Malawi will soon start training solar photovoltaic technicians to install and maintain solar PV equipment, which will effectively contribute towards strengthening the renewable energy industry in the country.
Speaking at a press briefing about the project on Thursday at Sunbird Mzuzu, Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) regional manager for the North, Conceptor Kachoka, said the country has shortage of hands on technicians for installation and maintenance of solar PV.
“We once went around with the class in Nkhata Bay and we discovered that most health centres had solar panels which were not working, and our students worked on them. We later found out that the problems were minor. Solar energy is the future of the country and Malawians should be proud of this project,” she said.
Mainly, the project is expected to benefit off grid Malawians from the remote areas.
According to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, 85 percent of Malawi’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are in rural areas. The SMEs, mostly comprising dairy farmers, lose milk due to lack of storage capacity and availability of electricity.
The project which will run for three years will be implemented by Mzuzu Technical College, Miracle Technical Institute in Karonga Zayed Energy and Ecology Centre in Nkhata Bay and other third party institutions which will also benefit from the programme.
It is therefore expected that the project which is being funded by the European Union to the tune of 1.8 million euros will help in broadening the electricity penetration level in the remote areas.
Speaking at the event, the project coordinator Kettie Mkandawire said the project will address skills gap and reduce the challenges people in remote areas face in connecting to the grid. n