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Feasibility of Launching Graduate Programmes on Energy Policy Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


Prof. Wolde-Ghiorgis Woldemariam

Executive Summary

In this Final Report on the feasibility of launching graduate programmes of study on Energy Policy, two masters degree programmes on energy studies have been recommended. These are submitted for consideration by SIDA/AFREPREN, Addis Ababa University (AAU), and Makerere University (MU), respectively. The recommendations are based on findings of study missions, and also on the reflections on draft preparatory reports provided by the reviewer (Dr. Joy Clancy). The two equivalent graduate studies have been proposed as an MSc in Energy Technology Management with Courses in Energy Policy for AAU, and an MA/MSc in Energy Policy with Courses in Energy Technology Management for MU. There are broad options that will suit any aspiring energy specialist in Ethiopia, Uganda and regionally. Successful graduates could be engaged in provisions of energy services as planners, administrators, technologists, researchers and coordinators of energy projects for development and rural transformation. Their contributions will be significant in the fight against extreme and established poverty, nationally and regionally. In a two-year programme of study, interdisciplinary courses with loads of 27-30 credit hours are proposed as foundations for lectures and wide-ranging research activities. There will also be a required thesis output with an equivalent of six-credit hour research work to be completed within the two-year programme of study.  

The MSc in Energy Technology Management with Courses in Energy Policy programme is recommended to be placed under the Energy Centre of Faculty of Technology (FOT) of AAU, despite the Faculty's limited experience in addressing policy issues. (It is of interest to mention here that the Centre was in fact established in 2002 upon the recommendation of the Energy Consultant/Researcher). With support from the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), the FOT can be enabled to offer policy-related courses combined with energy technology management. The aim will be to address policy, economic, technical and management issues related to the critical national energy problem facing the country. It will be necessary to consider the suggested policy-related courses that will serve as the main core fitting five concentration areas as summarized in Annex 3.  The Energy centre of the FOT will thus be a convenient focal point for the proposed programme with inclusions of required Energy Policy courses.  

Based on the findings and conclusions of the mission visit to Makerere University, the MA/MSc in Energy Policy with Courses in Energy Technology Management is also proposed for MU. From the mission study, it is seen that the Energy Policy of the ERDC of Cape Town University will need to be redesigned or remodelled to accommodate the recommendations made by the AFREPREN Steering Committee by widening admission opportunities. Additionally, it is proposed that the programme be made as near as possible to the one proposed for AAU. This will mean that the policy courses will need to be supplemented by three to four energy technology management courses. However, before the implementation of the graduate programme, a significant amount of preparatory work will need to be undertaken by both Makerere University and SIDA/AFREPREN to resolve the gaps in the current programme being offered in Cape Town University. Starting from the goals and scope of the envisioned redesigned programme, appropriate corrections will have to be made.  Then the viability and course contents of the programme will need to be formally and directly discussed with the MU, although the Faculty of Technology again appeared to consider options similar to those of the FOT of AAU. However unlike in the case of the FBE of AAU, there appeared a basic interest of the Institute of Economics in the programme. It is therefore foreseen that more priority will need to be given to a suitable mix of courses covering policy, economics, energy technology management and different financing schemes.  Final decisions will then have to be made as to how and where the programme of study can be centred, i.e. within the FOT of MU, or in a new centre similar to that of AAU.  Summary of the findings of the Mission Visit to MU are also given in Annex 4. 

Very likely, it will be found advisable to learn from the experiences of the EDRC at Cape Town University, and the Technology Institute in South East Asia, Bangkok, Thailand. Other references for comparison will be Energy Study Centres in North American, European, Indian and Chinese Universities. In Ethiopia, research activities will naturally be determined by energy needs in line with the Agriculture Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) strategy of the country. Again, it is believed that the envisaged programme can significantly benefit from experiences gained in other institutions with similar programmes of study. As indicated earlier, to complete an MSc, a system of ‘credits' is used in the AAU graduate programmes of study. Thus the total number of credit hours can be placed between 27 and 36, i.e. including 6 credit hours for the thesis work. An evaluation arrangement should be compared with the practice used at the EDRC in Cape Town University. Although it is too early to state its feasibility, a graduate diploma course on energy Policy or Technology Management could also be recommended. Basic curricula are outlined to include courses that can be offered at either University. The basic, core and elective courses have been identified from surveys of graduate programmes on energy policy and development as offered in established programmes in North American Universities. It is possible that similar courses are being offered in the ERDC of Cape Town University. Each curriculum will need to be checked in the final formulations of the proposed Energy programmes for AAU and MU, respectively.  

Candidates with backgrounds in the engineering, social and natural sciences will be eligible for the proposed graduate studies. The basic requirement will preferably be a working experience and a minimum academic ability with an energy orientation. This should be illustrated by knowledge of basic energy problems and/or experience of work with public, private and non-governmental organizations. It is believed that the proposed programmes could also be of interest to recent graduates seeking to increase their knowledge and skill bases. Both programmes of study will be open to national and international students and English will be the medium of instruction and research work. In the case of AAU, no serious difficulties are foreseen in securing entry visas by international students. Possibly, the same situation will also apply to MU, subject to the University’s regulations. 

Admission requirements, application procedures and administrative arrangements will also need to be formally defined so as to make them applicable to all candidates/applicants as regular students. Recruitments of core teaching staff members may have to be made on competitive basis from within and outside the University. Financing and budgetary supports for initiating and running the programme will need to be appraised, approved and planned by the donor agencies. Suggestions for immediate steps and actions are also presented in this report. These include Review of Final Recommendations and Adoption of Lessons to be learnt from the Energy Research and Development Centre (ERDC) of Cape Town University. It is also suggested that formal Invitations will need to be extended by AFREPREN to AAU and MU. Arrangements of Visits to AAU and MU by Designated Energy Educators and/or Specialists are also recommended. 

Finally, this report recommends expanding the scope and goals of the proposed Energy Policy graduate programme. This has to be done so that both policy issues and technical aspects of energy are covered in educating a wider group of energy specialists. Possible placements after graduation are also indicated if the launching of the programme in AAU is seriously considered. Similar opportunities will also definitely exist in the Ugandan energy sector. In the end, the Annexes contain the following attachments: (i) TORs for the Mission Study; (ii) Copies of Correspondences; (iii) Summary of First Draft Report on Mission Study on AAU; (iv) Summary of First Draft Report on Mission Study on MU; and (v) Reflections of the External Reviewer on First Draft Reports.

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