The African Development Bank held its annual general meetings in Lusaka, Zambia in May 2016 and I attended this year because the theme “Energy and Climate Change” is important to the SARUA Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development I am coordinating as part of a Higher Education Management Africa team.
While there, I also met with university representatives of the University of Zambia, Mulungushi University and Copperbelt University, to brief them on capacity development workshops SARUA will be holding later in 2016. The aim of these workshops will be to assist lecturers from the SADC region who wish to adapt or offer the Master’s programme in climate change and capacity development a regional university team is busy developing.
Southern African universities are doing as best they can with limited resources, but the continuous lack of funding for higher education presents many challenges. It is necessary to establish Southern-oriented post-graduate research projects in Africa, which can tackle such issues as energy and climate change. In Zambia, with its high dependence on hydro power, climate change induced drought is seriously affecting its generating capacity.
Now that the AfDB has stated its intent to fund infrastructure for energy solutions in Africa, in particular green energy projects, it will hopefully also mean more money will go towards research and policy development funding in SADC. New knowledge is needed in the region and it should come from the region.