Kenya: Women in Africa Go to Micro-grid School

Published on Friday, 4 May 2018

“The Micro-Grid Academy aims to improve energy access in rural communities by promoting local entrepreneurship and job creation.”

– Marco Aresti, Head of Access2Energy program for RES4Africa

Combining managerial and technical skills with practical training, MGA courses aim to promote a series of activities of capacity building to eventually train at least 300 students a year by 2019, future professionals in the sector, and to positively affect all the areas involved in the sustainable development of local rural communities.

The Future in 10 Days

From 4 to 14 April 2018, the Micro-Grid Academy held its second training course, hosting 40 students from East Africa and Europe.

“The participants in MGA’s second edition included 20 women selected by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of the Africa Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework (AWEEF), a platform that empowers female entrepreneurs as main stakeholders through the energy value chain.”

MGA participants worked in direct contact with technicians and experts from various sponsors of the Academy, like KPLC, the AVSI Foundation, St. Kizito VTI, Strathmore University, the Enel Foundation, SIGORA and Sapienza University in Rome

MGA’s training activities will be supported by a real 30-kW hybrid mini-grid installed with the contribution of the members of RES4Africa.

Full Immersion to the World of Micro-grids

The lessons of the second edition of MGA focused on entrepreneurial skills and access to clean energy, both of central importance for the sustainable development of rural communities.

Over the ten days of the course, in collaboration with the Enel Foundation and the non-profit Tecnologie Solidali, the participants were able to work at the laboratories of St. Kizito VTI and Strathmore Energy Research Center (SERC), where technical training and practical tests were carried out. 

“The students directly experienced the many aspects of mini-grid implementation: from planning and development to operation and maintenance of plants.”

– Andrea Micangeli, Academic coordinator - Micro-Grid Academy

The April course’s programme also included a visit to the headquarters of the United Nations, to understand the role of renewable energy in UNEP, UNIDO and UN Habitat programmes, and a visit to the Talek Town mini-grid, in a village near the Maasai Mara National Park, about 250 km from Nairobi, built by GIZ, a German agency for development cooperation.