Regional students meet in Kigali to discuss energy access in rural areas

A student explains to his peers during a class discussion at the University of Rwanda’s African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development in Kigali yesterday. Photo: Courtesy.

Students from across the region began a meeting in Kigali yesterday to address challenges facing energy accessibility for rural development.

The 65 students from seven countries are meeting at the African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development at University of Rwanda.

According to the organisers, the training is pivotal in connecting research-oriented students and trains to them on how the emerging economic challenges resulting from low rural energy access, poor adoption of energy technologies and poor inter-state energy trading can be self-addressed.

The week-long session will also emphasise on topics related to energy that remain unclear to many, including establishment of wind power plants as an alternative source of energy in Africa, synchronization of Micro-grid power systems, the advancement of pumped hydroelectric storage,

The students will also be addressing a practical knowledge of new technologies for smart grids with an aim of overcoming weakness of conventional electrical grids by using smart net meters and practical uses of off grid systems.

Speaking to The New Times, Aphrodis Nduwamungu, Research Laboratory Engineer at the centre, said the training serves as a platform that links students from the same domain to address challenges facing the energy sector.

He also highlighted that regional students are expected to transfer the knowledge from the training to local communities.

“Students are expected to transfer the acquired skills from the training to their respective communities especially in the rural areas which still have low energy accessibility” he said.

Godiana Hagile Philipo, is among the trainees in this year’s session and a Master’s student at Nelson Mandela University in Tanzania pursuing engineering in renewable energy.

She highlighted that it was a great opportunity to train from such a facility that is fully equipped with the hi-tech equipment.

“It is my first time training from such a facility and it is more or less like field work.” she said.

A day into the training, Philipo expects to discuss issues that will not only be beneficial to the region but Africa as a whole.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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