News from our work

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May 2024
Focus of the new newsletter:

  • The installation of solar systems for the Allamano School in Kenya.
  • The boot camp for innovators from universities in April 2024 in Nairobi.

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April 2024
Clean Energy Bootcamp in Nairobi

You might think that there is hardly anything less exciting than innovative products and business ideas that come from a university environment: Too much theory, too little practical relevance. The 12 participants of Startup|Energy’s Clean Energy Bootcamp from April 10 to 15, 2024 in Nairobi proved otherwise.

The innovations range from the production of biogas through plastic recycling, services for organic farming and efficient cooking to a solar-powered atmospheric water collection system. Some ideas are already so far advanced that pilot projects are being carried out with large companies such as Kenya Airways.

Four universities have each selected three innovators for the boot camp:

  • Kenyatta University (Kenya)
  • Makerere University Business School (Uganda)
  • Mount Kenya University (Kenya)
  • University of Freiburg (Germany)

More information about the bootcamp.

March 2024
Installation of the solar system for the Allamano Special School for the mentally disabled completed
Allamano Special School, located 130 km north of the capital Nairobi, is a public institution and – like most public schools in rural areas of Kenya – is struggling with major financial difficulties. However, thanks to the far-sighted leadership of the Management Board, Allamano has initiated sustainability projects to ensure the facility’s continued operation. One of these is the plan to make the school’s power supply safer and cheaper by installing a solar system.
Thanks to a donation from the Mathilde-Eller-Schule in Munich – a special needs center with a focus on mental development – this plan can now become a reality. In addition to off-grid solar systems for classrooms and dormitories, the school also received a solar refrigerator to store food grown in its own garden for longer. The inauguration of the solar systems took place on March 15.

February 2024
Bachuma Hospital in Ethiopia has received a 68.4 kWp solar system
A major project was completed at the beginning of the year: the Bachuma Hospital in the West Omo Zone received a large solar system that now supplies significant parts of the hospital with energy. The project was responsibly coordinated and implemented by the Ethiopian Solar Energy Foundation in cooperation with the local solar company SunTransfer. Funding was provided by the NGO “Village Health Partnership” and the local government.

Rapedhi Dispensary

February 2024
Four more solar fridges installed in Kenyan health centers
The Kenyan Solar Energy Foundation, together with the Nairobi-based startup DropAccess, has installed four more solar fridges in rural health centers. The so-called “Vaccibox” provides refrigeration for medicines and vaccines and is also mobile. The locally developed and produced refrigerator has already been used by us several times – to the complete satisfaction of the health workers. Now these health centers have a new Vaccibox: Randhore Dispensary, Rapedhi Dispensary, ACK Clinic and Chamakowa Health Center (all Homa Bay County).

February 2024
12 innovative ideas for clean energy were selected for the Startup|Energy Bootcamp
The Solar Energy Foundation has been supporting African startups in the field of decentralized renewable energies with the Startup|Energy program since 2019. A new offer is now aimed at an often neglected group of people: innovators from universities.
The 1st Clean Energy Bootcamp will bring together 12 innovators from four universities in Uganda, Kenya and Germany in April 2024 to further develop their CleanTech innovations in workshops. The twelve boot camp participants have now been selected by local juries from a large number of promising applications. These are the participating universities: Kenyatta University (Nairobi), Mount Kenya University (Thika), Makerere University Business School (Kampala) and the University of Freiburg (Germany).

December 2023
Visit to the Insinya health center (Kenya)
During my trip to Kenya in December 2023, I visited the health center in Isinya. It is located about 60 km south of the capital Nairobi. We have installed a mobile solar refrigerator in the health center that was developed by a Kenyan company: the so-called Vaccibox. The solar refrigerator has received numerous awards and has already been successfully used by us in several health centers. Four more vaccine boxes are currently on their way to Kenyan health centers.

