Renewable energy sector skills: Sendea Academy trains 700 technicians

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Renewable energy sector skills: Sendea Academy trains 700 technicians
Some of the beneficiaries

Data from within the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development indicates that uptake of solar energy for domestic and commercial uses in Uganda have surpassed 31%.

This signal above the access of grid electricity by the greater population which is estimated at 24%, is thus calling for better quality assurance in across board and in particular of solar accessories and systems.

Frank Yiga, the Board Chairman of Sendea, an association of solar distributors and trainers of solar installation technicians says building local capacity is remains critical.

“Look at the current uptake of solar systems for domestic and commercial uses across the country. More and more people and businesses are option for this affordable reusable energy source,” Yiga says.

Sendea Academy has passed out a cohort of trainees who have been under practical field mentorship programme over the past one year, across Kampala, Kamuli and Kumi districts.

Yiga emphasises that, “We are keen in ensuring that the entire value chain of this renewable energy sub sector is improved. From importation of quality accessories, distribution systems and actual installation and maintenance.”

A technician.

He reveals that Sendea Academy, a capacity building arm of the solar importers and distributors in Uganda, has now trained close to 1,000 solar installation technicians over the past three years.

Among the trainees’ now solar installation technicians is Doreen Nabwire, who also operates a solar accessories store in Kamuli district.

“I was privileged to be part of this training. I have learnt a lot including being able to understand the qualities of good solar systems. I now know how to install and maintain solar systems.”

Another female trainee is Peninah Ademun, who now works as a solar installation technician in kumi district. She says is now turning out to be a trainer of other new apprentices in the field.

“We have received certification under the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) and now more customers are trusting us. My solar shop in Kumi sells  quality stock of solar systems. We also directly install for our people in their homes and businesses,"Ademun says.

Solar technicians.

Among the mentees of these youngsters is Proscovia Mukiibi, who is urging Sendea Academy to scale up these trainings in solar installations to various parts of the country.

“We understand the on-going unemployment in this country and therefore, the more numbers of young people we bring on board in this skilling programme, the better for the country’s economy as well,” Mukiibi, advises.

Sendea Academy’s Chief Executive Officer Loy Kyozaire, reveals that these solar installation technicians have also been given interest-free loans of Euro 500; aimed improving their businesses.

“We have also supported with interest free loans of Euro 500 in quality accessories. We are seeing some progress and some few challenges in repayments but we are sure they will stabilise,” she says.

Kyozaire, adds that these interventions which have been supported by development partners such as Stiftung, the Solar federation in German and the Sez foundation; is aimed at matching new skills with actual entrepreneurship.

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