Strengthening technical capacity to support the solar energy sector in Sénégal
Economic development in sub-Saharan Africa is impeded by the lack of technical skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at all levels, from vocational to graduate-level training. There are well-documented labour shortages in these fields in West and Central Africa, which present barriers to the development and application of new technologies and the growth of emerging sectors such as clean energy. Technology and personnel gaps in this sector also have an adverse effect on progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals linked to access to reliable electricity from national grids and micro-grids, both of which are increasingly using solar photovoltaic panels.
Senegal has emerged as a leader in solar electricity in West Africa, where there has been significant recent growth. This project will strengthen linkages between universities and the private sector in the solar energy sector in Senegal, where the current supply of skills, technologies, and knowledge does not meet the demand.
The project is co-funded by Meridiam, a leading solar energy production company in Senegal. It will address the lack of skilled labour in solar energy within the national electricity provider (Senelec), and it will contribute to training other technicians across the country. Both of these modules will be designed as new certificate courses, developed in conjunction with Senelec and other leading stakeholders involved in solar energy in Senegal. Finally, the project supports applied research on photovoltaic energy production and distribution in Senegal and other neighbouring countries.
This work will be led by the École Supérieure Polytechnique in Dakar, which is linked to the Centre International pour la Formation et la Recherche en Energie Solaire (CIFRES). It will support the continued development of CIFRES and the Centre de test des systèmes solaires photovoltaïques as leading organizations in the solar energy sector in the region.