With the “International Master’ s Programme in Energy and Green Hydrogen” (IMP-EGH), Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University want to qualify students in West African countries for the future topic of “green hydrogen”. After a kick-off last October in Niamey/Niger, the official starting signal on the German side has now been given in Jülich. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the two-year course as part of the energy research program “Innovations for the Energy Transition” with eight million euros initially until 2025. 60 students from 15 countries in Africa will be trained on the basis of international standards and best practices.

Jülich and RWTH collaborate within the framework of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) to support the teaching and supervision of the students via online tools and visits to Africa. In addition, the students will spend a semester in Germany to gain practical experience and to write their theses. Four leading West African universities are involved in the implementation: the Université Felix Houphouet Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire), the Université de Lomé (Togo), the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Senegal) and the Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (Niger). The local partner is the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, or WASCAL, in Accra (Ghana).

The new master’s program in West Africa was launched with a ceremony in Niamey in October. Now followed the official launch at the Forschungszentrum. Image: © Forschungszentrum Jülich / Ralf-Uwe Limbach

“I am very pleased that we at Forschungszentrum Jülich can contribute to this master’s program with our expertise in the field of energy research. Hardly anything pays so effectively towards a climate-neutral future as the training of experts who, with knowledge of the individual, regional framework conditions, can establish technologies that enable the value-added use of renewable energy,” said Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, in his opening speech.

West Africa has enormous potential to generate solar and wind energy and produce green hydrogen from it – more than it will need for its own needs. In the future, the continent could export sustainable hydrogen on a large scale, i.e. hydrogen produced with renewable energy. “The joint implementation of the master’s program continues the successful collaboration with our West African partners that already generated the ‘H2 Atlas Africa’ last year. The atlas is a powerful tool that provides guidance to decision-makers from politics and industry on where the enormous socio-economic potential of green hydrogen production in West Africa can be most effectively tapped,” said Marquardt.

Picture: © Forschungszentrum Jülich / Ralf-Uwe Limbach

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the German-African master’s program. Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Innovation Officer “Green Hydrogen” at the BMBF (center), presented the certificates to RWTH Rector Prof. Ulrich Rüdiger (right) and Jülich Chairman of the Board Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt.

The “H2Atlas-Africa” project is coordinated by Jülich scientist Dr. Solomon Agbo. In May 2021, an interactive hydrogen tool was put online as the “centerpiece” that clearly presents the results of the individual regions processed for the network and will be updated as soon as new data are available.

In November 2021, Forschungszentrum Jülich founded the Institute for Sustainable Hydrogen Economy (INW) as the scientific core of the Helmholtz Hydrogen Cluster HC-H2. The cluster is intended to provide impetus in the course of structural change to develop the Rhenish Revier into a hydrogen model region where forward-looking concepts of the hydrogen economy are demonstrated and where new jobs are created.

Further Information:
Shaping the energy supply of the future:
Website “H2Atlas Africa” with the “Hydrogen Tool”:
Pressemitteilung „Helmholtz-Wasserstoffcluster in Jülich nimmt Fahrt auf“ (24. November 2021):
Helmholtz-Cluster HC-H2:

Source: A press release of Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Dr. Solomon Agbo
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Unternehmensentwicklung
Tel.: 0246161-1666

Press contact:
Erhard Zeiss, Pressereferent
Tel.: 02461 61-1841