December 2023
Completion of the program to support Kenyan small businesses
In Kenya, the first course of the “Solar Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Program” (SEEP) was completed on 8 December 2023. The program aims to train and provide ongoing support to small and micro enterprises specializing in solar clean energy products and services.

Micro-enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy – and not only in Kenya. They usually employ between 5 and 10 people. Nevertheless, the enormous entrepreneurial potential remains largely untapped, particularly due to a lack of basic information on company management (accounting, customer service, organization). Against this backdrop, the SEEP project aims to train SMEs operating in the clean energy sector and support them in managing their businesses.

The picture above shows two of the participants: Justa Kahindo (left) and Edwin Lukhale in their small solar store in Isinya. Picture below: Day of the certificate presentation

November 2023
Two successfully completed engineering studies
Denise Kajumba (left) and Patricia Namuddu, two graduates of our Ugandan solar engineering course in 2019, enrolled on a part-time engineering course at the time. We supported them with a scholarship that covered part of their tuition fees (Newsletter 1/2020). They have now successfully completed their studies. Congratulations to both of them!

September 2023
Two-day bootcamp for young company founders

The two-day bootcamp is part of the Freelance Incubator Program in Uganda with the aim of taking the practical experiences of freelancers, discussing them with each other and developing solutions. In addition, there is a targeted transfer of information that expands the knowledge of the participants.

The bootcamp consists of interactive sessions and discussions on business planning, successful business principles, marketing, financial planning, credit management, leadership and product demonstration.

Solar microenterprise owners and their business coaches attended the event. Of the 9 participants, three were women.

September 2023
10 more solar technicians trained
Sendea Academy has completed another 5-week training program for solar technicians. The participants (including two women) received a certificate at the end of the course, which offers them good opportunities for finding work: This is because Sendea’s courses are state-recognized and the solar market in Uganda urgently needs professional technicians.

Some are considering starting their own solar craft and have opportunities to be supported through Sendea’s accelerator program.

August 2023
Kenyan Solar Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Program (SEEP) launched
The program aims to train and provide ongoing support to small and micro enterprises specializing in solar clean energy products and services.
Led by Gathu Kirubi, director of the Kenyan Solar Energy Foundation and an experienced solar entrepreneur, 43 participants (17 of whom are women) receive basic entrepreneurial training at two training sites. They then receive hands-on support in running their solar microenterprise over a few weeks.

July 2023
Another solar course completed in Uganda
Sendea Academy has completed another course for freelance technicians. At the end of the course, which lasted several weeks, the 14 participants received a basic set of tools for their work in rural regions of Uganda. The course ends with a state examination that further enhances the Sendea Academy certificate.

June 2023
Newsletter about our work in recent months
Supporting individual initiative and promoting entrepreneurship – these are the focal points of our work. Isolated aid projects usually help only temporarily. However, if they are embedded in a strategy to promote local solar companies, the sustainability of the projects is increased and, on the other hand, the creation of jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises is supported.

Therefore, we promote the engagement of young East Africans with a dual approach. Read more in our new newsletter.

April 2023
Solar refrigerators for five health stations
In a pilot project, the Solar Energy Foundation has installed five of the mobile solar refrigerators built in Kenya by the startup Drop Access in health stations. With its product, the so-called VacciBox, Drop Access is also one of the African energy startups supported by our Startup|Energy initiative. Now Focus Online has also visited the company and its founder Norah Magero in Nairobi and published both an article and a film report.

Stella Lunkuse, founder of SolarNation, explains solar charging technology to other Sendea members.

March 2023
Innovative: 45kWp solar plant inaugurated by Sendea member company
SolarNation Uganda, a member company of Sendea, the solar cooperative we support, has built a special solar plant at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) near Kampala. The 45 kWp system is intended to provide a reliable power supply, because this was not guaranteed by the state power grid. State-of-the-art technology ensures optimal use of solar power: either the electricity is consumed directly or fed into a lithium battery as a reserve. There is also the option of feeding surplus solar power into the grid.

