Benin’s Energy Minister Dona Jean-Claude Houssou has just launched the incubator/accelerator at the Higher Institute for Renewable Energy Professions (Esmer). The centre, named Esmer Academy, will provide young entrepreneurs with support in the field of renewable energies.
The city of Abomey-Calavi now has an incubator/accelerator to support young entrepreneurs in the domain of renewable energies. The incubator, called Esmer Academy, was launched on March 10, 2020, by the Minister of Energy of Benin, Dona Jean-Claude Houssou. It is an initiative of the Renewable Energy Business School (Esmer), set up in collaboration with SMA Solar Technology, a German manufacturer of photovoltaic solar inverters. “The incubator will have to alleviate the problem of the lack of qualified renewable energy entrepreneurs in Benin. If we want to transform our country sustainably, we need well-trained young people to take over,” says Nafiatou Tien Ebo, the director of Esmer.
Esmer Academy is made up of laboratories for practical sessions, engineering offices and classrooms. The incubator also has extensive solar energy facilities.
The creators of start-ups will follow a personalized and adapted programme to face the challenges of the professional world. They will be trained in renewable energy management (installation and maintenance of solar systems) and will carry out activities in the field. In addition, young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to exchange with experts in their field in order to have access to reliable information about their service. “Monitoring remains one of the keys to success in entrepreneurship. To do this, we have assembled a team of entrepreneurs, engineers, communicators and marketing experts,” explains Nafiatou Tien Ebo.
The Esmer Academy incubator/accelerator is yet another project supported by the Beninese government to improve access to electricity in the country.
Other Electrification Projects
The Government of Benin also obtained about 19.5 million euros (close to 13 billion CFA francs) on March 5 2020, from the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) for the electrification of 750 socio-community infrastructures using solar energy. The project concerns 11 of Benin’s 12 departments. “In the 11 departments, 336 health centres, 184 security posts and 230 general education colleges will be electrified thanks to this project through solar-powered facilities,” Dona Jean-Claude Houssou, Benin’s Minister in charge of Energy, recently stated.