Many young Malians are poorly educated, work in the informal sector and seldom have the opportunity for advanced education. At the same time, many of them have practical experience in various trades. Renewable energy and its many and varied applications could open up economic opportunities for them, not only in the context of energy supply, but also in the processing of agricultural products, among others. In Mali – as in many countries in Africa – there exists a lack of adequately trained specialists, salespeople or craftsmen who can build, install, maintain and operate these systems. Thus, there is great potential for young people in particular. However, what is missing is practical training. The Mali Folkecenter Nyetaa (MFC) wants to change this.
The MFC is planning a training programme that addresses the urgent topics of renewable energy, climate change and innovation with the aim of giving young people a future profession in these areas. The programme targets young people who can read and write and/or have manual skills in areas such as repairing motorcycles or bicycles or maintaining tractors and agricultural machinery. This practical knowledge makes it easier for them to adapt renewable technologies. For this purpose, MFC wants to develop suitable training programmes, to benefit 50 young people in the first year, 100 and 150 young people in its second and third years, respectively.
The Mali Folkecenter Nyetaa, founded in 1999, is a Malian non-governmental organisation that is committed to the dissemination of renewable energy and to environmental and climate protection. It focuses on training young people in Mali and West Africa. Since 2006, MFC and others have organized the National Environmental Forum (FENA), implemented the Programme of Local Sustainable Adaptation Initiatives and organized the World Community Power Conference together with the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). MFC is active in the Malian regions of Koulikoro, Segou and Sikassa as well as in Selingue, the granary of Mali.
Based on training modules developed together with experts, MFC wants to train young people in the above-mentioned areas, paying close attention to the requirements for starting a career. Therefore, business development is also part of the training canon. The training modules will be tailored to different target groups; for example, to young farmers who are familiar with agricultural practice and are therefore predestined to sell and maintain agricultural means of production based on renewable energy. Young women and women’s groups constitute a preferred target group, as do school graduates. In addition to its training modules, MFC plans to train both organisations and microfinance institutions so that they can understand new technologies and thus promote them accordingly.