- Despite the country's progress in energy provision, there is still a huge number of people who are not connected to electricity.
- KenGen notes that about 16 million people are still not connected to electricity countrywide.
Almost a century since the modern solar cell was invented, solar technology has been evolving and has become one of the reliable sources of energy in many rural parts of the country.
This coincides with the increased penetration of mobile phones and a surge in the number of middle-income Kenyans.
Access to electricity has thus become a necessity where each household requires at least a charging point for their phones.
Speaking during the launch of the report on skilling the youths for employment opportunities in solar energy in the country, the director at Toolkit iSkills (TTI), Jane Muigai noted that solar has become the main power option for many households and small businesses that were not connected to the grid.
She further notes that to address the need, quality of service provision should be key to ensure the demands of the users are met in boosting reliability.
Therefore, the enterprise seeks to leverage the youths who are more into the space but with no adequate required skills.
“The basis of coming up with the report was to map the solar companies in the country that gave all the skill set that they are looking for, to empower the youths in the space in order to expand solar energy connectivity across the country,” Muigai said.
The report notes gaps in the awareness of labour market information, skills and financing, safety culture and general technical competence.
“Data on skills and job availability is most needed by young women and men yearning to acquire a skill that leads to a decent job. Yet they are often unaware of the skill-in-demand, where and how to access that skill and who to sell it to and at what price,” the report reads in part.
Toolkit iSkills, therefore, urges the youth to enroll in the free training programmes being offered to upskill their knowledge and awareness of solar energy in meeting the market demand.
The training also seeks to expose them to the job market which currently is noted to be in need of skilled technicians for effective operations.
According to the report, the country needs about 30,000 solar connections by the end of the year in effort to bridge the energy access gap.
Despite Kenya having recorded notable progress in energy access provision, there is still a huge number of people who are not connected to electricity.
Data by KenGen, Kenya’s largest power provider, notes that by the end of this year’s first half, 8.9 million Kenyans had been connected to electricity.
However, it also notes that about 16 million people are still not connected to electricity countrywide.