This week the Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) is hosting its Research-2-Practice Forum in Tlemcen, Algeria. Designed for scientists and practitioners alike, it aims to provide a platform for experts active in applied and practice-oriented research in the areas of renewable energy, water and climate security.
“Water and energy really are two elephants in the room of every development project, especially in Africa. If water is not managed well in the future, whatever you do in terms of development likely won’t be successful. At the same time there is great potential for solar power in countries such as Algeria. Technology offers a lot of options and the students at the university are working on exactly that,” says Director Prof. Jakob Rhyner of UNU-EHS, which is the main organizer of the conference.
Rhyner sees the conference as a unique opportunity to build networks and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals or the African Agenda 2063, respectively. Conference participants come from a number of countries and organisations, including universities, but also for example the African Union, African Energy Commission or UNESCO. For the students at PAUWES, the conference will be a great chance to network.
“I would like to encourage the students to really listen to what the practitioners have to say, see what the practice looks like and try to maintain the contacts”, says Rhyner. But he also sees the conference as an opportunity for practitioners to make connections with researchers at the university that may lead to fruitful cooperation.
The conference will fit in with the larger goals of Pan African University’s Institute for Water and Energy Sciences, namely to educate African students on their continent, and to enable them to return to their countries equipped with the most recent knowledge to help address issues regarding water and energy. In the long run, Rhyner would like to see PAUWES continue to evolve and to turn into a top-notch engineering school that attracts students from all over the world. “We, along with our German project partners, are honoured to support this mission.”
The forum is jointly organized by Pan African University (PAU), the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the University Abou Bekr Belkaid in Tlemcen. It is supported by the German Government. Project partners in Germany are the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (ZEF) and the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT).
To learn more about our work with PAUWES, please click here.