Hundreds Benefit from Studies in Renewable Energy in Tanzania’s Salesian Institutions

16 students receive renewable energy training thanks to funding Salesian Missions received from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Tanzania. Credit: Salesian Missions

Hundreds of youths in Tanzania have been equipped with skills in renewable energy from institutions run by members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in the East African country.

The students were trained at various Salesian institutions in Tanzania thanks to funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation through the U.S. development arm of the SDB, Salesian Missions.

A total of 316 students looking to make a career in renewable energy received training in solar installation, operation and maintenance,” SDB officials say in a July 5 report.

The Salesians add that students received training in “solar technician courses along with soft skills training, field attachments, job search help and other career guidance.” 

“With this funding, business development services training started for 94 short course students and 110 Level III trainees,” they say. 


The Salesian training centers also organized four career fairs to help the trainees transition from the classroom into the workforce. 

"These events included one-on-one sessions, question and answer panels and experience sharing," SDB officials say, adding that experts in entrepreneurship, soft skills development and human resources were present at the events.

These events, Salesian officials further say, "presented trainees with the chance to see potential opportunities, acquire new insights and explore the different career pathways available to them."

Trainees of the program that took place between August 2020 and May 2021 in SDB training centres in Iringa and Dodoma "now have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement business plans and formally register their businesses,” Salesian officials say. 

In the July 5 report, the Director of Salesian Missions says the training programs in the East African nation “provided a real opportunity for students to gain an education in a growing and much-needed field of study.”

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In the report, Fr. Gus Baek emphasizes the importance of the training, saying, “As the world faces growing environmental degradation and climate change challenges, there is a need to embrace sustainable development more than ever before.”

The Salesian Priest says the need to embrace sustainable development “has led to a need for leaders and practitioners of technical and vocational education and training to improve their understanding and implementation of education for sustainable development using a whole-institution approach to greening their institutions.”

One of the main drivers of the project is youth unemployment in Tanzania that stands at nearly 12 percent, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). 

Of the students who graduated in December 2020, 53 graduates started internships with solar energy companies, 30 graduates were employed full time in solar energy or related fields, and 32 started their own businesses, the July 5 report indicates.

Since the start of the project in 2018, 143 graduates have begun their own solar energy-powered microenterprises with SDB members’ support.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.