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Education for renewables

Grant: £120k, Royal Academy of Engineering (under the Higher Education Partnerships)
Dates: November 2018 - October 2020 (2 year project)

Principal investigator: Dr Consalva Msigwa (University of Dar-es-Salaam)

Co-investigators: Dr Petros Aristidou (University of Leeds), Professor Bakari Mwinyiwiwa (University of Dar-es-Salaam), Professor Bernard Mpass Mabiala (University of Marien Ngouabi), Ms Mary Susan Abbo (Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation at Makerere University)


Access to electricity is directly correlated to higher economic activity, better access to education, and improved healthcare (UN, Human Development Report 2010). However, only 67.5% of the population has access to electricity with the rural areas at just 49.3% (Tanzania Energy Access Situation 2016 report).

Through University of Dar-es-Salaam’s (DIT) ongoing research projects in sustainable energy and long-standing collaborations (with local industries, NGOs and the government utility), we have identified that the lack of engineering expertise and knowledge in the local workforce is one of the main reasons hindering sustainable energy development (slower adoption of new technologies, higher installation, operation and maintenance costs, etc.).

This project will tackle this problem by establishing the Renewable Energy Technology Centre (RETC). The institute will design and implement a sustainable energy education and capacity building programme that will directly benefit students, academic staff and renewable energy industry at a local and regional level. The centre will provide graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to start their own business (SME) or be employed immediately by industry.


The outcomes of the project target the professional development of our graduate students and academic staff, as well as the general upgrade of the RE-engineering capacity in Tanzania and the region.

In the short-term, this will enhance the employability of graduates and reduce the training costs for industry. In the mid-term, the highly trained workforce will gradually help reduce the associated costs of renewables. Finally, in the long-term, it will accelerate the electrification in Tanzania and the region.


  1. Complete 6 secondments of University of Dar-es-Salaam academic staff to industrial partners to identify the gaps in the teaching curriculum and to record best practices
  2. Conduct applied training to at least 60 students (EE and RET students) from DIT and other local universities. This will involve industrial partners teaching part of the course
  3. Organise one RE business and technology incubator for 50 final year students in EE and RET co-developed with partners from the SME company REX-Energy and the NGO TaTEDO
  4. Organise one “DIT-Industry Renewable Energy forum” to disseminate knowledge
  5. Organise two dissemination workshops at the spoke universities


Within five years from the start of the project:

  • The number of graduates employed within six months of graduation in a related field will be more than 90%. This will be monitored again at the end of the project and yearly up to 3 years after the end of the project
  • The cost of training for industries will be reduced by at least 20% due to the better-skilled graduate engineers. A baseline will be made at the beginning of the project and monitored yearly until year 5
  • The number of start-ups in the area of RE technologies from graduates of DIT will double. A registry of the companies will be made, and comparison before/after the business incubator program will be performed

Within ten years from the start of the project:

  • The cost of RE projects relating to the workforce will decrease. Better-skilled engineers and SME owners will drive down the price by using best-practices, new low-cost technologies, better planning, manufacturing, operation, and maintenance techniques (fewer outages and project mistakes). The NGO TaTEDO will support in identifying the current cost and monitoring in 5-10 years. TANESCO will also provide access to records concerning commissioning of RE projects and full life-cycle cost
  • The rate of rural electrification in Tanzania will increase by at least 20%. A new benchmark will be assessed at the end of this project and monitored through the annual governmental reports yearly. This project will remove the lack of a skilled workforce as one of the impeding factors in rural electrification.