Lusaka, 5 September 2017 - ARE, together with its partners in the Energy Access Work Stream of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP EA WS), organised a training session for African Rural Electrification Agencies grouped under the CLUB ER, during the latter’s Annual Meeting. The training addressed rural electrification policy approaches and a deep dive into mini-grid tariffs and business case viability, in part on the basis of tools developed by ARE Board Member Practical Action. The training concluded and featured energy and youth initiatives by the Young Leaders in Energy Access, awarded during the ARE Energy Access Investment Summit in Lisbon in March 2017.
On this occasion, the Young Leaders issued a call for action targeted at the African rural electrification agencies to take action in the following areas:
- Accelerating energy access: this will lead to more job opportunities for youth in rural areas through the productive use.
- Hands-on training in working with renewable energy technologies e.g. solar assembly, improved cooking technologies focused on empowering young entrepreneurs to start income generating enterprises in the renewable energy sector.
- Promoting Education in Sustainability: Current curricula shall be modified by introducing and/or promoting renewable energy to the students, which in return, better prepares them for easier adaptability to transition to working life.
- Energy Business competitions: Competition always encourages innovation for new ideas and concepts e.g. Solar Pay-As-You-Go as a financial innovation, eliciting greater interests and kick-starting new business models.
- Energy entrepreneurship grants: Enabling the youth to participate or access grants will pave way for innovative ideas in energy thus offering job opportunities. This will also encourage pilot projects with alternative solutions.
- Policy for energy enterprises: There should be favorable policies which foster energy entrepreneurship among the youth.
- Local communities’ involvement: this will result in job creation especially if there is a longer-term engagement, increased sense of ownership of the projects which enhances its management of the project.
- Gathering of information and scouting of projects: easier access to information and project opportunities will reduce transaction costs and facilitate more projects, thus creating jobs.
- Raising awareness: create awareness about energy issues for people living in rural areas, this will lead to better understanding and better use. It will also lead to better selection of projects.