ECREEE launches scheme to create qualified solar workforce in West Africa

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The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has unveiled an initiative aimed at improving the skills of solar installers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is an agglomerate of western African countries, comprised of 15 member countries including, among others, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Guinea and Liberia.

The program, titled the Regional Certification Scheme (RCS), aims to accelerate the deployment of  solar energy across the region, via the creation of a regional standard certification scheme for installers, and the development of regional renewable energy standards.

As a first stage, the program will focus on training installers for off-grid solar, ECREEE said.

The centre has already pre-selected 21 training institutions from eight ECOWAS countries for the pilot phase, while a technical committee representing all member states has been formed, to oversee the program.

As for the creation of renewable energy standards, ECREEE said it will work in cooperation with Germany’s GIZ to take stock of the existing national renewable energy product standards, analyse frameworks for their enforcement, select products for which regional standards will be developed, and ensure that the draft regional standards are discussed with all member states.

In order to reach these goals, ECREEE is now seeking consultants for the program’s implementation. Interested parties should submit their application by February 17, 2018.

The project is being supported by GIZ, UEMOA and IRENA.