ENERGISING THE HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM IN AFRICA FOR PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT TAILORED TO LOCAL CONTEXT
ENERGISE action is an Edulink funded project based on the consciousness that the way to reduce poverty and inequality is by long-term sustainable economic growth which addresses equitable income and wealth distribution.
In this vision, access to resources and services are instrumental to assure fundamental human rights, political participation and equity. Affordable, clean and secure availability of energy are therefore mandatory to the process. Increasing access to energy is an opportunity for overcoming the “development divide” and fighting against global poverty as stated by the United Nation Development Program. The “Sustainable Energy for all” initiative promoted by the UN, is driving additional attention on the subject and gives to the international community the opportunity to foster the academic role for contributing to face access to energy in Low Income Countries.
The project target area is energy access and efficiency with a focus on appropriate strategies to achieve secure, affordable, clean and sustainable energy services. Indeed, in developing countries, energy access is very low-slung especially in the rural areas. Also at the level of institution and universities it is often not easy to find experiences and updated competences in the energy field. Therefore one of the leverages to be pulled for promoting solution for access to energy, is the enhancement of HEI’s capacity in promoting energy programs, joint researches and effective networking for local appropriate strategies for energy access. A strong increase of the number, the quality and the right attitude of specialised energy engineers is mandatory to design, implement and maintain appropriate and sustainable solutions for access to energy.
The project ENERGISE aims at enforcing the capacity and the networking of four Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania in delivering market driven and high quality curricula in the energy field. Due to respond to the latest communication on EU Development policy, the project consortium will plan and deliver an innovative curricula in Sustainable Energy Engineering following a defined Quality System accordingly with Bologna and Copenhagen process priorities and under the European qualification framework (EQF) to come up to the need of competences.
The main activities are concentrated on developing and implementing new and joint curricula; regional courses/seminars for competence and capacity building in the HEIs academic staff, dissemination and demonstration of project results and achievement of common methodologies and best practices for curricula upgrading. Networking will be a cross cutting issue facilitating a wide participatory approach, knowledge transfer and long lasting dissemination. Moreover the project aims to enforce local ownership and commitment since at the end of the project the HEI partners will contribute to the empowerment of other ACP HEIs by autonomously planning and organizing a Knowledge Transfer Dedicated Seminar on subject matter lessons and methodology.
The paper will discuss the main objectives of the Project, the expected results after 1.5 years from the kick-off and will deepen a discussion on the main opportunities and barriers faced all along the implementation in the light also of the recent indications given by the Africa – EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).