Rome/Pretoria, 4th of May – Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa Foundation (RES4Africa) and the University of Pretoria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation and partnership in sharing knowledge, building networks, and cooperating on capacity-building initiatives, studies and dissemination of events of mutual interest. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to drive sustainable development for resilient economies in South Africa.
Following one of the most intense periods of load-shedding in the country’s history and the consequent declaration of a state of disaster, South Africa is now seeking to fundamentally transform its electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security. It aims to accomplish this by boosting private investment, adding new capacity from renewables, introducing battery storage systems, and implementing other complementary strategies. This renewed political will has put wind in the sails of efforts to overcome the load-shedding crisis in a sustainable manner, strongly based on the adoption of renewables. Enabling such wide uptake of renewable energy while ensuring that the socio-economic development imperatives of the Just Energy Transition are met requires concerted efforts and extensive collaboration.
Through this MoU, RES4Africa and the University of Pretoria aim to contribute to these efforts by collaborating on promoting capacity building activities in order to enhance the country's human capital. In particular, the MoU focuses on establishing a framework of cooperation for the two parties, to jointly undertake training initiatives, studies, programmes and projects, as well as implementing outreach and advocacy activities to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy in South Africa.
"Collaboration is key to drive sustainable development and achieving resilient economies in South Africa and across the continent", commented Roberto Vigotti, RES4Africa Secretary General, "the commitment of RES4Africa and the University of Pretoria to exchange knowledge and to undertake joint capacity building initiatives is a shining example of the power of partnership in promoting the transition to renewable energy sources".
Moreover Prof. Raji Naidoo, Professor and Director of Smart Grid Research at the University of Pretoria, said that “The University of Pretoria is committed to driving sustainable development in Africa, and we believe that this partnership with RES4Africa will allow us to contribute towards this goal in a significant way. We look forward to working together to promote renewable energy and to support the development of Africa's energy sector”.