Last edited: September 2018
The solar sector in Tanzania is growing and so is the range of solar products available for sale. Usually, components for systems are imported from for instance the United States or China. At present, Tanzania does not have the production capacity to produce its own solar technology. It does, however, increasingly invest in the capacity to assemble components, build custom-made solar systems, install and maintain them. This development has lead to a growth of all sorts of (local) solar businesses in Tanzania, from importers and wholesalers to small-scale retailers. To run such as business requires specific knowledge, not only on the engineering side but also on the business skills side. Various training and education programs for solar technologies are available, which help participants to build such skills.
Added Value of Training and Education
The added value of solar training programs is significant, with benefits for both participants and (future) customers. The programs are designed to effectively transfer information and practical skills on, for instance, how to correctly install and maintain solar systems, and how to distinguish between high and low quality products in the market. Whether it is to start a business or expand one, participants can benefit from training programs to strengthen their skills. For buyers of solar products, this is of great value. They rely on knowledgeable businesses and engineers to install reliable solar products and maintain them properly.
Solar Training Facilities
Several companies and NGOs which are active in the solar power sector now have training facilities in Tanzania. For example, the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) runs an Opportunities for Youth Employment program in Tanzania which offers training in, among other things, renewable energy technologies, including solar PV and lighting.
TAREA, the Tanzania Renewable Energy Association, offers several renewable energy related training programs, with opportunities for participants to learn about solar energy and work in the field. Training is available for solar instructors, installers, retailers, regulators, officers of district councils, decision and policy makers, project developers and end users. Since 2008, TAREA runs the RENewable Energy Volunteers project. This project offers young Tanzanians the opportunity to gain technical, practical and entrepreneurship knowledge on renewables.
In Tanzania, plans are on the way to open a Renewable Energy Training Centre in Arusha. The Innovative Technology and Energy Centre (ITEC) as well as E3Empower implement these projects.
KIITEC, the Kilimanjaro International Institute for Telecommunications Electronics and Computers, offers trainings for Solar PV Systems designers and installers. Trainings are available at different levels. Among others, solar technology courses are available for secondary school graduates who would like to be electrical technicians.
In Arusha, the NGO Africa Solar Rise operates a demonstration and training facility for low-cost solar products that can be used in agriculture, small business and in everyday life in Tanzania. Small business owners are advised on the financial and technical use of these products. Business and technical internships and volunteering are possible here.
In addition to such training centres, several solar companies offer inhouse training for future employees. Redavia is such a company. It not only provides training for people who wish to work for the company, but also for community members and entrepreneurs.