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Renewable Energy Master's Programme at University of Zimbabwe

Renewable Energy Master's Programme at University of Zimbabwe

Students at the campus in Africa

State 

completed

Date 

1 July, 2015 to 31 March, 2018

Country 

Zimbabwe

Region 

Southern Africa

Summary

Zimbabwe’s energy sector is characterised by low access to electricity in rural areas, often unsustainable use of energy sources, unreliability of power generation and financial constraints to importing electricity. The country however has a huge potential for renewable energy sources, especially solar PV and water heating, biogas, and hydro power. Thus only about 60% of the country’s installed capacity is available. In October 2013, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) was commissioned by the government to develop a feed-in tariff policy for the country, in order to boost greater private sector power generation from renewable energy sources. Zimbabwe’s renewable energy ambitions, paired with a strong need for skilled labour and renewable energy experts by industry, indicate growing demand for higher education on renewable energy in the country.

Following a stakeholder workshop on Higher Education for Renewable Energy in Africa, the EUEI PDF received a request by University of Zimbabwe to support the resuscitation and internationalisation of the Renewable Energy Master, under the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP). With a tradition of almost 20 years, the Renewable Energy Master’s Programme (REP) at the University of Zimbabwe had been amongst the first academic programmes focussing on renewables on the African continent. The programme started in 1996, but came to a halt in 2012 due to a lack of human and financial resources. In a joint scoping mission with experts from Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam in August 2014, the EUEI PDF analysed support needs and required steps to revitalise the REP at the University of Zimbabwe.

Current challenges for the REP at the University of Zimbabwe include lack of qualified staff, outdated curriculum and laboratory equipment, and a missing link to academic institutions outside the country. Taking into account these challenges, the overall goal of the project is to re-establish a Renewable Energy Master Programme at the University of Zimbabwe. The project implementation will comprise the following activities:

  • Resuscitation and long-term vision development including a strategy for long-term sustainability of the programme
  • Revision of the curriculum, adapted to local market needs and state of technologies
  • Facilitation of private sector cooperation
  • Support the replenishment of laboratory and computer equipment
  • Facilitation of international cooperation with existing academic networks

 The re-established Master Programme is expected to be integrated into an international academic cooperation programme, resulting in joint research, increased staff and student mobility.  The programme will enable highly-qualified graduates to enter the Renewable Energy job market, meeting private sector’s needs for further development of the renewable energy market.

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