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Posts Tagged ‘climate change’
Q&A with Brahim Allali, author of Promasol and Temasol case studies (Morocco)

Brahim Allali is a Professor at HEC Montreal where he teaches Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management as well as International Strategic Management. Dr. Allali holds an Msc in International Business, another one in Banking from ITB-CNAM (France), and a PhD degree in Business Administration from HEC Montreal affiliated with the University of Montreal. Before dedicating himself to teaching, research, and consulting, Doctor Allali had spent many years working in industry and banking. He is also a Consultant with many international organizations such as the WTO, the World Bank, International Trade Centre, and Islamic Centre for Development of Trade. Doctor Allali has published two books: “Audit-export” and “Vision des dirigeants et internationalisation des PME”, as well as many scientific and professional papers. He has also given many presentations on Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Corporate entrepreneurship, and International Development.

TEMASOL is a joint-venture between the oil and electricity French companies TOTAL and EDF created in 2002 within the framework of a national program championed by Morocco’s National Electricity Office aiming at electrifying rural regions of the country through renewable sources of energy.

To download the TEMASOL case study from the GIM database, please click here.

PROMASOL was launched in 2002 by the Moroccan Ministry of Energy and Mines to promote the market of Solar Water-Heaters (SWHs) in Morocco through quality improvement and certification, awareness raising campaigns, and training and certification of qualified solar water-heaters’ installers.

To download the PROMASOL case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is the basic value proposition of TEMASOL and PROMASOL?

In Morocco, only 12% of rural homes had access to electricity until 1994 when the government, through the National Electricity Office (ONE), decided to expand access to electricity in rural areas. As ONE could not cost-effectively supply grid-based electricity to all rural homes because of their remoteness, it decided to delegate electricity distribution in these areas to a few subcontractors.

TEMASOL was awarded the largest concession thanks to the expertise of its parent companies and its partners both in solar energy and in rural electrification. The success of TEMASOL in supplying the first 16,000 households with photovoltaic kits encouraged ONE to grant it new contracts to supply electricity to more than 58,000 scattered homes and hamlets in 29 provinces. More than mere access to a brighter lighting, access to electricity provided by TEMASOL has brought to these people the right to enjoy better welfare and productivity.

As for PROMASOL, it strives to democratize access to solar water-heaters (SWH) in Morocco. Indeed, for a country with 3,000 hours of sun per year (5.5 kwh/m2/day), continuing to almost totally depending on imports for its energy needs would seem a real paradox. Moreover and in addition to reducing the burdensome energy bill and reallocating the country’s limited resources towards developmental and social projects, having recourse to solar energy entails many unquestionable benefits at economic, environmental and social levels.

What were some of the challenges hindering TEMASOL’s development and growth and how did the company overcome them?

TEMASOL faced many challenges such as cash-flow difficulties due to late payments, high upfront capital cost, local agents’ training costs, increasing costs induced by rapid growth, lack of local capacity, difficulty of doing R-D, and the absence, in the contract with ONE, of a provision permitting to adjust prices to follow costs fluctuations. TEMASOL managed to overcome most of these challenges thanks to technical assistance provided by its parent companies EDF and TOTAL, the physical presence in rural areas of the company’s agents to collect monthly fees from customers and provide after-sale services to end users, and subsidies received from the Moroccan government through ONE. However, no solution has been found yet to the problem of the price adjustment mechanism.

What was the role played by the UNDP in PROMASOL?

PROMASOL is a key component of a comprehensive program initiated in 1997 involving UNDP and the Moroccan ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Energy and Mines (MEM) with a view to preserving environment, strengthening sustainable development, and promoting renewable energies. In this context, PROMASOL was assigned the mission of promoting the solar water-heater (SWH) market in Morocco while other programs have been striving for implementing solar-energy-based solutions in other fields such as hammams heating (traditional steam rooms) and rural electrification through photovoltaic systems.

