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FeatureSDG 17

Business Field Renewable Energies – Alumni Network supports young Africans

African alumni can be important multipliers in the dissemination of renewable energies and decentralised energy solutions in their countries. The Network and Support for African Professionals (ANSAP) – supported by Green People’s Energy – organises the transfer of know-how and helps them develop their own business ideas. 15 pitched virtually in January.

Renewable energies and related solutions offer African economies the opportunity to satisfy their energy hunger, supply rural regions and thereby build sustainable economic growth with good jobs and employment. Many young students and professionals from Africa have therefore studied or undergone training in renewable energy and energy efficiency at universities and other educational institutions in Germany, or are still doing so.

When they return to their countries, they are ideal multipliers and developers of this economic sector – and thus extremely important for the young economies of their countries. To find a job in their home country or to start a business themselves, alumni networks can play an outstanding role. This is why Green People’s Energy supports the Alumni Network and Support for African Professionals (ANSAP).

ANSAP supports mentees from nine African countries to expand their networks in Africa and Germany, to exchange ideas and encourages them to develop their own business ideas and present them to potential investors.

Last year, the network announced a coaching programme for alumni. The business ideas submitted covered many areas. A committee selected 15 alumni, including two women. The alumni come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Benin, Zambia, Nigeria, Tunisia and Kenya. All of them developed their business plans with the help of coaches so that they could submit them to banks – or pitch for funds to investors.

On 20 January 2022, the 15 alumni presented their ideas to a panel of experts, including the two BMZ Special Representatives for Energy in Africa, Bärbel Höhn and Josef Göppel, as well as representatives of organisations and financial institutions. For the time being, the business ideas remain confidential so that the alumni and possible future entrepreneurs have time to put their ideas into practice. However, the network wants to publish outstanding business plans on its portal so that they can solicit further investors there.

ANSAP plans further mentoring programmes, workshops and online training. In this way, it wants to recruit more members for the network, because the more who get involved in ANSAP, the more valuable the network becomes for its members and the more effective the network can influence the development of renewable energies in the countries.

The two Special Representatives Bärbel Höhn and Josef Göppel have taken over the patronage for ANSAP. The alumni network is organised by RENAC energy & climate gGmbH.