African Energy Entrepreneurs Gain Technical Expertise and Network During Second SACREEE Workshop
In September 2022, small and mid-sized African energy entrepreneurs had the opportunity to network and learn best practices on planning and developing renewable energy through the workshop, Renewable Energy Job Creation, hosted by SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) with the support of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), IRENA, and GIZ.
The participants gained important insights into project marketing and financing, the growth of firms in the energy sector, investing strategies, the ability to create creative solutions for planning renewable energy sources, and an understanding of micro hydropower schemes through technical and commercial training.
Through the completion of this course, the participants were equipped with innovative ways to pitch their businesses, understanding the importance of donors, and analysing data and information for productive use. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss their own projects and ideas with the speakers and other attendees after each session. Moreover, they could use these newly gained skills on concrete projects like designing a solar PV system or conducting a thorough feasibility study for a wind power development project.
Amplivolt is a Harare, Zimbabwe-based electrical contracting company that offers general public energy management and renewable energy solutions including solar PV and solar thermal. Co-founder Joseph Nzvere emphasised the significance of the partnership with Young Africa, which aids in teaching young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the fundamentals of installing and maintaining solar panels. For Joseph, the key insight from this seminar was ”the importance of continuing to innovate, pick up new skills, and connect with other entrepreneurs.”
Ibrahim Mitoli, the founder of UJINJI Invest, based in Bunda, Lilingwe, Malawi, was appreciative of the training since it taught him how to manage risks, particularly how to detect and control them. Additionally, he learned important lessons regarding project marketing and funding, especially, how to persuade different funders, because every project needs money to buy components.
Engineer Lolwethu Mxenge is the owner of Wakile Energy, a business with its headquarters in South Africa. Ms Lolwethu gained valuable knowledge from the Project Development and Funding module that would help her organisation realise its goal of becoming one of the renewable energy developers in the energy market. She also emphasised how highly she would suggest this training program conducted by SACREEE since it covered a variety of energy-related topics that are beneficial for growing enterprises.
The Chatukuta Dried Foods and Lenga Project Management CC participants improved their knowledge and abilities, particularly in the areas of management, research, and funding. They gained a thorough understanding of renewable energy sources, technological implementation to grow their enterprises, and useful impact investing skills because of the training. The co-founders of Chatukuta Dried Foods, Kuziva Chatukutu and Shingairai Nyoni, were appreciative of the lessons they learned throughout the training module, but they especially acted on advice given to them by the Kafue Gorge Training Centre to “believe in themselves, to have confidence in what they have to offer, and to have full technical expertise to carry out major projects.”
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) council of ministers approved the establishment of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) in August 2015. It concentrated on consultative planning procedures, such as conducting a needs analysis and creating a project document on the technical and institutional architecture of the centre. With the support of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), IRENA, and GIZ, SACREEE introduced another workshop for SMEs on the topic of renewable energy job creation in September 2022 following the success of the first SACREEE’s online course in May 2022 .
Read more about the first SACREEE course here: https://africa-eu-energy-partnership.org/sacreeetot22/