ROCA conducted two trainings for Senegalese female technicians on climate-friendly cooling and business creation to fight the huge challenges they face when trying to integrate into the labour market.
The project Refroidissement respectueux de l’Ozone et du Climat en Afrique de l’Ouest et Centrale (ROCA) promotes Green Cooling technologies as well as gender equality. ROCA is co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In cooperation with the Senegalese Agence Nationale de la Maison de l’Outil (ANAMO), the project conducted two trainings in February 2023 for 21 technicians of Senegal’s female Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Association (RENAFF).
The importance of Green Cooling
The women learnt about the latest refrigeration technologies and best practices for their work.
“The training gave us the opportunity to become more skilful as technicians. It was very practical, so we can use it at our places at the local level. Our work will be improved”, said Marème Diop, one of the participants.
The focus lied on energy efficiency and climate-friendly natural refrigerants. As the Director General of ANAMO explained in his discourse during the closing ceremony on 10 March: “The global context of this training is the fight against climate change”.
The sector was responsible for 7% of global emissions in 2021, which is more than three times of the emissions of all air traffic. And the need for cooling is rising. The good news: Emissions can be reduced significantly with energy efficient Green Cooling technologies that use natural refrigerants.
The importance of entrepreneurship training
Another important part of the training were lessons on entrepreneurship. In spite of their diplomas and experiences, women graduates in refrigeration and air conditioning are in a very vulnerable situation professionally. The reason for their precariousness is that in the collective consciousness, technical jobs in the industry are men's jobs and therefore companies are very reluctant to recruit women. Therefore, women desperately turn to other jobs that are associated with women. The bravest ones, however, turn to self-employment in order to be able to exercise the business they are passionate about, which is refrigeration and air conditioning.
“The entrepreneurship training helps us to become more autonomous and not to depend on employers”, said Madame Marème Diop. “However”, she continues, “I hope that also more women will get a chance to get hired and to be paid like men”.
Madame Sokhna Fall, the president of RENAFF, also stressed the need for gender equality in her discourse at the closing ceremony. She also expressed her gratitude for the training:
“You have honoured the Femmes Frigoristes from Senegal and we hope that this will be the beginning of a long cooperation!”