VIDEO | Solving the Energy Challenge on International Youth Day

Aug 9, 2018 9:20 AM ET
Multimedia with summary

There are currently 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world; the largest youth population ever. However, 24 million of them are out of school because of political instability, labor market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation. This Sunday, 12th August is International Youth Day, a day to celebrate the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth. This year’s theme focuses on “Safe Spaces for Youth” where youth can engage in activities, participate in country’s development and express themselves.

Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization. Energy is all the more important for young people to create safe spaces in streets to their way to school, in classrooms to learn in early mornings when it is still too dark or to do homework in late evenings. However, there are currently 1.1 billion people without access to electricity at home. Thus, many countries still need to address a huge energy challenge - one such example is Senegal with an electrification rate of 56.50% and where 35.3% of the population has no access to energy.

Schneider Electric has deployed study programs for young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds and who need financial support in Senegal. Approximately 150,000 young adults have already benefitted from these trainings. The trainings positively impact their lives by skilling them and providing their family with the means for satisfactory subsistence. “We, at Schneider Electric Senegal, work every single day to ensure that access to energy is a reality for everyone, everywhere and at every moment.” Oumar Thiam, Country Manager Senegal Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric deploys partnerships with many local energy leaders such as Training Center of Frederic Ozanam “Les mains ouvertes”, which trains 30 students every 6 months, or such as Green Village Electricity – GVE, who brings safe and reliable electricity to local communities in West Africa. “Just like Schneider Electric, we in GVE focus on solving tomorrow’s problems today”. Ifeanyi Orajaka, Chief Executive at GVE Projects Limited, Nigeria.

Read more about the methods and cases that are driving Access to Energy project best practices here.