Data remain an integral component for planning and development of policy and programmes. For the past years, AFREC has and continue to invest plenty of resources in energy data collection, processing and monitoring as part of its programme to increase knowledge and develop capacity of energy statisticians in its 55 African Union (AU) member states.
Some of the actions which have been undertaken by AFREC this year in 2021 to strengthen the African Energy Information System (AEIS), with support from the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) is a ‘‘Training of the Trainer programme’’ aimed at training African energy statisticians as trainers of others, to enhance their knowledge and skills as well as acquaint themselves with new trends and tools related to energy data collection, validation and processing at national level. The training also capacitate the participants to enable them manage their Nations Energy Information System.
Recently, AFREC conducted a two-level training from 29 November to 10th December 2021 in in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. The training was conducted in two series i.e. a beginner training for junior energy statisticians and an advanced, for those who have were part of the 1st cohort, and have completed their training which took place in Cairo 2019/2020 and qualified Twenty (20) national energy statistician trainers.
The 2nd cohort consisted of thirty-two (32) energy experts from twenty five (25) AU member countries, initially aiming to qualifying forty (40 – 20 junior and 20 Advanced)) trainers who will lead national and regional training of other African energy experts, as well as provide coaching and mentoring to AFREC’s National Focal Points (NFP’s). Importantly, the training enhances cross-border learning and knowledge sharing between African statisticians and energy experts across the continent.
Junior participants training focused on both theory and practice, exploring the basis of the importance of availability and necessity of energy data at national, regional and international level. The course of also focused on the use of data, and how data can assess current challenges facing Africa in terms of energy supply and poverty for socio-economic. Participants were also able practice what they have learnt previously through exercises and interactive materials focusing on systems and engagement.
Speaking on behalf of AFREC Executive Director, Mr Abdoulaye Oueddo, Senior Policy Officer for Energy Information System at AFREC said that the training is in line with the call from member states to ensure statistics forms the basis of all policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation for Africa’s energy sector development.
‘‘The capacity building programme supports National Focal Points (NFPs) in our member states to strengthen National information System and the revamped African Energy Information System (AEIS), by coordinating energy data collection and validation at national level’’, he emphasised. He encouraged Member states to appoint more NFPs to ensure adequate knowledge on new AEIS tools and questionnaires is provided.
Mr Francois Kokola, representing the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Côte d’Ivoire congratulated AFREC for supporting the capacity building of African Energy Statisticians and appreciated the support provided by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), he welcomed the participants and wished everyone a successful training and insightful discussions.
Mr Maximilian Heil, Communication Advisor at the Africa-EU Energy Partnership Secretariat shared that the training of trainers is a great example of how the two institutions are striving to improve the quality of energy data in the AU MS, constituting a basis for informed policy decisions. ‘‘Recently, we published a report on financial flows in SDG7 to Africa, highlighting that the cost of inaction is far greater than achieving sustainable energy access for all. Arriving at that conclusion would have been impossible without good validated data sources”, he stated.
To make AFREC a hub for Africa’s energy data, collecting and processing reliable and credible data serves as a foundation for effective energy planning which can guide future energy investments development of the African energy sector.
About training of trainers programme
The training of trainers is AFREC’s capacity building programme designed to reduce skills gap in energy statistics and data processing at member state level, by creating a pool of experts who are able to manage Africa’s energy data. The programme was created as a result from a lack of qualified African experts in energy statistics and the constant reliance on international experts. As per its mandate, it is AFREC’s ambition that the programme will decrease Africa’s skills deficit in the area of energy statistics, and in turn improve energy data quality and accessibility across continent.