We have detected you are using an outdated browser.

Kindly upgrade your version of Internet Explorer or use another browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Power for all: Powering Jobs 2019 Census.

Strathmore University hosted the Powering Jobs 2019 Census at the Microsoft Auditorium on 18th July 2019 from 8 am. A host of dignitaries attended the event including the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, H.E Raila Odinga. The power-for-all is an organization that looks to delivering access to energy for the 85 percent of the 1.1 billion people without reliable power that lives in rural areas in Africa and Asia (within 10 years). Power for All’s mission is to accelerate this market transformation by working with public and private sectors and creating jobs. Power for all has more than three hundred partners globally.

Attendees were drawn from: The Ministry of Energy, Schneider Electric Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, UN Environment, The Technical University of Denmark (UNEP DTU), Strathmore University Energy Research Centre among other key industry players.

The energy sector is evolving rapidly and undergoing a disruptive transformation fueled by decentralized renewable energy (DRE) technologies. Thus, the International Energy Agency (IEA) aims at the mini-grids and stand-alone of grid systems playing key roles in extending electricity to many rural areas in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries that currently do not have access to national grids. It estimates that 140 million of the projected 315 million rural Africans who will gain access to electricity by 2040 will be served by mini-grids. Out of the people who gained since 2000, 27 percent have been reached through on-grid renewables, and 3 percent through mini-grid and off-grid renewables.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are exploring ways to stimulate social and economic growth through the renewable energy (RE) sector. Investment in RE can generate new growth opportunities, increase income, improve the trade balance, and contribute to industrial development and job creation. Kenya’s market for decentralized renewables is the fastest-moving in Africa.

Moreover, 30% of Kenyan households use solar lighting and the country is home to pioneering green mini-grids program, thousands of bio-digesters and 3,000MW of micro-hydro systems. However, there is still ample room to grow, the country requires an increase in power output of 5 percent per year with current demand, as well as meeting the Government’s ambitious goal of 100 percent electrification by 2020. Innovation in decentralized energy is going to be essential for the sector to scale.

Despite the growing demand for home solar, mini-grids and productive use appliances across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, there is a widening opportunity for job-ready workers who can develop, install, operate and service distributed solutions for homes and businesses. Closing this gap—with skills and job training at the center of global energy access efforts— will determine success or failure in deploying distributed solutions at the volumes that are needed.

To that end, in 2018, Power for All and a coalition of partners launched an initiative, aimed at creating the first comprehensive energy access jobs census to better understand employment trends and to provide data to ensure the creation of a job-ready workforce for rural electrification and development.

The inaugural jobs census captures DRE company employment data for 2017 to establish a baseline of data that explores the linkage between clean, universal energy access, Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), and decent work (SDG 8), with a particular focus on the role of DRE technologies. The census is the first to explore Kenya’s current DRE employment, job growth trends, and to identify gaps in workforce development.

H.E Raila Odinga lauded the efforts of the organization in stimulating renewable energy and decided to take up the challenge to convince the African continent and the world to focus on the Inga dam on the Congo River saying it can power the entire continent.

The afternoon session had two panels that discussed two key issues: Responding to energy access skill needs and seizing the rural employment opportunity.

For more on this and to read the full report, click this link https://www.powerforall.org/


The article was written by Tuzo Jonathan.

If you have a story, kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu