Labour College of East Africa, Swiss company partner to train Ugandans in renewable energy

Kampala – Terra Sola Group AG, a Swiss company and Uganda’s Labour College of East Africa (LCEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on development of renewable energies. The MOU will facilitate a program specifically tailored to Uganda for the development of competencies in the field of renewable energies.

LCEA will design and implement the required qualification structures for vocational training, on-the job qualification, tertiary education qualifications and exchange programs with international universities with dedicated curricula in renewable energy disciplines.

Broad based, qualified human capacity building was identified by the Terra Sola Group together with its African development arm Terra Sola PV Production Algérie, and its Ugandan partner Green Tech Invest as one of the central elements for accelerating the long-needed electrification of rural areas.

According to David Heimhofer, the CEO of Terra Solar Group AG, human resource is also crucial towards the sustainable development of the Ugandan energy sector into one of the pioneers in East Africa in terms of renewable energies and nationwide energy availability.

While signing the MOU at the College premises in Namuwongo on Wednesday, Heimhofer said Terra Sola in cooperation with LCEA, will invest 10 million US dollars in the next 10 years to establish and expand competencies in Uganda by transferring knowledge and exchanging skills between European and Asian technology partners and local Ugandan students and workers.

“Our aim is to provide clean and affordable electricity to everyone in Uganda, especially to those currently without or without sufficient supply. Diesel generators, producing electricity at 2.0 to 5.0 US Dollars/ KWh and with enormous negative environmental consequences need to be replaced with innovative, more economic technology, producing much more affordable clean energy in the range of 0.08 to 0.12 USD / KWh. For all of this we need a highly qualified and well-trained local work force,” said Heimhofer

He added, “Knowledge and technical know-how are key factors for the sustainable development of a successful renewable energy industry and the creation of thousands of qualified jobs in Uganda.” With LCEA, the Terra Sola Group has won one of Uganda´s most recognized provider of competence programs for their project.

Arinaitwe Rwakajara, Director, LCEA said: “Our belief is that knowledge and a skilled work-force are one of the key factors for socio-economic and sustainable development of our country. At Labour Collage of East Africa we are specialized in building human capacities through training, certification and skilling. Through training and capacity building, we aim to provide the necessary know-how to satisfy the increasing demand for a skilled work-force throughout Uganda and in various disciplines.”

He added, “We are delighted to partner with Terra Sola on this unique project, since energy and energy transition are amongst the top challenges for our generation and the generations to come. In cooperation with Terra Sola and its network of international experts, we will lay a foundation for Uganda to master this challenge”.

Terra Sola has been developing integrated renewable energy projects for countries in Africa and the Middle East for more than a decade. Core of these individually designed programs are the integration of energy generation capacities like solar, the establishment of local, industrial value chains from local manufacturing of key components down to entrepreneurial, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the broad-based building of human capacities for the creation of local jobs.

Vast parts of Uganda and its people are still without reliable and affordable electricity supply, in many cases without any supply at all. Especially rural electrification, with a grid-availability still under 15%, Solar remains a priority in Uganda.

Terra Sola and its partners have developed a program for Uganda which includes the production and configuration of decentralized solar energy generators and storage, suitable to provide electricity to any industrial, commercial or residential user, currently off-grid and without sufficient energy supply. In addition to securing the latest technological solutions and a specifically designed funding mechanism, Terra Sola has been focusing on maximizing the socio-economic impact of its program for Uganda, by investing into qualification and job creation.