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P R O J E C T

C O M P L E T I O N

R E P O R T

The CE3 Project

Connectivity, Electricity, and Education for Entrepreneurship in Uganda PHASE ONE: 2012–2014


F A C T S

A T

A

G L A N C E

PROJECT NAME

Connectivity, Electricity, and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3)

CITY / COUNTRY

Gulu, Uganda

REGION

Sub-Saharan Africa

IN-COUNTRY COMMUNITIES

Saint Mary’s College, Lacor King James Comprehensive School, Lira Pabo Subcounty Headquarters, Pabo

PROJECT DURATION

2012-2014

SPONSORS

Accenture Accenture Foundation Hewlett-Packard

PARTNERS

BOSCO-Uganda EDUCATE! Center for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) at Makerere University Lyman Technologies

NOTRE DAME PRIMARY

Tom Marentette, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development

NOTRE DAME FACULTY

Michael Lemmon, College of Engineering Thomas Loughran, College of Science Melissa Paulsen, Mendoza College of Business

TOTAL PROJECT COST

$930,217

TOPICAL AREAS

Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Education Human Development

Lemmon

Loughran

Marentette

Paulsen

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P R O J E C T

C O M P L E T I O N

R E P O R T

The CE3 Project

Connectivity, Electricity, and Education for Entrepreneurship in Uganda SUMMARY Working at the electrification frontier, the University of Notre Dame is leveraging sponsorship and consulting services from the Accenture Corporation to design, implement and monitor a new approach to rural energy access. Building on ICT access and education provided by local partner BOSCO-Uganda and entrepreneurial training pioneered by Educate!, The Connectivity, Electricity and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3) project is developing an ecosystem approach to energy ownership and sustainability in three pilot sites in post-insurgency Northern Uganda. Computer-based entrepreneurial training bolstered by mentorship from Accenture volunteers is fostering new business starts and job creation to generate economic activity around kilowatt-scale solar hybrid microgrids. In that environment, energy costs can be recaptured toward expansion and sustainability in the context of community ownership of renewable energy resources. CE3 is developing a long-term, sustainable ecosystem that goes further than solar power, connectivity or any standalone solution. Instead, CE3 fosters an integrated package, a systems approach, that includes • providing disconnected communities with clean, efficient, renewable energy on the kilowatt scale to power businesses and schools, with recaptured revenue to support expansion and sustainability; • computer access, intranet and Internet connectivity and training to enable access to information and resources, unleashing the creativity and motivation of the Ugandan people; and • entrepreneurial training in schools and community centers, coupled with local and remote mentorship, providing basic leadership and business knowledge that leads to greater economic activity.

BACKGROUND For the past two decades, northern Uganda has been the center of violence perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, which resulted in 2 million people being displaced from their homes and tens of thousands killed. In recent years, there has been relative stability in northern Uganda, but the people and communities still have limited access to electricity, connectivity and jobs, resulting in crippling isolation. Only about 15% of Ugandans have access to grid electricity, and it is only about 75% reliable for those who are connected.

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Launched in 2006 by a group that included Notre Dame alumni and faculty, BOSCO-Uganda began leapfrogging the missing technical infrastructure to supply ICT connectivity and training, strengthening communities in war-affected rural villages. High-speed intranet connected users with one another across regional communities, and a modest shared internet connection brought news of events elsewhere in Uganda and the world. Soon other international partners joined the effort, notably UNICEF and Austrian-based Horizon 3000. BOSCO’s early work was recognized in 2010 by the inaugural Breaking Borders Award in the technology category by Google and Global Voices, and in 2012 by the Rural e-Services Award from the Ugandan Communications Commission. From the beginning, BOSCO’s communities began to leverage surplus solar power— beyond what was needed to power ICT—for small entrepreneurial ventures such as mobile phone charging and print services. Beginning in 2013, the Notre Dame Initiative

CE3 micro-scale solar equipment, Pabo

for Global Development (NDIGD) brought BOSCO together with members of the Accenture team. The group began to discuss how they might build on that small start, equipping BOSCO users with entrepreneurial skills and micro-scale solar energy beyond what was required for ICT in support of new business ventures. There were obvious synergies here; CE3 was born to make the most of them. Accenture and the Accenture Foundation awarded Notre Dame a $550,000 grant for this two-year project as part of the company’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, which aims to equip 700,000 people by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. In addition, the company committed to giving a substantial amount of pro bono and volunteer time to assist with the efforts. This unique project also furthers Accenture’s efforts to support the environment.

