Modern energy access acts as a catalyst for development. It connects economic growth with social equity and environmental sustainability which are important Millennium Development Goals. However, the vast majority of sub-Saharan Africans lack access to affordable clean energy and critical energy services. The sub-region also lacks the critical mass of highly skilled professionals, with specialized knowledge in engineering and technology (especially in power systems and in electrical engineering) that is required to generate the innovations needed to boost productivity in the energy sector.
This presents a significant challenge that requires sustained efforts to train highly skilled energy professionals, policymakers and practitioners, who will apply research towards the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions for the critical/priority sectors of the economy in the sub-region.