SOLTRAIN's policy workshop from the private sector perspective


Submitted by Karen Gibson
Published 2 years ago

A recent policy workshop in Botswana was the very first fully virtual policy dialogue hosted by SOLTRAIN through AEE INTEC, CERC and the Solar Industries Association of Botswana. It provided an opportunity for information sharing between the various parties, with public and private sector participants taking the floor to present the work being undertaken, as well as some of the practical challenges faced by the private sector in that country.

One of Botswana's SOLTRAIN demonstration systems; The Maru-a-Pula Girls Hostel in Gaborone.

The workshop was convened at a time where the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan is following the global trend of greening the recovery and also at a time where a public sector economy that has traditionally been mineral-led is now showing signs of transitioning into an export-led private sector economy.

Discussions highlighted the combined effort of the public and private sectors who are working collaboratively to find the best solutions for the next phase of implementation through the Solar Off-Grid Programme Guidelines and planned bankable project document which will see fruition through the steering committee formed at the first policy workshop held in one of the previous SOLTRAIN phases.

There was also a call for the private sector to revive the Solar Thermal Platform and to take a more proactive approach in driving the industry forward. This is seen as a positive development in a country that has mainly been led by government initiatives, highlighted by the fact that over 50% of the nation's employees are employed by the public sector.

These workshops help in strengthening private sector activity, encourage public-private sector cooperation, and assist with progress towards Botswana's NDP11 vision requiring more involvement from the private sector and alignment with the global Sustainable Development Goals.