AGreenLab, an entrepreneurship program for young people on renewable energies


Launched by People Power Inclusion (PPI) from GROUPE SOS, the AGreenlab program intends to encourage youth to become entrepreneurs in Africa, through incubation and accelerating programs. AGreenlab seeks to build partnerships and develop investments between European and African countries, by establishing strong cooperation with experts in the fields of entrepreneurship, agribusiness and renewable energies.

Let’s meet Assane Seck, Renewable energy Expert in charge of training and coaching for the AGreenLab program.


What is your area of expertise?

The renewable energies are energies that renew themselves fairly quickly. We can take solar energy which produces electricity through photovoltaic panels, wind energy generated by wind turbines, or even geothermal energy, which comes from the subsoil.

Valorizing biomass is important as it provides us, through a process of methanization, biogas – essentially composed of methane gas and carbon dioxide. After the methanization phase, we obtain green fertilizer, which we can use in agricultural production.


What are the stakes of renawable energies in target countries?

In terms of socio-economic stakes, what is striking is the crucial need of universal access to electricity. Without electrical power, development is not something we can consider. In our countries, most cities and rural areas have no access to electricity. Thanks to renewable energies, we can generate electricity to enable people to engage in income generating activities and to improve their kids’ school conditions.

Environmental issues are also adressed with renawable energies, as they contribute to the protection of ecosystems and to the reduction of pollution.

On the other hand, geopolitical stakes are high: each country has to be independent when it comes to energy. There is a significant solar energy potential and biomass resource that can be converted into other types of energies to achieve energy independence.


What is PPI’s approach to address these challenges?

PPI, through the AGreenLab program, supports 99 young people who carry out renewable energy and agribusiness projects. These young entrepreneurs are coached and after nine months, they are provided with customized and innovative funding, according to the development stage of their project. Personally, I provide them with training on renewable energies.

Madagascar : Planète Urgence’s project for the preservation of Tapia forests and support local communities

3 questions with TAPIA project manager

Herizala ANDRIANALISON, TAPIA project manager, works in Madagascar, in the Itasy region. 

Q : What are the challenges in the region?

A: Many people are exploiting forests illegally, to make charcoal, firewood or to increase the size of their fields. As a result, people living nearby the Tapia forests tend to use the forests’ natural resources, and so they destroy them.

Q: Why is it important to preserve Tapia trees?

A: Tapia trees are unique natural resources endemic to Madagascar. So we have decided to protect this natural resource, which is very valuable for the local population of the Itasy region, but also for people across Madagascar.

Q : How do you take impactful actions?

A: Because the Tapia forests’ preservation is such a big challenge, we have implemented a community-based conservation area. In other words, an area which is being protected by the local communities.

We are also working on reforesting, by planting about 1,700,000 trees in damaged areas.

In addition, we are leading awareness-raising actions, which are necessary to promote awareness. Too many people are unaware of climate change, although we are currently facing it.



In Madagascar, we adress environmental challenges


In Madagascar, environmental challenges are already noticeable, as up to 20% of the beaches have been lost as a result of the climate crisis. Besides, local ecosystems are endangered: for instance, endemic species such as the Tapia may cause massive erosion and food insecurity in the future.

The Tapia tree is massively harvested for firewood and charcoal production, which has been the main fuel for households in the capital. On top of this, clearing for food crops along with the progressive removal of Tapia to ease the registering of parcels is still going on.

To adress the issue, Planète Urgence launched the TAPIA project in 2013, which main goal is to restore, protect and reduce sustainably the human pressure on the tapia forest by increasing natural forest cover through reforestation. Another goal of the TAPIA project is to ensure additional incomes for communities through reforestation of wood-energy and honey. The support for income-generating activities through the local and sustainable production and enhancement of non-timber forest products, natural resources from restored and preserved ecosystems. In 2022, Planète Urgence is supported by AFD, which provides them with funding for three years. 


Preserve forests through training and support


To achieve this goal, Planète Urgence carries out capacity building actions to make the community-based organizations even more successful and resilient, so they can operate to preserve the tapia forest in several communes of the ITASY region. Thanks to the project, 500 beneficiaries have been supported and trained by Planète Urgence to implement income-generating activities. Trained to restore the forests’ ecosystem, provide education actions to raise ecological awareness of kids, increase their income from silk production and provide alternative wood energy to stop injuring the Tapia trees, that need to be protected (for example with Acacia wood for energy).

Last but not least, the TAPIA project contribute everyday to give pride and self-confidence to communities creating skills and jobs on their territory while preserving their natural heritage.


GROUPE SOS in Madagascar


In January 2023, GROUPE SOS’ international team set off for Madagascar to meet with the teams of Planète Urgence, PPI and Santé Sud. Madagascar is the second country of intervention for GROUPE SOS, with over a hundred colleagues making the world a better place through impact-driven projects. Therefore, the 2023 Staff Day was naturally held in the region, in Antananarivo. On the agenda: collective intelligence workshops, climate collage and an intervention by Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy, advocating for Madagascar’s unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

In Antananarivo, our international team also had the privilege to engage in-depths discussions with the EU’s Ambassador Isabelle Delattre Burger, Head of cooperation Arnaud Borchard, and their teams. Jean-Marc Borello, Alexandre Lourié, Anna Lanfranchi and Niry Ramaromandray also discussed about the power of green and social entrepreneurs with the French Ambassador Arnaud Guillois, the Health officer Christophe Vanhecke, Head of cooperation Alexandre Magat, as well as the AFD’s director Yves Guicquéro, along with other leaders.


Social and Solidarity Economy is an excellent catalyzer for sustainable development in Madagascar. With social entrepreneurs, let’s build a fairer and better future through meaningful projects and systemic change!