The University of Twente supports energy education in Tanzania
The University of Twente supports educational organizations in Tanzania to enhance their energy education curriculum. The country is desperately short of well-educated people in the energy sector. Recently, large oil and gas reserves were discovered in Tanzania. On April 5th there will be the official launch of the Tanzanian Energy Platform as part of the Tanzanian Dutch Energy Capacity Building (TDECB) project. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania’s vice president, will be in attendance. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and offers economic opportunities for Dutch companies.
The University of Twente Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) manages the TDECB project that is administered by EP-Nuffic on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . The project focuses on training staff, developing education and research programmes, investing in equipment, improving the gender balance and setting up an Energy Platform to enhance collaboration between research and education. The TDECB project offers a solution for the Tanzanian shortage of well-educated people in the energy sector. Recently, large oil and gas reserves were discovered in Tanzania. Robert Hack, project coordinator for the University of Twente says: “Oil and gas are not great for the environment, but are preferable to coal and charcoal, which is what the country is mainly using now”. A poor country such as Tanzania should make clever use of resources such as oil and gas reserves. Tanzania could put the proceeds from these reserves towards renewable energy sources such as solar or geothermal energy.” Geothermal energy offers great potential, and not just for Tanzania. Project director Freek van de Meer says: “If we were able to put the energy potential of geothermal heat to good use around the globe, we could solve the problem caused by CO2 emissions – and halt global warming.”
The University of Twente works together with Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Delft University of Technology and Utrecht University to support the three Tanzanian institutes of higher education with knowledge development in education. The three Tanzanian institutes are: the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and the Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Zanzibar.
Dutch companies are involved in the project at an early stage. Dinand Alkema says, “We need to set up a complete infrastructure in Tanzania. This offers opportunities for various companies in the drilling industry and dredgers and suppliers. This could offer the Netherlands huge economic benefits.”
One important aspect of the TDECB project is setting up an Energy Platform. The Energy Platform will serve as a portal for information about institutes of higher education, research centres, the private sector, government organizations and other important stakeholders in the energy sector. The opening event for the Energy Platform is scheduled to take place on 5 April. The vice president of Tanzania will be present as will CEOs from companies including Shell, Statoil, and British Gas.
About the ITC
The Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) is part of the University of Twente. The ITC offers education and conducts research in the fields of geo-information science and earth observation with an emphasis on applications in developing countries. Students from all over the world come to the ITC to take courses. The goal of the ITC’s activities is to further international knowledge exchange, aimed at capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.