Africa New Energy and Vehicles (AfricaNEV) is a continental non-profit that aims to accelerate the adoption of e-mobility in Africa through policy advocacy, awareness creation, and skills development, as well as linking industry players in the e-mobility value chain. AfricaNEV says the purpose of its community is to make sure African countries are not left behind in the nascent transformation of energy and transport to sustainable ecosystems. These will be better, healthier, more environmentally friendly, and ultimately cheaper than current solutions, and will power the 21st century.
AfricaNEV was founded in 2017, and formally constituted in 2019 by Gad Ashiagbor, a Ghanaian and the current Executive Director. Gad is an e-mobility enthusiast and expert, educator, physicist, and entrepreneur who is passionate about Africa.
There are four other Directors of different nationalities and background:
- Tolulope Olukokun, a Nigerian and Director of Emobility. He cofounded ThinkBikes Limited to provide affordable and clean last-mile mobility for goods and people.
- Luttah Annette Aluora, Director for Francophone Africa and a Kenyan Environmental Planner with a strong passion for environmental protection and development.
- Kenneth Atsu Turkson, a Ghanaian and director of sustainable cities with years of experience in Ghana’s construction and housing ecosystem.
- John Msingo, a Kenyan and Director for East Africa. John is a solar and emobility expert committed to the accelerated adoption of emobility solutions in Africa.
Their work seeks to bring knowledgeable and relevant experts to inform, educate, and influence various stakeholders in the emerging African emobility ecosystem. This should firstly reduce or eliminate misinformation, disinformation, or ignorance about electric vehicles and their adoption rates. Secondly, serve as a networking platform for ecosystem players across the continent. Finally, it should ultimately accelerate EV adoption rates on the continent.
Below is a snapshot of the AfricaNEV schedule for the rest of 2023:
|JUNE||21st June||Electric Vehicle Finance Schemes in Africa Pt 2 – Insurance||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|29th June||Charging & Swapping Standards for Electric 2- & 3-Wheelers in Africa||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|JULY||Cars & Coffee East Africa||Exhibition (Nairobi)||General Public|
|27th July||EV Charging Station Regulation in Africa||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|17th August||Charging & Swapping Standards for Electric 4-Wheelers in Africa||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|AUGUST||31st August||EV Supply Regulation in Africa (Importation, Registration etc)||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|SEPTEMBER||28th September||EV Repair and Maintenance Ecosystem in Africa||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|OCTOBER||26th October||Battery Availability & The Battery Supply Chain||Webinar||EV Ecosystem Players|
|DECEMBER||THE SEAT SUMMIT FOR AFRICA||CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION (ACCRA)||EV Ecosystem Players|
So, it’s been a busy year for AfricaNEV, as shown in the schedule above. One of the highlights so far was the first AfricaNEV Electric Vehicle Technician Training Program, held in Nairobi, Kenya. The training program attracted over 35 participants from diverse backgrounds, including electric mobility startups, utility companies, government departments and agencies, NGOs, and well as from the private sector.
The Electric Vehicle Technician Training program was divided into two segments — an online virtual segment and a physical hands-on training. The online training was done virtually on the 19th of May 2023, and the physical segment was held from Monday the 22nd – Saturday 27th May 2023 at BasiGo’s electric bus depot in Nairobi. The Nairobi Technical Training was organized in collaboration with Advanced Mobility Africa, EVChaja, BasiGo, and Knights Energy.
To be eligible to attend the course, the following were prerequisites:
- Current automotive or electrical technicians with at least a diploma certificate
- Professionals in the automotive industry with at least a degree certificate.
- Final year students for diploma or degree courses in the automotive, mechanical, or electrical fields
Trainees were divided into two cohorts. Trainees were required to attend all sessions and pass an assessment quiz at the end to qualify for a Certificate of Completion. The physical training consisted of two key elements. The first was a tour of various electric vehicle companies such as BasiGo (the host company), ARC Ride, Roam, and Ampersand.
The second and most popular component was a complete tear-down of a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. After the tear-down, the trainees were made to re-assemble the vehicle and make sure it is in working condition under the guidance of an ASE certified EV Master Technician. A lot of the attendees came out of the tear-down and reassembly session quite excited to see the Nissan Leaf drive away after pulling it apart. The next training session will be held in Accra, Ghana.
Other areas covered in the training were:
- Know the history and background of electric vehicles
- Threats and opportunities for the African mechanic
- Understand EV architecture & battery systems
- Safety procedures for electric vehicles
- Regular maintenance of electric vehicles
- Diagnosis and repair of common electric vehicle problems
- Opportunities for local manufacturing of electric vehicles and components
The AfricaNEV team is looking to help train all relevant stakeholders across the continent, including:
- Fleet operators, business owners, corporate & humanitarian organizations, SMEs, truck operators, taxi operators & mobility app providers looking to transition to EVs
- Professionals in automotive, mechanical, or electrical careers who want to advance to the EV industry
- Individuals and organizations in tertiary, graduate, and learning institutions that train personnel for the automotive industry
- Individuals and organizations that offer aftermarket products & services for the automotive industry
- Vehicle insurance valuers and assessors
As the transition to electric mobility gains momentum across the globe, African countries also need to keep up with the developments in the sector as the transition presents a major opportunity for a lot of communities on the continent to leapfrog straight into the age of electric mobility. These kinds of training sessions and initiatives will help create a support ecosystem to facilitate the transition. Training sessions that take a deeper dive into the technical aspects of EVs and a charging infrastructure are also planned. It’s great to see these kinds of initiatives and I look forward to be more involved in such programs as well.
Thanks to Gad Ashiagbor for the insights into the training program. Images courtesy of AfricaNEV
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