March 2023
First management course to start own solar company
As part of the Startup Program for Solar Technicians funded by the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ), ten participants have received the first two-week course in basic skills to start their solar company. The group had previously successfully completed Sendea Academ,y’s solar technology training and qualified for this advanced training as the best in their course.

The next step is to get their first solar products on a loan basis to start their solar business. Loans can be increased step by step upon successful repayment. In implementing their first steps as young entrepreneurs, they are supported by the members of the Sendea cooperative (all Ugandan solar companies) with practical experience.

March 2023
Sendea Academy trains 100 solar technicians for international aid project
Based on its training experience, Sendea Academy has been contracted to train 100 solar technicians in the operation and maintenance of PV solar systems for an international aid project in northern Uganda.

February 2023
Two new energy startups added to our accelerator program
Startup|Energy has added two more African energy startups to its program to support young companies: Electric mobility startup Kiri EV (Kenya) and Germark Holdings (Tanzania), a developer of solar-powered vending machines for bioethanol for clean cooking. In a first step, both startups receive several weeks of coaching from experienced entrepreneurs to improve and sharpen their business model. They then become a member of the Startup|Energy community as a Fellow.

January 2023
Uganda: support to build a solar small business
Following their solar education through SENDEA Academy, selected students will receive several months of support to build their solar business.
Participants will be able to independently and professionally manage their solar small business upon completion of the six-month program, which consists of theory and practical elements. The program is sponsored by the Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg.

Left: Doreen Nabwire (24) is one of the participants in this program. She runs a small store selling electronic parts in Kamuli Buwenge, northeast of the capital Kampala. She will also offer solar kits for light and cell phone charging in her store in the future.

November 2022
Another training course successfully completed
Sendea Uganda has once again completed a training course for solar technicians lasting several weeks. Seven participants were taught how to install, size and maintain off-grid solar systems over a total of five weeks. At the end there was a final examination with a state certificate.

October 2022
Energy Camp for African Startups
As part of the Startup|Energy initiative, the 3rd Energy Camp took place in Kigali (Rwanda): A multi-day workshop where African energy startups discuss and develop their business model together with experienced coaches. At the end, a public presentation took place in front of about 60 participants. More here (english) …

September 2022
Two health stations in Kenya receive solar refrigerators
The ability to keep medicines cool is a prerequisite in rural health stations for carrying out vaccinations against malaria, yellow fever or COVID-19. Kenyan startup DropAccess has developed a multi-award winning mobile solar fridge. This is now being used in the Kiloh and Osarai health stations. Both stations are extremely remote and have had no way to store medications.

August 2022
Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg supports Energy Camp Kigali
From October 17-19, the next Energy Camp of our initiative Startup|Energy will take place in Kigali (Rwanda). Nine African startups from five countries will receive intensive coaching from local entrepreneurs at this workshop. Finally, the startups present themselves to investors, project partners and manufacturers. More on this public pitch event here.
Other partners include the African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) and The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).

August 2022
10 solar technicians complete training in Uganda
On August 26, ten more solar technicians received their nationally recognized certificate of completion. You have successfully completed a five-week advanced training course at Sendea Academy. A total of 130 graduates have now completed this manufacturer-independent solar training program.

July 2022
Loy Kyozaire presents the work of Sendea Uganda in a video
The English-language video describes the work of the cooperative of local SOlar companies in Uganda, in particular the training and education work of Sendea Academy. Click here to watch the film…

June 2022
Loy Kyozaire Wins Climate Sector Leadership Award
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) award is given to a woman in a leadership role or in a sector where change is occurring in relation to green growth and climate change. The award is a tribute to Loy Kyozaire’s work in setting up the SENDEA cooperative we initiated to promote local solar businesses in Uganda.

