By Mark Kawalya
Uganda’s Labour College of East Africa (LCEA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Terra Sola Group AG, a Swiss company, for the development of renewable energies in Uganda.
The MoU spells out the terms that will facilitate a program geared towards the development of competencies in the area of renewable energies.
LCEA will develop and implement the necessary qualification structures for vocational training, on-the-job qualification and dedicated curricula in different renewable energy disciplines.
Terra Sola Group, in collaboration with its African Development arm, Terra Sola PV Production Algeria, and its Ugandan partner, Green Tech Invest, identified broad-based, skilled human capacity building as a critical component for accelerating Uganda’s long-awaited electrification of last mile communities.
David Heimhofer, CEO of Terra Solar Group AG, says human resource is critical to the sustainable development of Uganda’s energy sector if it is to be established as a pioneer in East Africa in the field of renewable energy and nationwide energy access.
As part of the partnership with LCEA, Terra Sola will invest US $10 million over the next 10 years to develop competencies in Uganda through the transfer of knowledge and skills between technology partners from Europe, Asia and Ugandan students/workers.
“Our goal is to provide affordable, clean electricity to everyone in Uganda, most especially those currently without or with intermittent supply. Diesel generators, which produce electricity at 2.0 to 5.0 US dollars per KWh, have enormous negative environmental consequences and need to be replaced with innovative, more economic technology, that produces much more affordable clean energy in the range of 0.08 to 0.12 USD per KWh. For this to be achieved, we need a highly qualified and well-trained local work force,” said Heimhofer.
Arinaitwe Rwakajara, LCEA’s director, said that Terra Sola Group has partnered with one of Uganda´s most recognized providers of competence programs for their project. He added that “Our belief is that knowledge and a skilled workforce are two of the key factors for the socio-economic and sustainable development of our country. At the Labour Collage of East Africa we are specialized in building human capacities through training, certification and skilling.”