After a break of two years, the SOLTRAIN conference took place again in late November 2021. Around 90 solar thermal experts, representatives of solar companies from seven countries, political stakeholders and global finance experts met in Harare, Zimbabwe for the conference, and were joined by about 20 people participants online.
The conference was opened by Birgit Weyss, from the Austrian Development Agency and Hon. Zhemu Soda, Minister of Energy and Power Development from Zimbabwe. The event provided a comprehensive overview of the many activities of the SOLTRAIN program.
Since the beginning of the project, about 4 500 people have participated in 180 training courses. Partner companies have applied the knowledge gained in 560 solar thermal demonstration plants built in the six partner countries, students were supported in the preparation of their research projects and a hybrid training with apprentices was implemented successfully despite restrictions imposed by the global pandemic.
One of the main topics of the conference was the mobilization of international funds for the solar thermal roadmap implementations of the various SOLTRAIN partner countries. In this regard, Dr. Sosten Ziuku from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development from Zimbabwe, Bernard De Schrevel from the EU delegation in Zimbabwe as well as Chai Musoni and Patrick Makanza from GET.Invest presented the different funding possibilities for the financing of single projects, as well as for the implementation of the solar thermal roadmaps in each partner country.
Technical presentations at the conference again offered the opportunity for personal exchange and for the further development of ideas, thereby ensuring the continuation of the programme's collaborative successes.