Solar energy training in Kenya
Training programs: are needed. Funding is sought for adult
The shortage of skilled personnel is a major barrier to the
dissemination of renewable-energy technologies in Africa.
The importance of improving this situation will be highlighted via
the participation of INFORSE at the UNESCO Conference CONFINTEA V. (See
This personnel shortage is a problem in the key institutions
involved in solar-energy dissemination in Kenya, as reported below.
Universities need more funding
The Appropriate Technology Centre (ATC) at the Kenyatta University
is the only academic institution with renewable energy included in the
curriculum. But ATC is under-funded and understaffed. Other universities have
been involved in solar-energy research, and have developed, e.g., solar driers,
but the results of this have not been disseminated widely.
NGOs' successful programs need more support
Several Kenyan NGOs (e.g., Bellerive Foundation, Intermediate
Technology Development Group, and the Women Umbrella Organisation) have been
involved in adult training in renewable energy. The largest such initiative was
the KENGO's (Kenya Energy and Environment Organisation's) Regional Wood Energy
Programme for Africa (RWEPA), in which more than 300 renewable-energy project
managers were trained.
Ministry looses its skilled persons
In the Ministry of Energy, externally funded projects have
provided training in renewable energy for some of the employees, but in several
cases, internal transfers have affected the value of the training. Also, several
of the trained persons later left the Ministry.
The article is based on information from Stephen Karekezi,
Patience Turyareeba, and Esther Ewagata, Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination,
P.O. Box 30979, Nairobi, Kenya, ph.: +254-2-566 032, fax: +254-2-561