The launching ceremony of the Training and Certification Programs in Solar Renewable Energy for the benefit of more than 130 agents of the key players in the West African electricity sector held at the Center des Métiers de l'Electricité de Bingerville in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on July 5, 2021.
This ceremony was highlighted by the presence of Mr. Vanié Bi Tiekoura Michel, Advisor to the General Manager of CI-Energies, representing Mr. Amidou Traoré, General Manager of CI-Energies and Vice President of WAPP, Mr. Siengui A. Ki, Secretary General of WAPP, Mr. Ahmadou Bakayoko, General Manager of CIE, and Mr. Jan Kappen, Senior Energy Specialist and Task Manager at the World Bank (present in video conference) as well as Mr. Mamadou Sako, Director of INP-HB .
The program of the ceremony was introduced by Mr. André-Marie Kaczmarek, Director of WEC, who expressed his joy to welcome the trainees from thirteen (13) countries of the sub-region.
In turn, Mr. Ahmadou Bakayoko, in his welcoming speech, recalled the importance of diversifying energy sources in order to overcome the recurrent deficit that penalizes the electricity sector and subsequently the national economies.
Mr. Siengui A. Ki explained in his speech that West Africa should have an additional capacity of more than 15,000 MW by 2033, of which nearly 70% (about 11,000 MW) are renewable energy projects. Intermittent renewable energies (solar & wind) will account for nearly one third of renewable energies (more than 3,000 MW), hence the need to have qualified and competent human resources capable of meeting these development challenges.
Participating in the ceremony by videoconference from Dakar, Mr. Jan Kappen, Senior Energy Specialist and Task Manager at the World Bank, expressed the willingness of his institution to always support this kind of initiative which, according to him, allows African countries to arm themselves to face the effects of climate change.
The official launch speech was delivered by Mr. Vanié Bi Tiekoura Michel, on behalf of Mr. Amidou Traoré, General Manager of CI-Energies. First of all, he welcomed and congratulated the WAPP and the World Bank for this great initiative which will contribute to the large-scale deployment of solar renewable energy in West Africa. Before officially declaring the training and certification program in solar renewable energy, Mr. Vanié wished to see this program continue for the benefit of a larger number of staff members of the West African electricity sector because, for him, it is the guarantee of success of regional electricity integration.
Funded by the World Bank, this Capacity Building Program is a component of the West Africa Solar Parks Development Project, which aims to support a harmonized and systematic regional approach to scaling up large-scale, competitive solar power generation, supported by private capital, in order to lower the cost of electricity, improve renewable energy integration capacities and increase the share of solar energy in the energy mix.
The specific objectives of this Capacity Building Program which will take place face-to-face and online in the five WAPP training centers, are to:
- To set up "certified" training in planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of solar energy production facilities for at least 130 agents of WAPP member utilities and Ministries in charge of energy, including at least 20% women;
- To have a pool of experts capable of carrying out the preparation, implementation, operation and maintenance of solar energy production facilities in ECOWAS countries;
- To increase and perpetuate the training offer on solar renewable energies, through the Regional Training Centers (RTC) of the WAPP.
This training and certification program will be devoted to three (3) themes including (i) planning and implementation of solar power generation projects, (ii) operation and integration of solar power generation into the grid and (iii) maintenance and performance monitoring of solar power generation facilities.
It should also be noted that this program is a "professional qualification certification" that will be recognized by all key players in the electricity sector in West Africa. To do this, five (5) major universities and polytechnics in West African countries will be associated with the program.
Mr. Siengui KI, Secretary General of WAPP and his team wished good luck to the participants of the three (3) training and certification programs.