy future” said Mr. Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa.