The Commissioner for Innovation, Green Hydrogen at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Dr. Stefan Kaufmann has emphasized WASCAL is in a pole position to transform the West African energy sector through a cleaner and cheaper means of green hydrogen.
He was speaking at the official launch of the international master’s programme in energy and green hydrogen technology in Niamey, Niger.
“With green hydrogen, WASCAL is taking up a mega topic of the future, not only for research and education. Many hopes are associated with it. Hardly a day goes by without reports about green hydrogen. And this from all over the world. Green hydrogen has the chance to become the oil and gas of the future. It is a game changer for the future global energy supply. Wind, solar and water are becoming geopolitical factors” he said.
Dr. Kaufmann also stated that the world was a trajectory to experiencing the dawn of energy transition, with the role of Africa, very key.
“We are at the beginning of a huge energy transition. Africa could become a new global player in the emerging green energy market. This is a historic opportunity and challenge. It brings along new opportunities for a better global climate, but more importantly, for Africa’s sustainable development.
He further expressed delight at the partnerships between West African and German partners, including West African universities, the well-known RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich from Germany.
The exciting prospect of the programme is the integration of other excellent universities and research institutions as well as practitioners and experts from corporate bodies, politics and civil society into the curriculum.
He urged all the WASCAL scholars to become ambassadors of the Green Hydrogen in Africa.
“Each of you is now an ambassador for a green energy supply for the continent and the countries you come from. You have it in your own hands to design and shape this future. You are the architects of a sustainable energy system for Africa. That is both a responsibility and a privilege” he said.
The international master’s programme has been couched to prepare the next generation of leaders to tackle the energy challenges of adaptation and resilience to Climate Change in West Africa. The programme equally allows for a comprehensive analysis of contemporary energy infrastructures, policies and practices in a Changing Climate world and the search for sustainable solutions in West Africa.
The two-year IMP-EGH master‘s programme, established by WASCAL together with its German partners, has been developed based on existing WASCAL graduate studies programmes. Through the programme, the project partners aim to train students on the basis of international standards and best practices, covering the entire value chain for green hydrogen – from production and storage to utilization. Four countries, namely, Senegal, Togo, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire are currently the host countries of the programme, with 60 young West Africans offered full scholarships.
Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University provide support in teaching and supervising students through online tools and on-site visits. In addition, students will spend a semester in Germany to gain practical experience and write their master‘s thesis.