Solar Training in Uganda
LEDsafari is a clean-tech start-up with expertise in solar PV. Its products and services assist solar companies to increase the PV growth in developing countries.
Energy access is a challenge in the countries of East-Africa. In Uganda, only 26.7% of the population had access to electricity in 2017 and solar PV has become an important key to face this obstacle. However, there is a lack of trained people for solar installations, operations and maintenance. Within the next five years the solar industry will grow at 30% in emerging economies and 9.1 million people will be required to work in solar industry.
LEDsafari, in partnership with Enlight Academy, plans to train 150 technicians by the end of 2019. They started their work in June 2018 where they trained 14 people for two months in Mbarara. The goal was to train skilled professionals to grow the solar market in Uganda. The training covered from basic fundamentals in electricity to the installation, operation and maintenance of a PV system. In addition to the theory in class, the training was provided with practical sessions simulating the challenges that they will face when working in real market.
The project initial cost was USD 150,000. This was co-financed by Swiss development agency, Swiss Re foundation and Signify (former Philips) lighting foundation. The trainings are now used by their partners. LEDsafari runs a SaaS model where customers (solar companies, organizations and vocational institutes) pay per user access price of USD 5-30 for a year. Since, the system is online, the overhead costs is low. However, the main costs are the course development and sales & marketing.
The training was based on the main skills needed for professionals of local solar companies. The final assessment score of the participants showed that all of them are prepared to install, operate and maintain solar PV systems in Uganda.