Bankable and sustainable solar projects

as a panacea for environmental pollution and unemployment for millions of African youths



By O. Chima Okereke, PhD

UK and Nigeria



A conference to enhance the knowledge of project management among African entrepreneurs, businesses, and professionals took place in Yaounde, Cameroon, in May 23rd to 25th 2018.  This was the 2nd Pan- African Conference on Project Management. The theme was: “Successful Preparation of Bankable Projects in Africa.”  The objective could be summarised as: To provide African entrepreneurs and businesses with information on how to prepare bankable projects to enable them to attract funding for industrial and infrastructure projects that will accelerate the economic transformation of the continent.

In this article, necessity for bankable solar projects is discussed with a view to achieving the following objectives:

  • Discussing alternative power supply to Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Reviewing some of the relevant events resulting from the Paris Conference on Climate
  • Exploring employment for African youths through collateral products of, and applications from, solar power.

In order to achieve these objectives, the topics to be considered in this paper are as follows:

  1. Unemployment among African youths
  2. Sub-Saharan economic development constrained and retarded by poor power supply
  3. Environmental damage created by fossil fuel, greenhouse effect, Paris Conference Agreement, some resulting events, and campaign for renewable energy
  4. Renewable energy, solar power supply,
  5. Achieving bankable projects and bankable solar projects, products, applications and jobs
  6. Conclusion and going forward
  1. Unemployment among African youths

The necessity to provide employment for millions of youths in Africa cannot be over emphasised.

Despite being a leading economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, with almost 50% unemployed youths in 2014, and 52.4% in first quarter of 2018, South Africa has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the region [1]. Moreover, according to Mr. Kelvin Balogun, President of Coca-Cola for Central, East and West Africa, “Almost half of the 10 million graduates churned out of the over 668 universities in Africa yearly do not get job” [2]. In June 2017, it was reported that 61.6 percent of Nigerian youths were unemployed. This was as contained in a report released on Monday, June 5, 2017, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)[3].

In some advanced nations where youths’ unemployment may occur, it may be seen as an aberration, an unusual feature, a spike from the normal because such countries already have stable politico-economic systems that facilitate economic stability and growth. As a result, in a few years, the relevant national government could introduce measures that should help eliminate or at worst, reduce the unemployment.  While, it may be overly optimistic to accord such ability of turning around their national economy to an African government, it is the case that in course of conducting the research for this paper, a number of commendable programmes and projects for the youths, and by the youths, in many African countries on solar power supply have been discovered. These have been initiated in some cases by banks, national government agencies, and African youths both in Africa and in Diaspora.  In spite of these efforts, a lot still remains to be done to engage more unemployed youths. The thrust of this paper is the necessity to establish sustainability of solar programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa; this requires effective investments for the long-term solution to the problems of youths’ unemployment and our grossly inadequate power supply.


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How to cite this paper: Okereke, O. C. (2018). Bankable and sustainable solar projects as a panacea for environmental pollution and unemployment for millions of African youth; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue 7 – July.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Okereke-solar-projects-as-panacea-for-pollution-and-unemployment-in-africa.pdf

About the Author

Chima Okereke, PhD, PMP

Herefordshire, UK




 Dr. O. Chima Okereke, Ph.D., MBA, PMP is the Managing Director and CEO of Total Technology Consultants, Ltd., a project management consulting company working in West Africa and the UK.  He is a visiting professor, an industrial educator, a multidisciplinary project management professional, with over 25 years’ experience in oil and gas, steel and power generation industries. For example, On December 26th 2013, he completed an assignment as a visiting professor in project management; teaching a class of students on Master’s degree in project management in the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia.  In August and September 2013, he conducted an innovative, and personally developed training programme for seventy six well engineers of Shell Nigeria to enhance the efficiency of their operations using project and operations management processes.

Before embarking on a career in consulting, he worked for thirteen years in industry rising to the position of a chief engineer with specialisation in industrial controls and instrumentation, electronics, electrical engineering and automation. During those 13 years, he worked on every aspect of projects of new industrial plants including design, construction and installation, commissioning, and engineering operation and maintenance in process industries.  Chima sponsored and founded the potential chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, acting as president from 2004 to 2010.

Dr. Okereke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos, and a PhD and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Bradford in the UK.  He also has a PMP® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) which he passed at first attempt.  He has been a registered engineer with COREN in Nigeria since 1983.  For many years, Total Technology has been a partner for Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit, a representative in Nigeria of Oracle University for training in Primavera project management courses, and a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN. He is a registered consultant with several UN agencies.  More information can be found at http://www.totaltechnologyconsultants.org/.

Chima is the publisher of Project Management Business Digest, a blog aimed at helping organizations use project management for business success.  Dr. Okereke is also an international editorial advisor for the PM World Journal and PM World Library. He can be contacted at [email protected]   or [email protected].

To view other works by Dr. Okereke, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-o-chima-okereke/