As part of the ongoing Powering Jobs campaign, Uganda held its second Steering Committee meeting on May 3, 2022. Ethiopia held its first committee meeting on May 10, 2022. It was co-chaired by our in-country partner, Ethio Resource group, and attended by nine distinguished committee members. The members are Sacha Flesch (Manager, Energy Program - RMI), Rekik Bekele (CEO, Greenscene Energy), Ahmedin Ahmed (Program Manager, Precise Consulting), Omar Bomba Mohammed (Managing Partner, Veritas Ethiopia), Filagot Tesfye (President, Ethiopian Women in Energy Association), Feleke Borga (Deputy CEO, Peace Microfinance), Hailu Seifu (Managing Director, Acme Engineering), Yiesehak Seboka (Alternative Energy Unit Head, Ministry of Water and Energy), Tewabeck Workie (General Manager, Solar Energy Association of Ethiopia). The meetings facilitated in-depth discussions to validate the survey findings and trends from the focus group discussions.
The third round of steering committee meetings will be held in June to reach a consensus on the advocacy themes and the report launch. In addition, the focus group discussions in Ethiopia will be held in the second week of June to validate the findings from the survey.
At the recently concluded SE4All Forum in Kigali, Power for All co-chaired a panel discussion on Powering Jobs on 19th May, 2022. The session titled “Powering Jobs: Building a workforce to meet the SDG 7 challenge” was co-chaired with Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). Jens Jaeger, Director of Policy and Business Development, ARE, facilitated the panel comprising Kristina Skierka, CEO, Power for All, Grace Perkins, Program Director, Clean Energy, Shortlist Professionals, and Radhika Thakkar, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sun King. The session stressed the growing potential of jobs in the decentralized energy sector and the crucial role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and training skills to empower youth and women in the sector.
Kristina Skierka’s interview with CNBC Africa at the SE4orAll Forum highlighted the disparity of gender in the workforce in the fossil fuel industry and how the renewable energy industry is bridging the gap. In her interview, she also stressed the importance of accelerating energy access to end energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On May 24, Suranjana Ghosh, Global Director of Partnerships and Campaigns at Power for All, shared early findings from the Powering Jobs census and the importance of such campaigns to build the human resource pipeline for the DRE sector at a panel convened by Ashden on “Powering up the workforce for universal energy access.” Other panelists included Emma Champion, Head of Regional Energy Transitions, BloombergNEF; Jane Muigai Kamphuis, Ashden trustee and Director and Founder of The Toolkit iSkills and Julius Mujuni, Country Director, New Energy Nexus.
On June 1, Suranjana Ghosh and Aashna Aggarwal (Manager, Partnerships and Development at Power for All) will speak at the UNEP-YEA’s first Green Jobs Solutions Summit on themes related to DRE sector jobs. This is a virtual event and can be attended by registering here.
Power for All published an op-ed article, co-authored with GOGLA, in the Economic Times EnergyWorld (ETEnergy World) on the role and place of women in the DRE sector. The Energy World is an edition of the leading media house, Economic Times in India and focuses on sustainable energy solutions, and policy, among others.
Power for All supported Climate Collective Foundation mentoring program, Women in Climate Entrepreneurship (WICE) on managing visibility, honing social media, and public relationships for three women entrepreneurs who are about to launch their products in the Indian DRE market.
The start-ups mentored included:
- Prian Energy - Provides reliable, fast, and safe EV charging solutions at affordable prices
- Solar Infra - Supplies, assembles and installs solar products like solar power plants (on-grid and off-grid), street lights, water heaters, home lighting systems, irrigation systems, drinking water systems, etc, in rural areas
- Aidgo Technologies - Developing an electric wheelchair technology solution for differently-abled, elderly, and patients at affordable prices.
Under the Power for Health campaign in Jharkhand, we surveyed 607 health centers in 6 districts to understand the electricity gaps and need for DRE solutions in rural healthcare infrastructure and thereafter create a roadmap for DRE provision for the state health society and Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Authority (JREDA).
Some of the preliminary findings from the surveys include:
43% of the health centers do not have access to grid electricity
Over 95% of the electrified health centers reported unscheduled or erratic power cuts, with a majority of them facing power cuts of more than 8-10 hours a day on average.
In Uganda, the Productive Use for Energy (PUE) action plan has been shared with the Agriculture working group and our partners for validation. It will be finalized by the end of this month and published in early June.
In India, the Solar Agro Sathi (Agri Solar) working group convened last month at a kick-off meeting themed “Strengthening the Agriculture Sector through PUE (Productive Use of Energy).” The group currently has 40 members with whom the Terms of Reference have been shared for their validation and signatures. The next meeting will be held at the end of June with the Agriculture Department and the Livelihoods Mission to disseminate the decentralized renewable energy-powered livelihoods framework in the state of Jharkhand, with a focus on the solar cold chains and cold storage.
At the SEforAll forum in Kigali, on May 17, Power for All along with CrossBoundary and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) co-chaired a panel discussion on ‘Transitioning to the Grid of the Future’, highlighting the importance of collaborations between utilities like Umeme, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, and mini-grid operators to accelerate energy access as well as to stimulate demand from first-time end users. Florence Nsubuga, Chief Operating Officer, Umeme said “Under U.2.0 as we connect more and more low-end customers, our partners are providing appliance financing to increase demand so the costs of serving them are absorbed in the tariff. The future is already here."
Suleiman Babamanu, Nigeria Program Director, RMI Africa, and Tombo Banda, Associate Principal, CrossBoundary were also part of this panel facilitated by Kristina Skierka, CEO, Power for All.
Sumaya Mohamed, Power for All’s Country Director for Uganda spoke with SABC news on the Utilities 2.0 model in Uganda, an alternative power generation model for Africa and the importance of integration and cooperation between utilities and minigrid operators for improved quality, sustainable service delivery in terms of energy access and unlocking finance. Sumaya stressed the need for such models to empower the end customer to increase demand.
Sumaya is also set to speak at Enlit Africa to explore the theme “ to fast forward Africa's Energy Transition” on June 7th-9th. More details on this in our next month’s newsletter.