By Maimuna Sey- Jawo
Stakeholders have met and validated a renewable energy entrepreneurship training modules for secondary, vocational and higher education institutions in The Gambia.
The project titled Greening the Productive Sectors in the Gambia: Promoting the use and Integration of Small-to- Medium Scale Renewable Energy Systems in the Productive Sectors, is being funded by The Global Environment Facility (GEF).
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in collaboration with the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).
The objective of the project is to develop a comprehensive Re curricula with relevant training materials to strengthen technical capacity of students in senior secondary schools, vocational training institutions and higher education institutions such as Gambia Technical Training Institute and University of The Gambia.
Students will learn how to design, manufacture, install, operate and maintain solar, biomass and wind technologies.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kadijatou Diallow, Unido/GEF project coordinator, called the coming of the project a milestone for education in the country.
“Young women and men, through the curriculum, will learn about the technical principles guiding the operation of renewable energy technologies,” Diallow explained.
She said students who will go on to completing the curriculum will be equipped with skills to be self-employed through starting up their own renewable energy business or gain employment in relevant establishment.
Lamin Camara, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, said with the project, The Gambia will also design suitable training modules for all levels of educational in the country.
“The government of The Gambia in recognition of the increasing fuel price, coupled with its contribution in greenhouse gas emissions, initiated the promotion of renewable energy as alternative source of energy,” he said.
According to him, a major challenge to the uptake of renewable energy as identified by previous studies and diagnostics on the Gambia energy sector, is the shortage of the required skill-set in technologies and applications, especially in solar and wind energy.
Anthony Mendy, from the higher education ministry, was among the speakers.
The project has four components: Development of strategy and regulation on the integration of small to medium scale renewable energy systems; Demonstrating technical feasibility and promoting investments; renewable energy project entrepreneurship skills development; and monitoring and evaluation.