Lekela, the renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, recently welcomed 300 members of the local community to an enterprise day for its Taiba Ndiaye wind project in Senegal.
With the wind farm poised to begin construction, the day provided an occasion for the local community to learn more about the project and its timeline, to hear about opportunities for employment, and ways which local businesses can benefit through the project.
The Mayor of Taiba opened the event with a speech focused on progress made on the project over the past years and the benefits of clean energy for communities in Senegal, before handing over to one of the original founders of the project, Bruno Vigneron who gave his insights on early stage development of the project.
A session also took place with Community Laision Officer, Ousmane Deidhiou, the EPC contractor, Vestas and subcontractor, Eiffage Senegal to explain their involvement in the project, outlining the recruitment process and providing insight into the roles they are seeking to fill.
This was followed by a presentation from General Manager, Massaer Cisse and Project Director, Rachid El Asri from Lekela on next steps for the project as it moves into construction and then to operation, which also focused on the importance of diversifying Senegal’s energy mix towards clean power. There was also time set aside for a Q&A session for all attendees to take part in.
During peak construction, up to 400 employment opportunities will be created, developing important skills and knowledge in the local community and enabling improved employment prospects.
An extensive social investment programme in Taiba N’Diaye is underway, which forms a key part of Lekela’s strategy to create long-term value for the communities it operates in with a focus on education, enterprise and environmental initiatives. The project will commit up to $20m towards creating sustainable livelihoods in the local community over the life of the wind farm.
The programme is focused on creating sustainable livelihoods for communities by initiatives such as improving agriculture and providing vocational training opportunities for youth. Initiatives to build and refurbish local marketplaces are already underway, with further plans in the pipeline to increase IT resources in schools and boost the local region’s mango economy.
Jennifer Boca, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Lekela said, “As a long-term operator, creating lasting value for local communities is a central commitment for all our projects across Africa.
Enterprise days help encourage information sharing, foster important relationships and help to ensure that benefits to the community can be realised early on in a project’s lifecycle. The impact of Taiba N’Diaye will last for generations, not only in terms of providing widespread access to clean, renewable power, but also by boosting skills and employment in the local community.”