An often overlooked aspect of rural electrification programmes is the capacity of the rural communities to install and maintain the technology. No matter how ‘plug & play’ the technology, there comes a time when components fail, maintenance is required and the sustainability of the system is threatened. Finding qualified local staff in rural areas is one of the main challenges FRES faces.
Train the trainers
That’s why we have been regularly sending specialist trainers to each of our 5 local companies to train local technicians and ensure standardised installation and maintenance practices across all companies. From January 2015, FRES will take this one step further, with the launch of its new technical training programme ‘Train the Trainers’. Selected members from FRES’s national teams (including Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Africa) have been invited to attend a 7-day technical training course held at FRES Uganda headquarters in Mbarara.
The objective of the training is to “train future trainers” of each company. Attendees will become the future focal points for ongoing training within their respective national teams and in turn pass on their new knowledge to local technicians. This allows each company to have local trainers ready to train new technicians as they are recruited.
The training course has been developed in collaboration with FRES partner Alliance Solaire and specifically tailored to FRES’ operations. With this programme we want to strengthen capacity and embed ownership in the national FRES teams in all countries, while benefiting from the wealth of experience through mutual learning. Additionally, two local students from the Western Uganda region will be given the opportunity to take part in order to expand the impact of the training beyond FRES.