The solar energy access sector in Africa nowadays is mainly dominated by international manufacturers or distribution companies. However, the establishment of local solar companies, which work independently and are majority owned by domestic entrepreneurs, is important for sustainable job creation in the off-grid industry
“Association of Sendea Members Uganda” (Sendea UG) is a cooperative, established by like-minded local solar companies, who are majority owned by people of Ugandan nationality. Sendea UG enables SME to provide sustainable off-grid solutions for Ugandan households, small businesses, farmers, and institutions, create sustainable local jobs and close the gap of the “missing middle” in Ugandan solar sector.
Sendea works as a community of local solar SMEs and offers special advantages to its members, such as Peer-to-peer-exchange, trainings, workshops or purchase syndicate. Any Ugandan solar company that is willing to meet the quality standards and actively participate in the life of the cooperative can become a member. The fundamental idea: Growth through cooperation.
Companies that are not members of Sendea also benefit from the work of Sendea: for example through the possibility to participate in training courses for technicians, sales people or finance staff.
As an economically oriented cooperative, Sendea UG is also a member of the Ugandan solar association USEA, which is working for improved conditions and policies in the solar industry.
Support from GIZ and Stiftung Solarenergie
The German initiative “Green People’s Energy for Africa” (GPE) aims to enable, expand and secure the supply of sustainable energy in rural Africa. It is commissioned by the German Ministry for Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and works as part of the Marshall Plan with Africa. It relies on and strengthens the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, cooperatives, public associations and citizens.
Under the guidance of the German Solar Energy Foundation, Sendea has now become part of a new GPE-project, which aims to strengthen and further expand Sendea UG.
The project has three objectives that can benefit not only Sendea but also the entire solar industry in Uganda:
Establishment of the Sendea Academy: Based on experience with training courses lasting several weeks, which Sendea has been running since 2018, the new academy will offer courses on solar technology as well as further training for sales and financial staff for the Ugandan solar industry from 2021.
With Sendea Academy the solar industry in Uganda receives a growing potential of new employees, who are not only trained in theory, but – due to their innovative approach – are also trained in practice.
Intensifying the peer-to-peer exchange between member CEOs: In order to encourage exchanges between entrepreneurs, Sendea organises peer-to-peer exchange. Experienced entrepreneurs from solar companies in neighbouring countries are also involved in this exchange of experience, provided that they can contribute important practical experience.
Promoting the business activities of the member companies: By pooling the market capacities of its members, Sendea enables them to participate jointly in tenders, to become a consortium partner for international manufacturers or to offer installation and service work throughout Uganda. A separate “Development Fund” is to be set up in the future to enable Sendea’s members to finance larger projects.
Expansion of the cooperative to include new members: Sendea is open to new members and very interested in exchanging ideas with Ugandan CEOs. Therefore, companies that are majority-owned by Ugandan citizens and that are particularly interested in the dissemination of decentralised solar technology can become members of Sendea.
More information about Green People’s Energy: www.gruene-buergerenergie.de