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West Africa: Redressing the skills gap in the power sector

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CPCS conducts a study to assess the skills gap in the electricity sub-sector in West Africa and to help the West African Power Pool modernize its services.

The challenge

Only half of West Africa has access to electricity, and they’re paying a high price for it. The West African Power Pool (WAPP) wants to fix this. But specialized labour becomes scarcer as power grids expand, private sector participation diversifies and the workforce retires. Getting at the root of the problem means getting to know the skills gap in West Africa better. 

“That’s why WAPP asked CPCS to do a skills review,” says Abel Belayneh, project manager at CPCS. “My goal is to identify the causes of this mismatch and propose solutions to remedy it.”   

What we’ll do  

How CPCS will help:

  • Conduct an overview of the power sector across the WAPP countries
  • Consult with stakeholders such as electricity regulators, utilities companies and academic institutions
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of the electricity sub-sector
  • Conduct a skills audit of the electricity sub-sector to look at gaps between supply and demand
  • Identify short, medium and long-term solutions to bridge these gaps

CPCS expects that strengthening the ties between power utilities and training institutes will play a big part in tackling this challenge. 

“We’ll have to thoroughly examine their relationship,” adds Abel. “We can look at academic reforms, specialized courses and trainings and industry partnerships.”


Addressing the skills shortage in West Africa will help WAPP fulfill its mission: improving and modernizing access to electricity while reducing costs in the region.