Ashden Awards

Energy Access Skills

Energy Generation

Winner

Africa

Winner

Award:
Energy Access Skills
Area of Work:
Energy Access
Region: Africa
Awards Year: 2022
Supported by LinkedIn

Togo’s Energy Generation is a pioneering training provider, supporting African entrepreneurs and technicians, with a focus on empowering women. Its work is systemic, internationally accredited and backed by energy businesses funders.  

Training takes place at a campus in the Togolese capital Lome, where a two-year course blends engineering with business skills – powering up a new generation of African innovators. Grants help make the programme accessible. In its well-equipped FabLab, entrepreneurs work on ‘Made in Africa’ solutions; from solar-powered wheelchairs to systems extracting energy from food waste. 

Energy Generation also offers shorter courses training electricians to install and maintain solar technology as well as ones to help them run their businesses. Crucially, the organisation, of which 70% of the trainees are women, works to link graduates with internship and job opportunities.  

Two-year course blends engineering with business skills

70% of the organisation's trainees are women

Helping graduates take the next step

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Practical and inclusive courses 

Energy Generation aims to fill the skills and finance barriers holding back clean energy entrepreneurs and engineers. Its programmes provide management, business and soft skills training, as well as technical skills, and help entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into tested products.  

EG is committed to making its programmes accessible and to increasing opportunities for women. It helps students join its longer programme with a training grant worth up to £850. And every year it offers zero interest loans helping up to 30 women develop their entrepreneurial solar projects.

Helping graduates take the next step 

Energy Generation’s two-year postgraduate course is run in partnership with the Collège de Paris and attracts participants from across Africa. By the end of the programme entrepreneurs have received the internationally recognised Collège de Paris diploma, as well as the training and resources necessary to develop a viable product for their own clean energy businesses. 

Course graduates, and other entrepreneurs, can also enter an Energy Generation incubation programme. This offers investment and other financial support for up to two years.  Most course graduates have gone on to find well paid jobs, with some founding their own successful start-ups.  

Energy Generation has strong strategic partnerships with energy companies such as EDF, Schneider Electric and BBOxx, as well as funders including the European Union and German development agency GIZ. These links help graduates find work and investment in their new businesses and get hands-on experience through four-month work placements.   

Energy Generation also offers a separate, short-term, solar technician and business skills training programme. This trains electricians to install and maintain solar systems. It has been designed in partnership with Schneider Electric and lasts for four to six months, depending on the trainees starting level. 

Almost half of the trainees attending the course so far have been women. 

Diamondra Rakotonirina, 27, entrepreneurship student, showcases her Oraure Biogas project prototype at the Energy Generation campus in Lome, Togo. July 5, 2022. Ashden Awards/Francis Kokoroko

Nadine’s story: gaining skills and confidence 

Nadine Couao-Zotti, 30, is a graduate of Energy Generation’s two-year training course. For now she supports herself by running a food kiosk in Lome, but is looking to launch her own business – based on a biogas energy system using recycled plastic to make paving stones, a product she designed on the course. 

Nadine says she has gained skills in business management, marketing and administration. Energy Generation has also given her excellent personal and professional support, and she is now more confident in herself and no longer afraid to face challenges. 

Nadine Couao Zotti, 30, student, is photographed with her sheet press protoype that produces building blocks from plastic waste.

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