On Monday, 3rd February 2023, a kick-off meeting for the Growing Rwanda Energy Awareness Through Higher Education (GREATER) project was held at INES-Ruhengeri gathering together over 50 participants from different partner higher learning institutions and universities. Additional participants virtually followed the meeting.
“The GREATER project aims at supporting Rwanda in the energy transition which is needed for sustaining its social and economic growth”, Fr.Dr. Jean Bosco Baribeshya, Vice-Chancellor of INES-Ruhengeri said while he was officially opening the meeting. He went on to thank all partners in the implementation of the GREATER project and wished them a fruitful meeting.
The project has been funded in the ERASMUS+ European framework, under the 2022 Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) call. The project will be implemented under four Rwandan Institutions: INES-Ruhengeri, Rwanda Polytechnic, the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB) and the University of Rwanda (UR). It will be also implemented under the European ones: University of Parma (Italy), National Research Council (Italy), Hochschule Niederrhein (Germany) and Hochshule Bonn Rhein-Sieg (Germany).
The GREATER project will have a three years- duration with an expected contribution from European Union up to 800 000 Euros. Nine associated partners will support the project including the Rwandan Ministry of Education and main national companies active in the energy development market.
The core activity will result in the design of eight new or renewed curricula in the field of smart and green energy. Besides, new lab facilities at Rwandan partner Institutions, training will be based also on the innovative introduction of a network of four “Living Labs”.
“Living labs will be real-life locations, accessible to local communities and hosting different activities, which will be equipped with smart renewable –energy power stations”, Prof. Paolo Ciampolini said while he was presenting the rationale of GREATER project.
Prof. Paolo Ciampolini, Project Coordinator presenting the rationale of GREATER project (Photo/Vedaste)
On one side, living labs will allow students to experience in a realistic environment. On the other side, living labs will provide a strategic hub for community engagement, allowing local population to get in touch and familiarize with green technologies.
“This project comes at the right time because it will help us to achieve our target in terms of energy”, mentioned Ferdinand Karake, on behalf of the Governor of Northern Province.
“Northern Province is also ready to help in achieving the results of this important project”, Karake added.
Participants from different partner higher learning institutions and universities attended the meeting (Photo/Vedaste)
In fact, a full range of representative stakeholders will be enclosed in all design activities since earlier phases, through a collaborative design thinking procedure. This will ensure project outcomes are consistent with community needs and experiences in terms of educational goals, better employability, and socio-economic benefits from the project.