Bonn, 21 December 2016: The development of the Pan African University (PAU) is advancing. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the Algerian PAU Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) with the three years project “Water and energy security for Africa” (WESA). The project is coordinated by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and includes a consortium consisting of PAUWES, the University of Abou Bekr Belkaid in Tlemcen (UoT), the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn and the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences).
PAUWES is one of five hubs of PAU and hosted at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria. PAU was initiated by the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2008 with the objective to promote higher education, science and technology on the African continent at a high academic level. The focus is on the development of post-graduates, PhD-candidates and applied research. The PAU is guided by the vision of an Africa managed by its own citizens and acting as a dynamic force in the international arena. PAU is a broad, integrated system of higher education institutions across the African continent which include the PAU institute on the topic of “Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation” institute in Kenya, the PAU institute on the topic of “Life and Earth Sciences, including Health and Agriculture” in Nigeria, the PAU institute on the topic of “Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences” in Cameroon and the PAU institute on the topic of “Space Sciences” in South Africa.
The project – “Water and Energy Security in Africa (WESA)” , funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), aims to support the development of PAUWES by enhancing its research activities in water and energy sciences.
Prof. Jakob Rhyner, Director of UNU-EHS, expressed his enthusiasm about the project: “The present consortium had successfully collaborated during the last two years in projects funded by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with the focus on education at PAUWES, and I´m confident that we’ll be able to make another important step together for the development of the research agenda.”
The project WESA focuses on the development of innovative research, adapted to local contexts and applicable in the areas of water and energy security in Africa. It is the first step towards the implementation of a research agenda at PAUWES and at the same time offers several PAUWES graduates the opportunity to conduct PhD studies. Support of young scientists plays a central role in the PAUWES research agenda with the goal to develop and implement scientific results.
Besides the institutional and scientific objectives, the integration of PAUWES into scientific networks and the establishment of PAUWES as Pan-African (and beyond) hub/platform in the topic of Energy, Water and Climate Change is an important objective of the WESA project.
The project started on 1 November 2016. Besides the remote collaboration, a first technical meeting took place in Tlemcen on 21 November 2016 and the kick off meeting will be held in January 2017.
Prof. Zerga, director of PAUWES, says on the project: “This project provides a new bridge for linking German and African higher education Institutions in order to enhance water an energy security in Africa. Also, it strengthens the trilateral cooperation involving Germany, Algeria and the African union to equip the African continent with potential and qualified human resources to address the water and energy security challenges and to tackle some of the burning issues linked to the nexus energy-water-climate change”
The BMBF supports PAUWES in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The BMZ and BMBF divide their support in a complementary manner. While the BMZ and the implementing organizations GIZ and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are mainly supporting the development of Master degree courses and general management structures, the BMBF contributes to the development of research activities at PAUWES.
Find out more about the WESA (http://ehs.unu.edu/research/water-and-energy-security-for-africa-wesa.html#outline)