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26 August 2020 marked the official closing of the Skills Development for the Renewable Energy Sector (SkiDRES) pilot project which was jointly implemented. The International Labour Organization, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) supported Kafue Gorge Regional Centre (KGRTC) as an implementing partner in this pilot project which focused on skills development for the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sector in Zambia and the Sub-region.

The International Labour Organization Country Office for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Director Mr. George Okutho and KGRTC Director Eng. Kaela Kennedy Siame co-chaired the virtual close out meeting . In attendance were representatives from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Headquarters in Stockholm, Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre (KGRTC), the Copperbelt University, Technical Education-Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) Zambia, Lubambe Copper Mines, Africa GreenCo, the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), the Ministry of Energy (MoE) Zambia, ZESCO Limited, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Zambia, the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) Zambia and the International Labour Organization led by the Director Mr. George Okutho.

The meeting kicked off with introductory remarks from the Chairperson Mr. George Okutho, and he emphasised on reflecting on the journey that had been made in this public-private partnership pilot project. He said the partnership of the ILO, Sida and KGRTC had been more than rewarding because it made all the partners involved to understand better the challenges and opportunities that the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sectors face in Zambia and the Sub-region in general.

The Chairperson also took time to acknowledge and praise the partnering teams for the hard work that they have put into the pilot project from the beginning to its final stage. He broke this down by stating that the market needs have been assessed and demand-driven training programmes have been developed and tested with a gender dimension. He further said the partners now have a better appreciation of public-private partnership project. This will allow them to consider their participation and put KGRTC on the path to establish a hub for sustainable provision of training skills in the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sectors of the Sub-region.

He ended his introductory remarks by giving thanks to the Government of Zambia, the Government of Sweden, the Employers & Workers Movements, and KGRTC, whom he said was a trustworthy partner in this pilot project.

Eng. Kaela Kennedy Siame then took time to inform the stakeholders that for KGRTC, the SkiDRES pilot project finalisation is a key milestone. He said with the various lessons learnt and implementations made, KGRTC hoped to meet the desired project results as reports were being submitted. Eng. Siame also said KGRTC was glad to have been recognised as a partner in anchoring the SkiDRES pilot project, and he thanked all the partners for this great opportunity.

Eng. Mwaba Matimba from KGRTC, who is part of the project management team, was then given the floor to make the first presentation in the meeting. His presentation was about the SkiDRES Project overview, and the sub-topics included the outline of the energy sector, opportunities for growth, project implementation strategy and other aspects of the project, find the full presentation here.

The International Labour Organization’s National Project Coordinator Ms. Musoli Kashinga made the second and last presentation during the meeting. Her presentation was about the achievements and challenges of the SkiDRES project. She started her presentation by talking about the purpose of the SkiDRES project, which was to test and prepare for a scaled-up project on skills development for the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sector. She highlighted the key achievements of the pilot project. These include observations that SkiDRES has been able to raise interest and enthusiasm in Zambia and the Sub-region to some extent, and that stakeholders have agreed to share their skills, time and resources for training and events in the RE and EE sector.

She covered all the five SkiDRES outputs in discussing the achievements of the SkiDRES project. Below are the SkiDRES achievements she mentioned;

Two pilot training programs in Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) and the Metrum (Sweden partnership), below are the full details;

(1) Gas Turbine Technology with Green Fuels Training Program.

  • (12 Course Participants Trained)
  • (Facilitated by Siemens AB Sweden)
  • Delivered Mode (Face to Face at KGRTC)

  • (2) Skills for Green Jobs Training Program.

  • (29 Course Participants Trained *5 Countries*)
  • (Facilitated by ITC-ILO, ILO and KGRTC)
  • Delivered Mode (Face to Face at KGRTC)

  • (3) Metrum (Sweden) MoU and Donation of Metering Equipment.

    Three online training programs which were brought in as a response to COVID-19 and most importantly to increase KGRTC’s outreach, below are the full details;

    (1) Industrial Energy Efficiency Training Program.

  • (39 Course Participants Trained and Certified from 6 countries)
  • (Facilitated by SACREEE)
  • Delivered Mode (Online)

  • (2) Financial Modelling and Banking Financing for Renewable Energy IPP’s in Africa Training Program.

  • (64 Course Participants Trained and Certified from 8 countries)
  • (Facilitated by Africa GreenCo in collaboaration with KGRTC)
  • Delivered Mode (Online)

  • (3) Renewable Energy IPP’s Project Documentation Training Program.

  • (50 Course Participants Trained and Certified from 3 countries)
  • (Facilitated by Africa GreenCo in collaboaration with KGRTC)
  • Delivered Mode (Online)

  • Ms. Kashinga mentioned more points that can be classified under the achievements or challenges of the SkiDRES Pilot Project, find her full presentation here.

    The stakeholders in the meeting then went on to bring out all positive and negative concerns which were addressed. The Chairperson then gave his closing remarks and called on Eng. Siame for his last comments. Eng. Siame thanked the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Higher Education, TEVETA, the Ministry of Energy and Sida whom he further thanked for ongoing support efforts since the establishment of KGRTC. He also thanked the ILO for using its vast experience, resources and setting up a good programme with well-established goals that were achieved.

    Eng. Siame also thanked other partners from training, research and development institutions within and outside Zambia. These included both public and private sector players such as CBU, SACREEE, CEC, LUBAMBE MINES, MoHE, MoU and Africa GreenCo, among others. He extended a gesture of thanks to all the professional bodies and employer & employees representatives. Eng. Siame further said KGRTC looks forward to providing the necessary skills effectively and efficiently in the next phase of the programme.

    ILO Director, Mr. Gorge Okutho, closed the meeting by saying that the potential of the RE and EE sector in Zambia is very high and many stakeholders outside the project are looking at this intervention as an inspiration. He once again thanked all the energy sector stakeholders that took part in this pilot project and recognised KGRTC as “A Real Centre of Excellence” due to the professionalism exhibited throughout the project. Lastly, he thanked Sida for the financial support and wished everyone well after taking a group photo.