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Summer Schools on "Sustainable Energetics for Africa (SE4A)"

Heads: Prof. Dr. Michael Düren, Prof. Dr. Daniel Egbe
Funded by: The Volkswagen Foundation

1        First Summer School at Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement (2ie) in Ouagadoudou, Burkina Faso

In February and March 2017, 61 lecturers and students came together at the 2ie in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to discuss about sustainable solutions for West Africa in terms of energetics. Accordingly, emphasis was put on the African energy situation and finding solutions to both the lack of energy and the resulting environmental problems. To address these research topics, an interactive and interdisciplinary approach was taken. Focusing on West Africa, students of Masters, PhD and Postdoc-level originating and studying in different African countries attended the school. In accordance with ANSOLE´s goal of exchange between experts, also the speakers came from various countries both in Africa and Europe.

Besides a high gain in knowledge, the summer school in Ouagadougou provided a platform for networking between researchers and students in Western Africa and Europe. Both the program but also the leisure time and breaks offered possibilities of exchange between participants among each other and between lecturers.

School 1 of “SE4A” further managed to successfully link science and politics. Hence, the Burkinabé Minister of Energetics Professor Dissa assured to stay in close contact with ANSOLE e.V. in future. Furthermore, Prof. Daniel A.M. Egbe was invited to a reception held at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ouagadougou, where he introduced both ANSOLE e.V., its partners and the summer school to the German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller.

2        Second Summer School at the Institute of Excellence, Yaounde and University of Buea, Cameroun

In July and August 2017, the project team successfully held its second summer school at the PKFokam Institute of Excellence in Yaoundé and at the University of Buea.

Participants consisted of students, professors, entrepreneurs, politicians and representatives of several institutions from different parts of Africa and Europe. With the aim to spend one week of reflection, sharing, and finding proposals of solutions on issues related to “Sustainable Energetics for Africa” (SE4A), also lectures were given related to different aspects of renewable energies whereas several focused on enhancing sustainable energy sources in rural areas, especially in Africa.

The focus of the conference was to discuss transition methods from “renewable” to “sustainable” energy sectors in Africa. Besides transgenerational long time aspects, also economic and social conditions played a fundamental part in finding solution on how to support this change. Furthermore central topics such as the investigation of resources as well as the regional demand and consumption both suited to be transformed much better than the purely technical topic “resources”, which is commonly meant in discussions of “energy”. In addition, the energy nexus (i.e. the interlinkages of conventional energy, renewable energy, water, environment, food security, development, and climate change mitigation) was discussed in school 2. Adding interactive methods to give understandings of e-learning to facilitate education and research in sustainable energetics, the conference provided an ideal learning environment for all 65 participants from 18 nations.

The schedule included 4 days of lectures and poster presentations, a guided tour to the experimental facilities of the Institute, practical sessions at the University pf Buea, a rehearsal of a piece on Theater for Development (TFD) and discussions on energy scenario in 2050 under the leadership of Prof. Dieter Meissner. During the 1.5 days of practical sessions, 9 groups of students rotated through 9 experimental platforms namely, outdoor wind station, indoor wind station, hydroelectric station, outdoor solar energy station, indoor solar energy station, a PLC control system for load and battery, labview simulation of a hybrid solar-mini hydro system, solar thermal station, and indoor hydrogen station at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the University of Buea.