On October 26, 2019, Dr. Mariama Camara of START and two Senegal ProGREEN team members – Mr. Kader Diop, head of the Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation Division at the National Agency for Renewable Energies (ANER), and Mr. Abdou Diop, head of the Division of Studies and Sustainable Development at the Agency for Senegalese Rural Electrification (ASER) – met with Ms. Brïte Pauchet, Senior Advisor at the Office of the Chief Scientist of Quebec with the Fonds de Recherche du Québec and Mr. Étienne Baillargeon First Counselor of the Québec Government Office in Dakar at the office of the Délégation Générale du Québec in Dakar, Senegal. The objectives of the meeting were to bring the core ProGREEN institutional partners together to talk about progress of the assessment teams in Burkina Faso and Senegal and to discuss next steps and potential new opportunities.
During the meeting Mr. Kader Diop and Mr. Abdou Diop lauded the relevance of the ProGREEN assessment. They highlighted how the Senegalese Government and its technical and financial partners implement numerous initiatives to promote access to renewable energies for vulnerable groups, but that there is a lack of knowledge on the constraining and enabling factors on the development and expansion of these technologies.
Critical capacity building gaps were a key focus of discussions, informed by preliminary results from the assessment showing gaps around institutional capacities, fund raising, training of trainers, opportunities for early careers professionals, workshop trainings, overall research capacities, and other areas. These needs will be taken under close consideration for the next phase of the ProGREEN project and key support will be made available by FRQ and the Délégation Générale du Québec in Dakar where possible, connecting project members with national Senegalese authorities to disseminate assessment results and with relevant Quebec institutions around capacity building.
START and the assessment team members thank Ms. Pauchet and Mr. Baillargeon for making the time for this insightful and interesting in-person connection around the assessment work and are looking forward to the next steps.