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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Solar Jooce, BATNF train women solar technicians

Women at the training exercise
          In a bid to reduce unemployment among women in Nigeria, Solar Jooce and British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) have concluded the first phase of training of the some rural Oyo women on assemblage and repairs of basic solar lanterns and phone charging units.
This follows the recent signing of an agreement to train these rural women in Oyo State and sealed between the Executive Director, BATN Foundation, Mr. Gbenga Ibikunle and the chief executive officer, Solar Jooce, Mr. David Agbakoba.
Speaking on the development, Solar Jooce boss, Mr. Agbakoba noted that of the world's 1.6 billion people living without electricity, 80 per cent live in Sub Saharan Africa.
Solar Jooce, a social enterprise dedicated to improve the quality of life of rural communities in Nigeria that have little or no access to electricity, through its coordinator, Anne Agbakoba, revealed to NaijaAgroNet that the main objective of the agreement in its pilot stage was to train an initial 20 rural ladies to become solar technicians and to help them set up solar micro-business.
This, she said, has kicked-off with the training which covers four local governments in Oyo State, namely Areas in Oyo state - Itesiwaju, Kajola, Oyo West, and Iseyin. The exercise, she said, is meant to empower the ladies to light up their communities and spread the use of solar as an alternative to dangerous and expensive fossil fuelled lighting such as the kerosene lamps.
She also confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that the initiative would be moved to other states across the federation with the collaboration of British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation, an independent charitable organization incorporated in Nigeria with the vision to improve the quality of life of citizens in rural and urban in Nigeria.
Women at the training exercise 
Equally, she explained that the initiative entails a marketing and financial management training entitled ‘Growing your new solar Micro-business’ was conducted in Yoruba by Mrs. Yemi Owolabi, executive director, Finance of Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria.
The Solar Jooce women’s empowerment initiative, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is a small step in the daunting task of providing a clean, alternative source of electricity, alleviating poverty, and providing opportunities for rural families in Nigeria.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the training workshop is also supported by the Hertz Corporation, C & I Leasing (transport & logistics), Sesema PR, and the Bishop of Ajayi Crowther Diocese, Bishop O. O. Oduntan.
The first phases of the initiative was a massive awareness creation about the use and benefits of solar applications through the donation of combined solar lantern and phone charging unit to a community in the 36 states of the country.
Further, the second phase, NaijaAgroNet gathered is a long-term capacity building scheme which to train women in the assembling and troubleshooting solar applications in order for them to be able to start their own small solar trade with its first pilot in June 2012.
Remmy Nweke
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

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