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STRATEGIC BUSINESS ADVISOR

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

A systems approach to development

STABLE LOCAL PARTNERS

ENERGY EFFICIENT, SCALEABLE COMPUTING ARCHITECTURE

RESEARCH-ENABLED PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Hewlett-Packard (HP) strengthened the ICT infrastructure for this project with a donation of 60 zero client computers, with accompanying software, servers, and peripherals at each pilot site and BOSCO-Uganda headquarters. These low-power systems provided a consistent user experience at the lowest possible energy cost, leaving more energy for entrepreneurial and other job-creating initiatives. Completing this comprehensive approach, NDIGD provided project management and evaluation experts to measure the impact that these efforts have on Ugandan communities.

PLAN DETAIL Progress to Date Installation of the three microgrid solar systems, computer labs and Internet access was completed in August of 2013 by faculty and engineers from the University of Notre Dame, as well as local partners from BOSCO-Uganda, and community members. Notre Dame staff and partners installed efficient low-power computer labs and solar microgrids that are economically self-sustaining, at scales that can support new ventures for a cadre of entrepreneurs trained at our pilot sites. Notre Dame Electrical Engineering is conducting research on optimal control schemes for microgrids that will offer models for electricity delivery for the 85% of Ugandans and the 1.5 billion people worldwide that the electric grid does not serve. There is also

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entrepreneurial training offered at several sites in Uganda to help create businesses and jobs that can take advantage of this new source of electricity. Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development evaluation experts and Accenture are conducting research to measure the impact that these efforts have on the Ugandan communities. Phase I of the project is serving as a testing ground for possible additional phases of the project.

The CE3 Energy Model The energy model used in the CE3 project is built on a system that leverages solar energy to meet the needs of the community, and aspires to create a self-sustaining micro-economy. In each site location, the energy system is located in an institution—a school, a local government—that co-invests in the system set-up, builds a secure facility to house the equipment, establishes resources for operations and maintenance, and agrees to pay for a certain percentage of the power. This community approach ensures the physical security of the equipment, and also supports joint management—between local communities and BOSCO as CE3 implementing partner—of recaptured energy revenue for expanding or maintaining the system. Together, equipment security and community reinvestment of recaptured energy revenue create the necessary framework for sustainability and economic viability of the initial energy investment. That initial framework is then energized by providing power for entrepreneurs, for access to ICT, and for computer-based entrepreneurial training and job creation, all of which increase the flow rate of revenue toward expanded and sustained provision of electrification. Throughout the deployment and management of the CE3 program, Notre Dame and Accenture are establishing capacity-building activities to strengthen its community partners, improve on training, support the establishment and expansion of their business ventures, mentor entrepreneurs throughout the lifecycle of their business development, and measure and evaluate each of the site locations.

BOSCO wireless antenna, Pabo water tower

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As we gain experience with and strengthen this infrastructure, the collaboration looks to develop better models of off-grid-electrified small businesses, local micro-scale energy utilities, and international investment at the electrification frontier.

Solar Solution Notre Dame selected and delivered an integrated package for power generation that was assembled and tested in the United States and disassembled for shipping to Uganda to ensure a successful pilot installation. The system consists of three (modified) Lyman Technologies ZeroBase H-Series ReGenerators. The system has been integrated to provide reliable power from the sun and from diesel or gas when the sun is not available, or more power is needed. The battery storage system allows for storage of excess solar energy for later use. The communications package will allow for remote monitoring and data logging, both for maintenance and research purposes.

HP’s Zero Client Solution Working in close collaboration with HP, the ICT hardware solution chosen for the sites was the HP Zero Client t410 AiO workstation. These virtualized computers are

Preparing HP workstations and zero clients for deployment, BOSCO headquarters, Gulu

specifically engineered to use low amounts of energy, with each system drawing an average of only 13.4 watts, which is essential in low resourced environments. HP’s Zero Client Solution has been deployed with a total of 65 seats at three pilot sites. BOSCO-Uganda staff assisted with installation and provides ongoing training and maintenance.