In this context, PROMASOL was created after a funding agreement was signed in 2001 between the Moroccan MEM, and the UNDP. Its management was entrusted to the Center for Development of Renewable Energies (CDER) within the framework of cooperation between the MEM, the FGEF, the UNDP, and other partners. Its cost amounted to USD 43,270,000, of which UNDP directly contributed USD 250,000, in addition to USD 500,000 within the framework of a UNDP-funded project on environment protection and natural resources management.

What role do the Moroccan government and the National Electricity Office play in these two models?

In the TEMASOL project, both the Moroccan government and the National Electricity Office (ONE) played a critical role in creating a conducive environment to starting the business and providing the initial opportunity for its development. The government decided to expand access to electricity to rural areas and allotted the necessary funds to finance such an ambitious program. ONE made it come true by subcontracting its implementation to companies such TEMASOL and tightly supervised the whole process since its inception.

Regarding the PROMASOL program, it was instigated by the government through the Ministry of Energy and Mines and implemented by the Center for Development of Renewable Energies.

Based on these two experiences, what are the prospects of mainstreaming solar energy in Morocco and beyond?

The success of all solar energy projects in Morocco such the ones implemented by TEMASOL and CDER (PROMASOL), has encouraged the Moroccan authorities to launch even more ambitious solar projects. In this respect, a solar energy project worth USD 9 billion which officials said will account for 38% of the country’s installed power generation by 2020. The project will involve five solar power generation sites across Morocco and will produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

Before participating in the GIM training on writing cases that took place in Bratislava, Slovakia, in July 2009, I had written several successful cases dealing with managerial and organizational situations some of which had been published in scholarly journals. This is to say that I was not expecting to learn new things during the Bratislava workshop. However, the case research process presented during the workshop was so effective and so helpful that I started using it since then and until now in writing new cases. For instance, a few months after the Bratislava workshop, I was hired by Industry Canada to write six case studies on small-large firms’ strategic alliances. The new-learned method proved extremely effective in collecting, selecting, organizing, and analyzing data. The output was of such an excellent quality that Industry Canada officially congratulated me.

In addition to the new case method, the GIM training taught me to always consider the social, economic as well as environmental impact of situations that I study in addition to their challenges and constraints.

Q&A with Michael Goldman, author of case study: Kuyasa (South Africa)

Michael Goldman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lectures, researches and consults in the area of Marketing, including topics such as Marketing Strategy & Management, Base of the Pyramid business strategies, Customer Centricity and Strategy, and Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. He is an active member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded BoP South African Learning Lab. Michael studied for his B.PrimEd degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth before completing the Programme for Management Development and his MBA from GIBS. He is currently completing a doctorate through GIBS in the area of marketing.

To download the Kuyasa case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Kuyasa’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

What I found most interesting about the Kuyasa case were their efforts to create a sustainable funding model for energy efficiency within one of the poorest urban areas in Africa.  Their “business-like” approach to implementing a project that was languishing without strong management, is a lesson for similar initiatives.  Their understanding of the carbon credit funding environment and application of strong financial engineering skills may give Kuyasa an edge in being able to make this happen on a larger scale.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering the implementation of Kuyasa?

The initial hurdles, before the current team took on the challenge, related to the lack of a suitable implementation partner that was able to finance the implementation within the limited resources available.  The more recent challenges relate to the delays in sourcing suitable solar-water geysers, of an appropriate quality standard and at the budgeted amount.

What are the main opportunities for CDM projects benefiting the poor in a country like South Africa?

South Africa faces the related challenges of rapid urbanisation, lack of adequate low-cost housing, and increasing energy costs.  CDM projects, that are able to be implemented and funded on a large scale (millions as opposed to thousands) within the coming few years, have the potential to have both an immediate positive impact on the energy costs of poorer residents of urban townships, as well a longer term positive impact on the health of the population and the reduction of emissions.

What is the promise of using renewable energy for human development?

