A consortium headed by the University of Groningen and the Energy Academy Europe (EAE) will spend the next four years working on a project in Mozambique to reinforce the knowledge infrastructure in the area of energy. They will set up programmes at Mozambican knowledge institutes and train Mozambican staff.
The project has been awarded funding of over EUR 4 million and is part of EP Nuffic’s NICHE programme, funded by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. EP Nuffic, the Dutch organization in charge of internationalization in higher education, issued an open tender. The University of Groningen and EAE gathered together a consortium that successfully tendered for the EP Nuffic project.
Mozambique has numerous unexploited gas fields along its coastline, and plenty of potential for sustainable sources of energy, such as biomass, sun and wind. The country however lacks local expertise needed to develop these promising resources and answer complex system questions regarding the optimum mix of energies. This is why the consortium will spend the next four years training professionals to various levels, from senior secondary vocational to postdoctoral. They will be trained in various disciplines, from technology to economics and energy law, all of which are needed to guide the process of energy transition in Mozambique.
One of the main aims is to ensure that the country will eventually be able to train its own professionals. To this end, the project will devise educational programmes in collaboration with three universities and a university of applied science and technology in Mozambique. Various players on the Mozambican energy market will be closely involved, to ensure that the programmes meet demand from the labour market. It is also important to embed the knowledge generated in Mozambique into the country’s infrastructure. One way of doing this is to establish an institute along the lines of the Energy Academy Europe.
This is the EAE’s largest international project since it was established in 2012. As the University of Groningen already has experience in international development projects in the area of higher education, the University will be responsible for project management, while EAE scientific director André Faaij will take on the role of project director.
Two other institutes for undergraduate and postgraduate studies will join the University of Groningen and the EAE on the project. They are Hanze University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Energy Delta Institute (specializing in short-term postgraduate education) are also part of the consortium. The South African Stellenbosch University is acting as a regional partner, while the gas company Gasunie will contribute knowledge from the industry. Additional expertise can be called in when required via the Energy Academy.
The consortium is working with four institutes in Mozambique: the Catholic University of Mozambique, Eduardo Mondlane University and Lúrio University and the Higher Polytechnic Institute of Songo. This ensures contributions from a wide range of educational institutes so that energy-related programmes can be devised at various educational levels. In another four years, Mozambique should be in a position to formulate its own energy policy along professional lines.
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