At the end of November and beginning of December 2021, the West Africa Regional Innovation Hub team carried out two site visits in Senegal. The goal was to visit demonstration projects that are implemented with technical support from WE4F partners, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Energy 4 Impact (E4I). The WE4F team was able to assess the project implementations’ effectiveness by visiting the facilities and reviewing the documentation of activities carried out during the first six months of implementation. At the same time, the visit served to strengthen the relationship between the project’s partner teams.
The visit began with a meeting with GGGI’s country director, Romain Brillie, and the national staff. During this meeting, the collaboration between WE4F and GGGI was discussed, as well as the no-cost extension period for the partner. This first meeting was followed by a second one with the Agence Nationale pour les Energies Renouvelables du Sénégal. The WE4F team presented the project and highlighted the actions carried out in Senegal, showcasing good practices in the agricultural value chain in relation to renewable energy. Following these administrative meetings, the four rice mills – Aïssatou Gueye, CMG, Coumba Nor Thiam, and VITAL – that had undergone an energy audit were successively visited. By meeting with the rice mills’ managers, the team was able to assess the satisfaction level, ownership, and the end-users’ adoption plan for the recommendations made by the audit firm. It should be noted that the adoption of these recommendations could result in a total energy saving of 1,484,674 Kwh/year for rice mills. The first visit ended on November 26, 2021 with a debriefing at GGGI in the presence of the country representative and staff.
Meeting the end-users who benefit from the projects
The second trip, which consisted of visiting the facilities and meeting with end-users who benefit beneficiaries from the E4I’s demonstration project, took place from November 29 to December 3, 2021. The site visit started with an introductory working session with the E4I staff, consisting of Mr. Abdoul Karim Dosso and his team, at E4I’s premises in Thies.
During this meeting, the general status of the implementation was presented – all the results were presented, and the strategies for carrying out the activities were listed. Following the introductory working session, WE4F and E4I visited the benefitting communities to ensure the effectiveness of the technologies’ installation, the training course, the technologies’ adoption level, and the feedback.
Eight demonstration sites were visited, they were composed of six agricultural production sites equipped with solar irrigation systems and two group sites equipped with solar-powered rice huskers. Interviews with group leaders were held to gather information on the benefits of using the solar technologies.
Additionally, the communities’ primary data collection tools were reviewed to quantify the demonstration sites’ agricultural production and the amount of food processed through the introduced technologies. The beneficiary communities are more than satisfied with the installations and are looking forward to the changes that these innovative technologies are bringing to their daily lives.
About the author:
Apolline Roland, West Africa Regional Innovation Hub, Assistant Communication
Apolline studies an international Master in the UK and in Spain and supports the West Africa Hub in communications. She wrote this article in partnership with Yannick Aka who is an Advisor for Communication and M&E in the West Africa Hub. For more information please contact Yannick Aka.