The Bura Solutions Academy is powering up careers in Nigeria’s solar sector. The centre offers flexible, hands-on learning – with affordable fees, scholarships and fee waivers for women – as well as help for trainees to find work. This includes creating opportunities through the company’s own digital job listing platform.
Innovation in solar skills and training is needed to tackle two huge challenges facing Nigeria – 40% of the country’s people go without access to electricity, and unemployment has almost doubled in the last decade.
This are affordably priced, with scholarships and financial incentives for female applicants. This has helped ensure that 45% of the course graduates are women, tackling the gender imbalance in the clean energy workforce. The academy has also funded training for young people with particularly disadvantaged backgrounds.
Practical training and digital innovation
Training features three months of classroom learning – with sessions repeated across the week, so students can join when it suits them – including demonstrations and hands-on activities. This is followed by a further three months of practical sessions at client sites.
Training also includes modules on entrepreneurship, giving students the chance to develop a freelance career. Students learn how to set up a company, build a client database and engage with their potential customers. And they receive mentoring after the course finishes.
The company has also developed an online marketplace for solar installation services, Solafrica.Burasolutions.com. This gives potential customers with a ready pool of vetted and qualified installers, and also helps academy graduates find freelance work. It also helps to tackle the barriers and discrimination faced by female graduates, as qualified installers are automatically matched to jobs through the system.
“Training opened doors for me”
The academy’s trainees include Blessing Gogo. On completing the course, she plans to launch the first woman-owned solar energy business in her neighbourhood, creating work opportunities for other women too.
She says: “Solar power training opened doors for me that I never thought possible. I will become a role model for other women and contribute to the betterment of our community. Solar energy will not only brightened our homes but also our futures.”
Other trainees include Akenna Stanley, electrician at Rivers State Zonal Hospital Bari. Mothers and babies on its maternity clinic are safer than ever now the clinic has a more reliable power supply, and there is no need carry out deliveries by torchlight. Akenna says solar power had revolutionised some aspects of care at the clinic, boosting efficiency and cutting costs.
1 November 2023
Ashden Award for Integrated Energy Africa
25 October 2023
Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions
Ashden Award for Outstanding Achievement
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