With the International Master’s Program in Energy and Green Hydrogen (IMP-EGH), the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aim to provide local students with the qualifications needed to work in the pioneering field of green hydrogen. 60 students from all 15 ECOWAS countries are registered for the master´s program in West Africa and Germany.
Sub-Saharan Africa harbours enormous potential for the production of green hydrogen using solar and wind energy – in quantities over and above its own requirements. The production of green hydrogen could help to meet local energy requirements and bring in new revenue through exports. If and how the new energy source could become an important driver of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will depend on the availability of specialist know-how within local communities. New technologies and expertise will be needed for the production and use of green hydrogen. While hydrogen technologies can be imported – from countries like Germany, for example – the skilled workers who will use them must be trained locally, in a process known as capacity building. And there is high interest: 900 applications reached the organizers of the project on 60 places to be awarded. The two-year master’s program is offered at four West African universities. However, the students will spend a semester and write their master’s thesis in Germany. Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University are project partners on the German side. During the master´s program the students will learn more about the entire value chain for green hydrogen – from production and storage to utilization. Renewable energies and water availability – requirements for the production of green hydrogen – will also be discussed. At the start of the master´s program, a delegation visited the students in Niger. Political representatives and project participants from the participating countries also met there. They consider Africa to be a global game changer in the energy transition and agree that the partnership in the hydrogen sector could bring benefits for all sides.