The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting a public awareness and training programme launched by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities through the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) and the Central Electricity Board (CEB). These training sessions are undertaken under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Project, “Accelerating the transformational shift to a low-carbon economy in the Republic of Mauritius”, which is supporting the Mauritian Government’s to achieve its target of using renewable energy sources to supply 35% of the country’s energy needs by 2025 and contributing in streamlining the gender dimension in activities related to renewable energy. This training programme was launched on 30 January 2020 by the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Mauritius and Seychelles.
In association with the National Women’s Council (NWC), CEB Green Energy Ltd and the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) awareness sessions have been held in different localities to sensitize women about the global benefits of shifting to renewable energy sources, with particular emphasis on solar energy. To date, around 800 women across the country have benefitted from these sessions.
Additionally, training-sessions on the technical requirements for the installation, operation and maintenance of solar PV systems are being held for women entrepreneurs, at the MITD Knowledge Centre in Port Louis. Mr. Lutchumun, training officer at the MITD Knowledge Centre, stated that these training sessions were designed to introduce the basic operational concepts of small PV systems and provide an overview on the different ways in which small business ventures can benefit from the use of renewable energy systems. He stated: “with the training sessions provided, the women entrepreneurs have valuable knowledge which they can use to sustain their present or future activities.”
Following the completion of the first training sessions, many of the women entrepreneurs are now looking forward to integrating a renewable energy source in their business activities. Ms. Hury, a participant, stated that: “These training sessions have reinforced my interest to invest in solar panels after 17 years of entrepreneurship.” While, Ms. Maudhoo, another participant, highlighted that: “Using the PV system to satisfy energy needs will allow us to reduce our costs with respect to electrical energy consumption.”