Electrification, a lever of international integration and education | EDF Group Foundation

Philippe Rouanet, Head of International Sponsorship at the EDF Group Foundation © Christel Sasso Capa Pictures

Philippe Rouanet, Head of International Sponsorship at the EDF Group Foundation © Christel Sasso Capa Pictures

  • Hi Philippe, can you introduce yourself?

An engineer by education, I have been managing the Foundation's international patronage since the beginning of the year. I have held several positions within the EDF Group, particularly for international development and many in Corsica and Overseas Countries (SEI). I am enthusiastic about joining the Foundation to launch the international dimension of its new mandate. We are a team of 4 people, fully dedicated to instructions and monitoring numerous proposed projects.

  • The foundation begins a new mandate. What is his international ambition?

The Foundation's international activity is not new, it dates back to 2013. Until now, it has been mainly characterized by the electrification of installations that offer common services (schools, clinics, water supply, etc.) in developing countries.

As part of our new mandate, our areas of intervention become the same as in France: education, training and eco-citizenship, a lever of integration and action. And when it makes sense, we will be able to direct cultural actions that are levers for collective construction. Each project must respond to real local needs, and our support must have permanent added value.

In fact, since the issue of access to education has not been resolved in many countries, this is where our priority is, starting with access to electricity. Therefore, we will intervene more concretely on projects that, thanks to electricity, will help people far from the usual structures of education and employment. This puts us in the place where we do business in the long term and additionally contributes to our policy of developing the autonomy of the user population.

We also promote economic development, with projects where education and vocational training will generate income for the local population while respecting the environment. For example, training users to develop and maintain renewable energy facilities promotes self-sustainable development. In the same dynamic, we support training activities in agroecology.

  • How do you choose your intervention countries?

Due to the impact, i.e. the effectiveness of our actions, we plan to focus again on a small number of countries: long-term action also implies a better integration of the ecosystem in which we operate. We give preference to countries where the Group is present, which enables us to mobilize employees locally

  • Specifically, what is the nature of your support?

Our first support, with help in defining the project in its electrification dimension when it exists, is financial support. We support between 30 and 40 projects per year for an annual amount of around 2 million euros.

Thanks to the help of 250 volunteers, these employees of the Group (EDF, ENEDIS, Dalkia, EDF Renewables) trained by the Foundation, the supported associations benefit from support in designing, teaching and implementing projects. In 2023, these volunteers donated a total of almost 500 days to projects supported by the Foundation.

  • The first international selection committee has just confirmed support for 15 projects. How are they trained and selected?

All projects are proposed by French associations that have local contacts with the user population. This system guarantees that our funding, which is always linked to the funding of other foundations or development organizations (UNICEF, AFD, etc.), meets the needs that come “from the ground”.

The foundation ensures their consistency with the new mandate and engages in exchanges with the association to guide, challenge and sometimes specifically modify the project to ensure its sustainability. In most cases, an on-site mission is required: it allows you to meet the actors who implement the project or who will be the users, to go to the planned installation sites when there are any, to confirm assumptions about the size, and sometimes simply the reality of the conditions described on paper.

During this selection commission, we confirmed about fifteen projects in 9 countries. Now a new phase is opening: the implementation phase, for which we will carefully monitor the implementation of the projects and for which we will ask our fellow employees to participate in it. field lend a hand!

New international projects supported by the Foundation

  • Happy feet cultural and training program in Cape Town, South Africa – with For my planet
  • Electrification of a vocational school in Addo, South Africa – with shared knowledge
  • Electrification of a primary school under construction in Kossihoe, Togo – with AGIRabcd
  • Electrification of an integration center for orphans in Lomé, Togo – with MAREM
  • Farmer training on the island of Flores in Indonesia and environmental education of the local population – with Cœur de Forêt
  • Electrification of a secondary school in Fierenana, Madagascar – with Electriciens sans frontières
  • Electrification and access to drinking water for an educational center in Mahandraza, Madagascar – with MAD'ENERGIE
  • Access to drinking water through a solar pump for four schools in Rusinga, Kenya – with Electriciens sans frontières
  • Solar electricity installation and training at Boystown School in Kikombo, Tanzania – with Energies sans frontiers
  • Electrification of schools in Dimbola and Bandafassi in Senegal – with Energy without borders
  • Project development training in Aga Ndimack, Senegal – with Yes Academy
  • Electrification of two schools and a workshop for shea processing in Noubo, Senegal – with ARKD
  • Electrification of secondary schools in Péréré and Kéro in Benin – with Sompekids
  • Construction of a beekeeper training center in Kikuletwa, Tanzania – with Terre O Vent
  • Training for the rational and sustainable use of wetlands in Luang Prabang, Laos – with GRET

Leave a Comment