CABO VERDE - Strengthening bonds and partnerships in the ECOWAS region for the sake of vocational training on renewable energy
The Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance of Cabo Verde (CERMI) aims at positioning itself in the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania, as a leading vocational training centre on renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE). To achieve this objective, it relies on funding from the European Union, and technical and operational support from LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
The project CVE/881 - "Strengthening the regional positioning of the CERMI" - carried-out in the framework of the EU regional programme to improve governance of the energy sector in West Africa - AGoSE- AO, funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), has two main components:
- the conception and implementation of regional training of trainers’ programmes in the ECOWAS region plus Mauritania;
- supporting CERMI’s process to become a vocational training centre of excellence for the RE and EE in the region.
In order to materialise this second ambition, the project team together with CERMI has put in place several key instruments:
- a regional marketing plan for CERMI was elaborated in early 2019. The recommendations included in the action plan have been carried out in order to guide CERMI to disseminate at best its training offers and services. The plan was largely taken into account during the various prospection missions realised in the ECOWAS region;
- the restructuring of CERMI’s website http://cermicv.com/, adjusted to the new context and regional dimension, launched in February 2019, aiming at becoming a dynamic communication platform in three languages: English, French and Portuguese. The website is a powerful tool to divulgate communication material and is capable of hosting an e-learning platform to share the regional training programmes, in cooperation with the University Jean Piaget of Cabo Verde;
- prospection missions, carried out in all ECOWAS countries plus Mauritania, to allow CERMI to get acquainted with its homologues regional institutions and promoting its training offers and services.
Photo 1 - CERMI's website
Enhancing regional ties
Thanks to this strategy and mainly through the ad-hoc missions, CERMI is so far a well-known and reputable reference institution within the region, having developed solid bonds with training institutions operating in the sector of RE and vocational training.
Indeed, the various missions to the ECOWAS countries and Mauritania have proved to be extremely useful for the dissemination of CERMI and its potential, opening new horizons in terms of future cooperation with counterparts in the region. It allowed the members of the CERMI’s Board of Directors to get acquainted with each country’s context and reality, thus facilitating the identification of the target groups and specific training needs.
Photo 2- visit to the École supérieure des métiers des énergies renouvelables (ESMER), Bénin
To be pointed out, among the 2019 missions to nine ECOWAS countries, from April 2019, to Benin and Togo, followed by the mission to Ivory Coast and Guinea Conakry, Mali and Niger, Nigeria and Ghana and finally Mauritania in December 2019, CERMI also took part in the “ECOWAS Sustainable Energy forum”, organised by Ecowas Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and its partners in Accra, October 2019. This was a remarkable opportunity which brought together hundreds of experts, companies and research institutions to promote sustainable energy initiatives in the ECOWAS. In addition to the different thematic workshops, the forum organised an exhibition, thus allowing institutions and companies to present their products and services. CERMI had its stand at the exhibition which provided the Centre with great visibility during the event. CERMI’s PCA, Mr Luis Teixeira, also participated in one of the forum's panels “Development of local capacity for the implementation of RE projects”. It was also a great opportunity to establish new contacts, taking into account the dimension and diversity of the actors attending the event.
Photo 3- the Cabo Verdean delegation at the Accra's Forum
As a result of strengthening key partnerships among regional institutions, was pointed out the involvement of trainers from regional training partners in some of the training sessions at CERMI. This was the case of Mr. Francis Semporé, professor at the 2IE (Burkina Faso) who led the French version of the EE training of trainers. He also participated in some missions due to his vast knowledge and network in the region. His colleague, Mr. Edem N’Tsoukpoe also led the French version of the solar thermal training of trainers.
Building-up future partnerships
In Mauritania for instance, the CERMI representative, Mr Luis Pina, and LuxDev project Manager, Mr Jansenio Delgado, visited the “École des métiers SOMELEC”, a vocational training school led by the Mauritanian national utility company, SOMELEC, also responsible for the operation of all major ER systems in the country.
Photo 4- visit to the “École des métiers SOMELEC” in Mauritania, with its Director Mr Sidi Mohamed Ahmed
The school deals with the training of employees in the areas of production, transport and distribution of energy. However, due to the major investments already implemented and planned in the RE sector, solar photovoltaic and wind power, the school has been considering implementing training programmes in RE. Thanks to the prospection mission, the school’s Director showed great interest in a new partnership with CERMI and welcomed the possibility of a south-south cooperation, leveraging the resources, human and material, that already exist in neighbouring countries.
Photo 5 - Mr Luís Pina, Executive Director of CERMI, and Mr Jansenio Delgado, Project Manager in Mauritania
Since the beginning of the project, CERMI provided training to more than 100 trainers and technicians from all ECOWAS countries and Mauritania, leading to the strengthening of technical skills in various areas such as solar photovoltaic, EE, and solar thermal, providing bilingual training sessions in English and French.
In the second half of 2020, upon this unexpected break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, being the region free of health risks and following the eventual re-establishing of regional flights, we plan on giving continuity to enhance these networks and pursuing the training programmes. Five new training sessions (bilingual, French and English) on bio-energy and pedagogical training have been foreseen to be held in Cabo Verde and in the region. Considering that CERMI is not yet sufficiently equipped to ensure bioenergy practical training, bioenergy training will be delivered in partnership with regional training institutions with proven experience on this technology. Pedagogical training will be given at CERMI facilities or will be hosted by regional partner institutions to be identified, most likely in Benin or Burkina Faso.↑ To the top