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Rural electrification through solar-powered mini-grids

VET Training; Rural Electrification through Solar Powered Mini-grids


The Uganda Vision 2040 states that “Ugandans aspire to have access to clean, affordable and reliable energy sources to facilitate industrialisation”. Despite an impressive economic growth trajectory over the years, Uganda’s electrification rate remains very low at about 28%. Bringing electricity to its population remains a national priority. Renewable, off-grid solutions are central to meeting that objective. However there has been a considerable gap in regard to skills related to solar/mini-grid installation. The energy sector especially solar installation and maintenance currently has no existing formal VET and employment opportunities.

This VET Toolbox intervention will build on the outcomes of the project “Promotion of Mini Grids for Rural Electrification” and leverage this considerable contribution to operationalize the already developed curriculum. The developed curricula will be utilised with some adaptation (update or upgrade) such as the development of a training on PV system maintenance specialisation.


To address foreseeable skills gaps in the solar energy sector which contributes to meeting the skills demands from the country’s private sector.

  • Skill development: This aims to produce skilled solar technicians for mini-grids and solar home systems through skills development efforts and while leveraging on the creation of access to electricity in rural areas.
  • Enhance the capacities of VTIs: Promote the roll out of solar training in many Vocational Training Institutions through TOT trainings to instructors.
  • Operationalization of curriculum aims to establish an adjusted and improved version of the already developed Assessment and Training Package for solar technicians as a standard and sustainable training.
  • Establishment of best practice: it aims to serve as best practice which can be multiply to other regions of the country and to other countries.

Strategy and activities

VET institutions and private companies collaborate in the training delivery of theoretical and practical concepts in the solar technician trainings. The developed curricula and training materials can be utilized to replicate the trainings in the other regions of Uganda, and this will be embedded into the national TVET system. The activities will provide support to TVET institutes to deliver short courses to train solar technicians on:

  • The installation of solar system and Mini-Grid components.
  • Solar maintenance, marketing of solar equipment, material selection.
  • Effective communication and personal skills.

MSMEs and entrepreneurs in rural areas often lack the prerequisite skills to make use of the opportunities that electricity access through mini-grids provide. Therefore, it is proposed to provide tailor-made business development services for MSMEs, smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in communities recently connected to mini-grids to ensure that electricity can be used productively to drive local economic development.

Expected main outcome

The provision of training to people as well as existing MSMEs and to entrepreneurs aims to create new employment opportunities and contribute to the economic development of underserved rural areas in Uganda in general.

  • 175 people to find decent jobs.
  • 150 people upskilled to secure jobs, thereof at least 35% women and at least 40% youth.
  • Up to 4 VET centres with enhanced capacity.
  • Up to 20 VET trainers/ staff trained.

VET Toolbox in Uganda - Interview with Jegan Ganeshamoorty, GIZ