During the project implementation it was observed that collaboration between various stakeholders, government, Civil Society Organizations a lot can be achieved in addressing climate disasters and the low knowledge gap that exist in communities as many perpetrators of issues like deforestation lack convincing knowledge of why they should stop the trend of cutting down of trees in forests. During the baseline study conducted in Luangwa District by the Centre for Environment Justice team it was regrettable for one of the traditional leaders to avoid having a conversation with the data collectors simply because he was rushing to inspect a charcoal production project deep in the forest and gave quite an insightful excuse to the team by stating that those in the city are the ones to blame when it comes to the consumption of charcoal as they are the ones demanding for the commodity. That statement from the traditional leader left the CEJ team with only one conclusion that to arrest the issues of deforestation it will require addressing matters on both the buyers and the sellers but there seem to be some connection of utilising alternative energy technologies to replace the dirty technology with clean one. In addition to this, it is also evident the fight for climate change is not just an environmental issue but also an economic issue as peoples livelihood greatly depend on such vices and therefore it needs a realistic pragmatic shift to address the problem from its root other than a casual and theoretical approach.
There are many challenges that affect youths from advocating for Knowledge in the renewable energy industry in Zambia. Most notable ones include the following
There is lack of mentors to enable Youths advocate for the much needed knowledge to improve uptake of renewables by most citizens in the country. There is a lack of accessible and affordable education or training that is relevant, high-quality and meets the needs of industry, especially in rural areas. Many African countries are hampered by a widespread shortage of qualified STEM Trainers and educators as well as (civil, mechanical and electrical) and technicians. An extensive shortage of qualified trainers with these skills has also been identified.
A large proportion of educated youth are trained as auditors, lawyers or finance specialists but they lack the business and leadership skills (such as innovation, strategic planning and communication) needed to further develop the sector.
There is further lack of awareness among youth about opportunities in the clean energy sector and no established pipeline for recruitment.
Arguably one of the top agenda that is affecting youth business participation in scaling up renewable energy projects in communities. During our various interaction with biomass and solar energy for cooking technology companies such as Green Fire Blocks, Solar Treasures Limited and Green Charcoal Briquettes it was evident that the lack of understanding on how to implement sustainable business model to deploy their solutions remained one the greatest challenges for access to financing and ensuring to make their products affordable to clients. This was simply because many of them had strong technical knowledge of how to develop the product and access demand to markets but their solutions where either too high in cost of production and therefore not affordable to many.