We were thrilled to be part of the first ever solar training in South Sudan, which ran in Juba from September 17 - 22, 2018. We organized the training together with the Renewable Energy Council of South Sudan (RECOSS), with support from Kube Energy and NORAD, and the help of two excellent trainers from the Strathmore Energy Research Centre.
South Sudan is the world's newest and least electrified country in the world, and has been devastated by a new civil war that began in late 2013. South Sudan has tremendous solar potential, and building domestic capacity is a critical step for creating a viable alternative to the current dependence on generators and imported diesel. We had almost 80 participants attend the week long training, which focused on basic design, maintenance and installation of solar PV. The participants were drawn from Juba University, local technical institutes, and local technicians.
The Minister of Energy and Dams, Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, launched the event and voiced his strong support for the training and future activities. He embraced a transition to solar as a necessary shift for South Sudan, particularly for the rural areas. Local television, radio and print media covered the event, including stories from Eye Radio and Xinhua news.
Our January 2018 report, South Sudan's Renewable Energy Potential: A Building Block for Peace highlighted the hidden role that energy plays in South Sudan's conflict, and argued for a donor-led transition to renewable energy in the humanitarian sector. It is encouraging to see new conversations and ideas being considered.
We are excited to continue our work with RECOSS and our other partners to build on this strong start and support South Sudan's green pivot.