July 2022
Train-The-Trainer training in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Solar Energy Foundation, together with the German Solar Energy Society (DGS), has developed a curriculum for a solar training course for solar trainers. The curriculum was recently approved by the state. The first 10 trainers have now already completed the course in July 2022, financed by donations from the German Solar Energy Foundation. The trainers will now pass on their knowledge to various Ethiopian handicraft schools (TVET) as part of their electrician training.

June 2022
Startup|Energy fellow Norah Magero wins 2022 Africa Prize from the Royal Academy of Engineering
Norah Magero, a participant in the Africa 2021 Energy Camp of our Startup|Energy initiative, wins the prize with the Vaccibox, a small, mobile, solar-powered refrigerator in which medicines such as vaccines can be safely stored and transported for use during immunizations in the field and in remote clinics. Magero is the first Kenyan to win the award in its eight-year history, and the second woman.

June 2022
New training courses in Uganda
Sendea Academy in Uganda will conduct three trainings for solar technicians (5 weeks each) and four more courses for freelancers until the end of August. The latter last a total of 6 weeks, divided into three blocks of 2 weeks each. For the first time, refugees from neighboring Congo are now being trained in solar technology.

May 2022
New member for the Ugandan solar cooperative SENDEA
SolarNation is the new member of SENDEA, the cooperative of local solar companies initiated by us. Founded by Stella Lunkuse in 2019, the solar company specializes in distributed solar. The company is now the seventh member of SENDEA.
Link to the membership page of SENDEA.

April 2022
Energy Camp for African Startups in Nairobi
With the Startup|Energy initiative, we support African startups in the field of decentralized solar energy supply. For the 2nd Energy Camp, 78 startups from 16 African countries had applied. Five startups were selected to receive intensive coaching from local entrepreneurs over several weeks. At the final workshop in Nairobi (April 4-6), the business ideas were further developed.

Following the Energy Camp, we will continue to support the startups and carry out pilot projects with some of them. On May 24, the startups will introduce themselves in a webinar: Read more…

April 2022
Kenyan health station in Enkoireroi with solar refrigerator
Kasale Salepo has been a nurse for a year at the Enkoireroi health station, about 70 kilometers southwest of the capital Nairobi. Since two weeks the station has a solar refrigerator, installed by the Solar Energy Foundation in Kenya. Kasale proudly shows us the vaccines that he can now store on site and with which he can reliably supply the population of the lonely Maasai region.

The Solar Energy Foundation has also installed solar light so that the treatment of the sick and pregnant women no longer has to be done in candlelight. Enkoireroi is one of more than 200 health stations worldwide that we have equipped with solar energy thanks to the support of donors.

In Kenya, another five health stations will receive a solar refrigerator financed by us in May 2022. The installation is carried out by our Kenyan partner company SunTransfer Ltd.

March 2022
Impressive: 62 solar technicians receive their certificates
It was an impressive experience: the celebration of Sendea Uganda, where 62 trained solar technicians received their certificates of completion. the Sendea cooperative, which we initiated, now owns one of the most renowned training facilities for solar energy in Uganda.

March 2022
Visit to the new solar village Kinabi (Uganda)
100 households have had a basic supply of solar energy for a few weeks: for light and to charge their cell phones. During a visit to the solar village, the foundation’s board of directors was able to see for themselves the great benefits that this means for everyone involved: on the one hand, finally clean and reliably available light for households, but then also jobs for solar technicians who take over maintenance and service. Some of these also come from the Kinabi solar village itself.