This case provides strong evidence for the tangible immediate and longer term benefits of government policy choices that unequivocally favour renewable energy.  It promises more affordable, cleaner, and healthier energy that can also contribute to the dignity, pride and economic empowerment of poorer urban residents.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

It has been a significant learning experience working with the GIM team and engaging with different Kuyasa & Tedcor stakeholders to prepare and write these case study reports.  I am very appreciative of the openness and cooperation received from the teams at Kuyasa & Tedcor, and applaud their efforts to make a real difference to their communities and the greater sustainability priorities.

Q&A with Mamadou Gaye, author of case study: Wind, Water for Life (VEV) (Senegal)

Mamadou Gaye is a PhD candidate of Regional Development at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi Canada. He was awarded the Canadian International Development Agency Scholarship. Previously, Mamadou was the Director of the Graduate Programs at the African Institute of Management (AIM) in Dakar, Senegal, and Director of International Relations. In 2007, he became a member of the Academy of Management of the US. He is in charge of the international MBA at AIM. After participating in international meetings and initiatives funded by UNDP, GBSN, AABS, ICF, ICBE and Trust Africa, he is convinced of the importance and need of African private sector, business schools and universities to enhance case method approaches. He has written six case studies in Francophone West Africa for UNDP in 2006-2007. Mamadou undertook his graduate studies in resource economics in Moscow, Russia, with a specialization in project management (MSc). Awarded a scholarship from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), he finished a master’s degree in organization management at the University of Quebec, Rimouski.  Mamadou speaks French, Wolof, English, Spanish and Russian.

Wind, Water for Life (Du Vent, de l’Eau pour la Vie- VEV) a small company in Senegal providing long-term repairs for the wind pumps installed by LVIA in the 130 villages where LVIA had also set up community water management committees to make sure that they would have the capacity to collect money for water sold and ultimately pay for repairs and maintenance.

Case study developed with financial support from the United Nations Environment Programme.

To download the VEV case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is VEV’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Its value proposition is a low-cost local way to repair water pumps and provide clean water to an entire community. Its model is sustainable because they make the pieces locally with scrap metal and offer financing to their customers.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering VEV’s development and growth?

The biggest challenge has been expansion in the number of villages. The NGO did the initial work and payment of the pump installation. VEV must continue to grow the number of villages with wind pumps or it will be difficult for them to grow. This requires time, efforts and strategy on VEV’s part and also finances on the part of the villages, which they do not sustain at this time.

What are the main challenges in terms of access to water for the poor in Senegal and also more broadly in developing countries?

-Lack of financial resources in rural areas of Africa (Senegal)
-Lack of appropriate state policy to sustain local development and enhance governance in rural Africa
-Pace of urbanization and growing difficulties to take care of urban areas like capital cities
-Lack of information about renewable energy development and water supply

What are the promises in terms of human development of the VEV solution?

-Increased health through clean water and water to wash with as well as eating vegetables from the vegetable garden
-Increased income generation from garden vegetables and other crops
-Increased local capacity through water management and VEV staff trainings

What was your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

Since my first interaction with GIM in 2006, I have understood that there is a big difference in talking about development and issues related to inclusive business around the world and the UNDP which is just going and digging deeper into that matter. I have gain maturity in how to approach locally sustainable development issues in poor African countries and that has made me aware of a big need in governance which will give space and room to the poor to create value for all. I am just happy and excited since I have been involved with the UNDP GIM Team since the beginning. The learning is huge because now I could anytime exchange with actors in the field and give business advice to companies, state agencies, NGOs, communities, decision makers and international partners in ways in which human sustainable development and social entrepreneurship activities should be rethought and implemented in poor African countries. I also got hold of what should really be an inclusive business. It is not being part of a research team but also understand on the ground how business should be done and what are the main roles of each actor in a country, region, space or territory to be in a win-win situation where humanity gets along with business sustainability.

Mamadou GAYE, PhD candidate in regional development, The University of Québec at Chicoutimi, Canada.