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THE SITES St. Mary’s College, Lacor

Trainees

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE St. Mary’s College is a Catholic secondary school of about 1000 ICT 1397 students located on a commercially active stretch just off the region’s main Gulu-Juba road. The school already had a new ICT Entrepreneurs 167 lab dedicated to its entrepreneurship program, thanks to our Jobs Created 55 partner 31 Lengths, an effort spearheaded by a team from the New Businesses 6 Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Masters of Business Administration program, but had not yet equipped the lab or launched entrepreneurship training. The lab became a natural partner for CE3. They have grid electricity (with 70% reliability), but use a CE3 microgrid system to stabilize power for their computer lab, provide consistent lighting, and power several small businesses on the school grounds, such as a grinding mill for students, staff, and local farmers.

King James Comprehensive, Lira King James Comprehensive School is an Episcopal school providing a general and technical education to some 2000 students at the secondary level. It is entirely off-grid; CE3 power is the first time the school has been able to power more than a single light. Now they run a fully-equipped ICT lab, power security lighting, and pump drinking water, in addition to

Trainees

KING JAMES

ICT

620

Entrepreneurs

127

Jobs Created

72

New Businesses

18

running several small businesses on campus. Their new 30 seat computer lab is too small; plans are underway to purchase additional HP equipment to double its size.

Pabo Sub-county Headquarters, Pabo

Trainees

PABO The Pabo sub-county headquarters serves as the government ICT offices of the local sub-county within Amuru District. Pabo was Entrepreneurs an existing BOSCO-Uganda site, with a handful of computers, with limited solar power capacity. It is entirely off-grid, so CE3 Jobs Created power is the first time there has been sufficient electricity to run New Businesses a larger ICT lab of 15 computers for the online entrepreneurial training, as well as surplus electricity for the growth of small businesses.

238 24 28 18

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TRAINING Training, education and mentorship are essential pillars of the CE3 ecosystem. Instruction in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is conducted by BOSCO-Uganda, which is a core competency of the local implementing partner. The curriculum for the online entrepreneurial training is provided by Educate! in partnership with Accenture. Mentorship for graduates of the program is provided both by local

A CE3 broader impact: BOSCO and CREEC partner on Solar Awareness Workshop, Opit-Lalogi Subcounty

entrepreneurs and by volunteers from Accenture: 10 such pairings have begun in the pilot program, with more in the pipeline. To ensure the safe and long-term availability of solar power to support these training efforts, solar maintenance training is provided for all staff at BOSCO’s Bardege Library in partnership with CREEC (Center for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation) at Makerere University in Kampala.

IMPACT Prior to implementation of this project, two of the three identified sites were disconnected from the national electrical grid, none had access to the Internet, and possessed little-to-no computing. The cost of connecting to the national electric grid for each of the sites is prohibitively expensive. With this new access to electricity provided by the CE3 project, studying in the evening for the more than 3,000 students at the two secondary school sites has been made possible, in addition to the use of the computer labs for teaching, research and academics. This is just the beginning. Data from the solar microgrids are being collected and shared with Notre Dame electrical engineering faculty and students, who are working on improved control systems for remote power generation and optimization of microgrid power systems.

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University students from Ghana and Notre Dame working together

Results and Metrics

328

19

ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINEES

SOLAR TRAINEES

2253

136

ICT TRAINEES

TOTAL JOBS CREATED

40

3733 kWh

NEW BUSINESSES STARTED

CLEAN ENERGY DELIVERED

65%

OF CONSUMED ENERGY MONETIZED AND RECAPTURED TOWARD EXPANSION AND SUSTAINABILITY

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FUTURE EFFORTS: PHASE 2 The purpose of Phase 2, in addition to expanding the provision of energy resources to a larger population, is to demonstrate the true sustainable scalability of the CE3 business model. This phase will be implemented in two parts: Phase 2.0 will refine the CE3 model by improving the affordability and utilization of energy across the three pilot sites and replicating the CE3 model across two or three additional locations in northern Uganda. Phase 2.5 will then implement the scaling lessons learned to extend CE3’s model into one or two new geographies.

Students participating in entrepreneurial training in Lacor

The cumulative end state of Phases 2 and 2.5 will deliver integrated electricity, ICT and entrepreneurship packages to 10–15 villages, with a corresponding increase in power capacity, ICT connections, and entrepreneurship activity. The next phase of the program will truly be measured by its goal to develop a model where the CE3 program can sustain and grow naturally on its own, creating a blueprint to expand the model to hundreds of sites throughout Africa and Asia, built on a backbone of entrepreneurship and microeconomies.

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940 Grace Hall University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 (574) 631-2940 globaldevelopment@nd.edu ndigd.nd.edu

The CE3 Project: Phase One Completion Report  

Connectivity, electricity and education for entrepreneurship in Uganda