February 2022
Foundation Director Harald Schützeichel as a guest of Franz Alt
The topic of the program: Will Africa become the superpower of renewables? During the 45-minute program, the work of the Solar Energy Foundation was reported in detail.
Link to the interview

January 2022
New Solar Village of the Solar Energy Foundation in Uganda
Kinabi, in the east of the capital Kampala, is the newest solar village in Uganda. It was implemented by our partner organization Sendea and the local solar company Access to Solar. 100 households now have a basic supply of solar energy and a local solar craft provides maintenance and service. Link to Ugandan TV report (English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDCraBsXt0

December 2021
Ethiopia: Sustainable Solar Energy for 240 Health Centers in Ethiopia
Solar Energy-Foundation Ethiopia and GREEN LAMP are working together to ensure the sustainability of installed solar suit cases for health centers in Ethiopia. Over 240 Solar Suit cases are installed in different parts of the country. The trained technicians of the Stiftung Solarenergie now ensure the permanent operation. Read more…

December 2021
Great demand for solar training for freelancers in Uganda
It is a unique offer that Sendea and DonBosco are making in Uganda for freelance solar technicians: A basic training in solar technology. Since the launch of the training program, demand from freelancers has been high. Now another course has been successfully completed. See the report (in English) from UBC Live.

Picture: Ton Koene | Alamy

October 2021
Completed: Solar milk cooling for a Maasai community in Kenya
Milk cooling using solar energy: a new pilot project that we will implement thanks to the support of Energiebauern GmbH. To improve their income, the Maasai community in Oloo Oishobor proposed to bypass the middlemen for the milk produced. For this purpose, the milk must first be collected and stored in a refrigeration plant before being transported to the market.

September 2021
Two more solar villages completed
Nsanvu and Ruhity are the two new solar villages of the Solar Energy Foundation in Uganda. Each of the approximately 500 inhabitants received a basic power supply with solar energy. The installation was carried out by local solar companies, which are also members of the Sendea cooperative initiated by us. They are also responsible for maintenance and service.

September 2021
Startup|Energy: Workshop for East African Startups in Kampala
As a conclusion of the multi-month Energy Camp East Africa, five local startups presented their new products and services for the decentralized energy sector. The business ideas were discussed and further developed with international energy and financial experts. At the final competition, two startups received the Startup|Energy Award. The camp was part of the foundation initiative
Startup|Energy
.
More information …

August 2021
Solar Energy Foundation Ethiopia to partner with UN DESA
The Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions is a partnership led by UN DESA and ITAIPU BINACIONAL to promote water and energy sustainability and other SDGs in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

July 2021
Solar Energy Foundation receives EU support
The “Global Energy Transformation – GET.invest” programme is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and co-financed by the EU.

May 2021
The five finalists of Energy Camp East Africa have been determined
A total of 46 East African startups with products for the decentralized renewable energy market applied for Startup|Energy’s Energy Camp East Africa.
From the applications, these five startups were selected to participate in Energy Camp.
More information …

April 2021
Two new solar villages in planning in Uganda
Thanks to the support of Glas Henrich GmbH, we can start preparing the implementation of two new solar villages. Solar villages is what we call our successful concept for village development: the basic solar supply for an entire village. A concept that has been realized in different variants since 2005.

March 2021
Sendea Uganda and DonBosco start training program
for solar freelancers in Uganda
In Uganda, many solar installations are carried out by freelancers, who often have little knowledge of solar technology. The new freelancer program of Sendea and DonBosco wants to change that. For this purpose, a two-week basic training course is offered within the framework of the Sendea Academy, especially for freelancers.
More (in English) …

March 2021
Solar Energy for Rural Hospital in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Solar Energy Foundation, with the support of the Maji Development Coalition (MDC), has completed a very special project: The solar electrification of the Rural Primary Hospital in Maji with a 33.6 kWp solar array.
More in the newsletter …

March 2021
Startup|Energy Accelerator Program for East Africa
The registration deadline for the Energy Camp East Africa in Kampala runs from 1 March to 15 April. It is part of the accelerator program Startup|Energy, which was initiated by the Solar Energy Foundation together with the University of Freiburg.
More…

February 2021
New solar courses from
The Sendea Academy
The Sendea Academy, a division of Sendea Uganda, has been successfully offering training courses in solar technology since 2018. These courses aim to reduce the skills gap in the solar industry in Uganda. In 2021, the Sendea Academy will offer four more courses, the dates of which have now been fixed.
More (in English)…