Futur-e is making itself known in Africa as the new paradigm in the transition towards clean energy. Marco Fragale, the project’s leader, presented it to the 34 students (including those in doctoral and master’s programmes) – taking part in the advanced training programme, Open Africa Power, which was created by the Enel Foundation in partnership with African and Italian academic institutions.
The course covers a range of subjects – from engineering to economy, from law to computer science – which are all necessary to the development of a new generation of leaders in Africa dedicated to a sustainable energy future. Fragale emphasised various aspects of the Enel project: the new, environmentally sustainable approach of business, the principles of circular economy it is based on, the connection with the local area, the system of published tenders and the call for the projects.
At a time when several African countries, including Kenya, are still developing projects for fossil fuel power plants, the prospective offered by Futur-e prompted the students to compare the European scenario, where thermoelectric plants are being dismantled and renewable energy is rapidly advancing, and the energy transition on-going on the African continent.
A holistic vision of the present challenges in the energy sector which fit perfectly with the aims of the course, contributing to consolidate the technical, business and legal knowledge of people who work in the public and private sectors.
During the first week, the participants – from nine countries on the continent – studied the electricity industry worldwide from the perspective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the help of Enel experts, like Fragale, who shared their experiences with the students. Various workshops saw the participation of local leaders from industry, institutions and the non-profit sector and involved the students in a dialogue about the issues relative to the future of clean energy in Africa.
In June, the top students will come to Italy for a two-week intensive training course, where they will gain first-hand experience of the innovation and technology used in the production of electricity in the Enel power plants and discuss energy issues with institutional and academic leaders. This is knowledge that they will then take back home to transfer to new students, transforming Open Africa Power into a continuous training platform.