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Capacity and Skills Needs Assessment Draft Report

By

AFREPREN/FWD


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A fundamental goal of capacity building is to enhance the ability to evaluate and address the crucial questions related to policy and technology choices and modes of implementation among development options, based on an understanding of environment potentials and limits and of needs as perceived by the people of the country concerned.

Although support for sustainable energy is growing among Governments in sub-Sahara Africa, more ambitious development of sustainable energy options has been hampered by limited skills found in the region. While a significant proportion of past development assistance to the energy sector in Africa has been directed towards capacity building, there is still a significant skills gap, especially in renewables and energy efficiency. The most dramatic gap in the developing world has been recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the need for local capacity building is most acute. The limited capacity building in the sub-Sahara African region is a major impediment to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The overall development objective of the capacity and skills assessment component of the CABURESA project is to identify the gaps that exist and formulate interventions that will strengthen existing and embryonic sub-Saharan African SMEs/agro-industries/tourism entities/rural institutions as well as related key stakeholders involved in pro-poor renewable/energy efficiency development through training and investment support.

The prevailing capacity building gap is attributed to several barriers. Some of the key barriers identified and which are being addressed by the CABURESA Project include: Firstly, the historical predominant focus on conventional energy at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency development. Secondly, the fact that most of the development assistance for the energy sector is designed to meet the capacity building needs of large-scale conventional energy projects implemented by the Government.

According to a mini-survey of 16 African countries conducted by AFREPREN/FWD in eastern and southern Africa (see Karekezi, et al, 2006), the greatest challenge among SMEs working in the power sector is capacity building. Due to limited working capital, most SMEs are unable to sponsor their employees for training courses especially in management. While all the SMEs surveyed had functional management systems, almost all of them highlighted that they could benefit from training, especially on making appropriate financial and investment decisions. The SMEs indicated that capacity building support can be provided in form of training seminars and workshops. The following table highlights the challenges faced by SMEs in the power sector in some of the surveyed countries and indicates capacity building as the most common problem:

Table 3.1 Common problems faced SMEs Country Common problems faced by the SMEs/Insitutions Capacity Building/ Training Access to Credit/Tendering Cost Tools & Equipment Working & Storage Space Cost of Securing Funds Development of business plans Uganda ? ? ? ? Kenya ? ? ? ? ? Tanzania ? ? ? Mozambique ? ? ? ? Zambia ? ? ? ? Source: Kinuthia, 2004, Katyega, 2004, Kalumiana, 2004, Okumu and Engorait, 2004, Mangwengwende, 2004, Bosel 2009

The most recent country reports have confirmed that the major challenges facing SMEs/agro-industries/tourism entities/rural institutions in the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency are the lack of skills and capacity apart from the high capital cost. The three reports from Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia identify similar capacity and skills challenges as shown in table 3.2 below. This is also true of the other 2 CABURESA target countries (Kenya and Mozambique).

The Tanzanian report goes further to show that there some renewable energy projects that are defunct due to lack of maintenance skills, poor management and lack of data. For example, of the 150 wind mills for pumping that have been installed in Singida, Dodoma and Tabora regions only 100 are operational (Gwang’ombe, 2004)

Table 3.2 Major capacity and skills challenges Country Major capacity and skills challenges Uganda - Limited or inadequate technical and institutional capacity in both public and private sector to implement and manage renewable energy investments; - Limited awareness of availability, benefits and opportunities of renewable energy technologies in the public; - Insufficient information and data on renewable energy resources availability and technologies; Tanzania - Lack of technical skills and experience. - Limited expertise, skills and experience in design and implementation of renewable energy projects - In Tanzania, energy efficiency initiatives are hindered by limited capacity in strategic planning at Ministry levels, lack of awareness, shortage of technical capacity to disseminate the skills and adaptation of the technologies, etc. Zambia - Availability of few specialized Technicians, - Low renewable energy technology awareness, - Unavailability of data on the resource potential or the production and consumption of these resources.

There is no magic bullet approach that will resolve the capacity building problem. The approach that the CABURESA project is pursuing is innovative as it is aimed at developing the capacity of SMEs/agro-industries/tourism entities/rural institutions which are, often, not reached by conventional energy investments and technical assistance programmes. The CABURESA country studies providing some evidence supporting the capacity building approach that the CABURESA project is expected to use, namely: “Learning by doing” which focuses on enhancing skills that are regularly utilized in daily work based on requirements from the target group. And the focus will also be in rural areas where the lack of capacity is even more acute. CABURESA will also urge stakeholders to establish Incentives to retain the skills that are to be developed.

The capacity building component of CABURESA precedes the investment support to SMEs/agro-industries/tourism entities/rural institutions and is addressing the barrier pertaining to “limited skills, experience and capacity in the region in renewable energy and energy efficiency project development” and “inadequate expertise in the operation, maintenance and refurbishment of renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment and installations”. It is also partially addressing the barrier pertaining to the “lack of confidence in renewables and energy efficiency from investors and financing institutions.

Year

Botswana

Ethiopia

Kenya *

Kenya **

1991

 

2.84

0.08

0.91

1992

8.37

2.09

0.11

0.40

1993

0.59

1.55

0.11

0.56

1994

0.08

3.57

0.09

0.28

1995

0.13

5.03

0.04

0.39

1996

0.26

0.46

0.00

0.00

1997

1.47

0.06

0.07

0.40

1998

1.93

0.08

0.01

0.70

1999

1.33

0.03

0.01

1.35

2000

0.83

0.05

0.00

1.39

2001

 

 

0.02

2.14

2002

 

 

0.01

4.40

Notes
Kenya * - small-scale renewable development
Kenya ** - includes allocation for geothermal exploration
 

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