In May 2019, AETS, in partnership with BURGEAP and MOTT MACDONALD, was among the four consortia shortlisted by the French Development Agency (AFD) to provide capacity building to its counterparts worldwide in charge of infrastructure projects in transport, energy, water, urban development and industry.

The aim of the Framework Agreement with AFD is to diagnose infrastructure-related ministries, agencies or utilities and propose ‘change management strategies’ together with a capacity reinforcement plan (through training, mentoring, restructuring etc.) and the corresponding monitoring & evaluation scheme. In this context, the AETS-led consortium was awarded the first mission: to accompany the Burkina Faso national electricity company, SONABEL, in formulating its vision of how to become the leader of solar-generated power in West Africa.

Currently, Burkina Faso’s energy production relies heavily on expensive thermal generation (80), as well as a weak reliance on hydraulic and solar generation (20%). In addition, the country imports energy from neighbouring Ivory Coast. Given the country’s high population growth and in order to support economic growth, Burkina Faso wishes to invest in and adopt a proactive policy with regards to energy production and access.In view of the current situation, Burkina Faso, with its high solar potential, decided to significantly expand its solar power production in order to: (i) increase supply; (ii) increase energy independence; (iii) reduce the cost of energy, and; (iv) reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.   

The mission will mobilise four AETS staff - and one from Mott MacDonald and will support SONABEL in the development of change management strategies. The mission further aims to make a capacity building plan available to SONABEL, which would also include activities to be undertaken in order to operationalise the abovementioned strategies.