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Renewable energy: Nigerian women to train in India

Woman trained in solar panel operations

The Rural Women and Energy Security Programme of the federal ministry of Environment is set to train Nigerian illiterate women in India on solar energy application. Engr. Bahijjahtu Abubakar, National Coordinator of the ministry’s Renewable Energy Programme told Daily Trust that the training was part of collaboration with the India High Commission to provide rural women with a source of livelihood while also providing energy for rural dwellers.

Abubakar said the “rural women and energy security programme is a component of the rural energy programme targeted at the rural women. It is model after what obtains in Barefoot College in India. It is targeted at illiterate and semi illiterate women.” She said that the maximum qualification women should have before participating in the programme was school certificate.

The Coordinator said while in India, the women would be taught how to manufacture, assemble and maintain solar components. “On return to Nigeria after the training, each of the women are expected to train 25 other women to be able to qualify as Barefoot technicians. Bagging the title means the trained women have been able to successfully transfer the technology they have learnt to other women,” she added.

She said upon completion of their training in India, the women would be in position to access start up funds courtesy of collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) under the Access to Renewable Energy Programme to begin production at whatever location they chose. Abubakar said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had already made available a facility worth over 80 million dollars under the management of the BOI for those engaging in renewable energy businesses to access.

According to her, the ministry was also fast tracking activities on the proposed renewable energy village project that would serve as an institute for the trained women. “The renewable Energy Village will be located in each of the six geo-political zones of the country. It will provide all the facilities and infrastructure needed to enhance the massive training of women in solar energy manufacturing, assembling and maintenance,” she said.

She said the ministry was creating awareness among the various stakeholders to increase the number of women participating in the programme. “Lack of awareness and absence of funds hindered the expansion of the programme so far but we are hopeful of overcoming that to ensure more women participate,” she said. The programme according to her would be able to assist Nigeria reduce emission, create jobs and bring about sustainable development.

From: Daily Trust

Source: http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/index.php/other-sections/environment/148919-renewable-energy-nigerian-women-to-train-in-india