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Interview with Joseph Chilambo from the Renewable Energy Programme 1

On behalf of Sida, LIFE Academy has been implementing a Global Capacity Development Programme on Renewable Energy, targeting Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The last programme was completed earlier this year out of the four programme cohorts between 2018-2024. We have interviewed four of the programme participants to learn more about the participant’s experience of the programme. In the following interview we hear from Joseph Chilambo from the Renewable Energy Programme (REP) 1.

Name: Joseph Felix Chilambo
Country: Tanzania
Position: Director of Planning and Business Development (Manager Business Development during the programme)
Organisation: TIB Development Bank
Directorate of Planning and Business Development
Programme: REP 1

Joseph Chilambo’s key learnings from the programme are how to use projects to develop renewable energy project strategies, renewable energy programmes and project implementation. Also, how to identify and engage with stakeholders, networking across sectors to influence policies and strategies and promote those strategies within his organisation. The tools that were introduced and practiced during the programme have been of great use for him.

Joseph explains that before the programme his organisation thought of power projects, but he realised that they needed a strategy on renewable energies. He worked with promoting the agenda and the whole idea of renewable energies within his bank. Five people from the organisation have participated in the programme in total and there is now a broad understanding and support for renewable energies within the organisation.

“There is a good number of people who have the understanding and together we have been able to work on various projects. We have worked with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to develop a clean cooking and waste to energy financing programme, we have also worked with the World Bank to install solar powered water pumps in rural areas replacing the uncleaning diesel pumps. They are now using solar water pumps. It is still a pilot project, but about 50 projects have been implemented.”

Says Joseph Chilambo
Joseph Chilambo.

They have also incorporated the knowledge that Joseph acquired from the programme in the strategic planning. In 2023 they were focusing on only two sectors within the bank – renewable energy and water supply. To succeed with this, he used the knowledge of project identification, planning and management skills that he developed during the programme.

After the programme Joseph has also been more active in stakeholder engagement and networking and advocating the kind of changes that he wants to see. He believes that the Change Project stimulated that drive in him, making him more confident. This also reflects on his view of being a Change Agent.

“With this training I have promoted renewable energies, but I have also promoted water projects. I am a keen supporter of the SDG’s, water and energy have been my priorities. I have been trying to promote that change (…). Being a Change Agent means you have to show others that this is very important, and I think I have done that. I have succeeded. Renewable energy is now a topic of interest within the bank. Water supply infrastructure is also a topic of interest within the bank.”

Says Joseph