With the increasing urbanisation of African cities, there is also an increasing demand for energy sufficiency. Energy is also central to the global move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
However, without energy sufficiency, Africa's ability to participate in this revolution will be compromised. With recent United Nations figures indicating that women in Africa are heading households more than ever, energy insecurity will make these women more vulnerable to socio-economic risks.
The launch of the Africa-UK Trilateral Research Chair at Stellenbosch University (SU) aims to minimise these potential risks through new research and evidence-based knowledge on how African cities can improve energy security in poor urban areas.
The launch event took place on Wednesday (10 October 2019) at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in Stellenbosch.
Over the next five years, the Africa-UK Trilateral Research Chair will build research focusing on Mainstreaming Gender for Energy Security in Poor Urban Environments, in short Gender for Energy Security (GENS). This research will be under the leadership of Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango from the School of Public Leadership at SU.
The Trilateral Research Chair is in collaboration with Brunel University London (BUL) and the University of Nairobi (UoN). Working closely with Musango on this research chair is Dr Fabrizio Ceschin from BUL and Dr Amollo Ambole from UoN. The National Research Foundation and the Newton Fund through the British Council will fund the GENS Trilateral Chair.
According to Musango, she hopes the funding will continue beyond the five years, as this research chair will be invaluable to improve the lives of women and those in poor urban areas on the African continent.
“We are very grateful to have funders that are supporting us on this research. We are forging new relationships through these partnerships, which will help secure energy for women in poor environments," said Musango.
The GENS Trilateral Chair will bring together a diverse suite of expertise, including system dynamics, renewable energy policy in African cities, design thinking, design for sustainability and working with urban poor women in Africa through the collaborative partners.
SU's School of Public Leadership will also be hosting a few postgraduate students who will help with developing research for the GENS Trilateral Chair.
According to Prof Johan Burger, Director: School of Public Leadership, this research chair is a huge milestone for the school and helping SU to achieve its Vision 2040 goals.
“We recognise that, given Stellenbosch University's Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019–2024, the University wants to be a leading research intensive university in Africa, globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative where weadvance knowledge in service of society. This is why we are extremely excited about this research chair as it will help with these goals and it is a great research initiative," said Burger.
For more information on the GENS Trilateral Chair, visit https://gens.sun.ac.za/.
In the photo above from left, Dr Fabrizio Ceschin, Dr Amollo Ambole and Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango.
Photo by Anton Jordaan.