Annual ReRED project meeting, WGCFNR, HU

Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resource, Hawassa University, has organized annual ReRED project meeting at Hawassa Lewi Hotel.

Dr. Samuel Bekele, Dean of the college, said in his welcoming note that Ethiopia has a long history of using fire wood for cooking and other activities which is very problematic as it causes deforestation, forest cleaning and negative health impacts. Hence, working on renewable energy crucial to overcome those problems. He pointed out that “capacity Building in renewable energy research and education” is one of the collaboration projects of Norwegian university of Life Sciences (NMBU), Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resource (Hawassa University) and Dilla University, contributing significantly in this regard.

Dr. Tafesse Matewos, Vice president for Research and Technology Transfer of HU, said in his opening speech that HU has identified five thematic areas of priority as one of the eight research universities in Ethiopia, geared to become one of the top ten premier universities in Africa by 2030. Dr. Tafesse underscored that the university is determined to realize this vision by allocating appropriate resources to those thematic areas and working with local and international partners in line with the national policies of HEIs. He stressed that collaborative projects like ReRED are quite essential in this regard, so he extended his gratitude to the esteemed international partners for their unwavering commitment and support that enabled HU to accomplish its mandates.

Dr. Shimelis Negatu , ReRED project coordinator, on his part stated during his presentation that the main goal of ReRED project is enabling the south partner institutions to contribute their part in the efforts being undertaken by the Ethiopian government in improving renewable energy production, utilization and management. He added that the project mainly entails building human capacity and creating suitable infrastructure for standard research, education and technical training to university students, staff and relevant stake holders. Dr. Shimelis mentioned that the project has created capacity building schemes, so 2 postdoctoral fellowships for WGCFNR staff, 6 PhD and 25 MSc graduate scholarship in the area of renewable energy resources, and capacity building trainings for relevant stakeholders engaged on installation and maintenance of selected energy technologies have been provided so far.

Finally project leaders from NMBU and Dilla university also presented their respective major activities and progress reports followed by reflections by the audience before the meeting was concluded on the major activities of the ReRED projects.

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