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EU, ECOWAS launch scholarship programme on sustainable energy for West Africans

The European Union, in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has launched a scholarship programme on sustainable energy, aimed a building the capacity of young professionals in the West African energy sector and part of efforts to ensure access to clean, sustainable energy.

The European Union is offering fully funded Masters’ degrees in a variety of sustainable energy courses at nine specialised universities in Nigeria, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Togo.

The selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) include; Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Nigeria Nsukka, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), Ecole Polytechnique de Thies (Senegal), Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), and Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Ivory Coast), Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs Universite de Lome (Togo), and Universidade de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde).

Speaking at the launch of the programme at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, head of cooperation, EU delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, disclosed that the EU planning to allocate €600 million of grants funding in the sustainable energy sector in West Africa alone.

“As demonstrated by this programme, the EU is also available to support the human capital development accompanying this transition,” Tassin-Pelzer added.

The British Council has been appointed as the implementing partner for the scholarship. Speaking on this development, Lucy Pearson, Country Director, British Council Nigeria and West Africa Cluster Lead said, “The British Council will leverage our extensive experience in scholarship management and Higher Education institution partnerships across Sub-Saharan Africa to ensure a successful programme and outcomes.”

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“We are particularly excited that the overall objective of the EU for this programme complements the long-standing work of the British Council to enhance human capital development by improving access to high-quality training, skills development and employability for young people in West Africa,” Pearson added.

Alex Lamber, country director for the British Council in Senegal and senior responsible officer for the scholarship programme, said nine higher education institutions were selected, taking into cognisance course curriculum, infrastructure and ability to receive foreign students.

Lamber explained that the opportunity is open to all the citizens who have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy and environment (including renewable energy and energy efficiency), law, economics, finance and planning, adding that special consideration will be given to female applicants.

Dabire Bayaornibe, director of Energy and Mines, ECOWAS Commission, also noted that the supply of sustainable energy, which is available and accessible to all, is critical to the development of the West African region.

“To this end, we must attract the best skills in the energy sector to contribute to the achievement of this objective,” he said.

Applications to universities in Nigeria, Senegal, and Cape Verde are open until November 29, 2022, at 18.00 WAT.