BY RENNENCE BILLIATI AND JOEL PHIRI
Mzuzu University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka says the University is committed to Malawi’s development agenda through training which provides solutions to some of the challenges the country is facing.
Professor Saka made the remarks on February 20, 2023, during the opening of a training workshop organized by the Test and Training Centre for Renewable Energy Technologies (TCRET) which is under the Faculty of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
“The development of energy systems is reliable towards meeting the user’s energy needs in a more sustainable way. It has been observed that the energy sector, especially the electricity industry in Malawi, is besieged with numerous challenges,” he said.
Saka said that education that does not change people’s lives for the better is a useless education.
“Education must be seen as an investment and there should be a value attached to it. The training will specifically provide you with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for the development of a reliable and sustainable energy system.
“At the end of the training, participants will have understood what renewable energy is, and how it can be developed, improved, and applied in real-life conditions for economic and social benefit. You should also be able to develop new relations and support the energy systems in the country and supplement the hydro-energy,” Saka said.
Deputy Dean of Faculty Dr. Maxon Chitawo urged more women to participate in such pieces of training.
“The response is impressive but I would urge more women to apply. The training was open to everyone but surprisingly there are no female participants. We are trying to increase women’s participation in the energy sector. It all begins with a change of attitude among female learners who must be encouraged to pursue Science subjects,” he said adding that another training designed for females will take place from March 20-31, 2023 funded by Sheffield University, United Kingdom.
TCRET is a centre of excellence in the Faculty of Science, Technology, and Innovation focussing on hands-on capacity building, research, and consultancy in renewable and sustainable energy technologies. TCRET is strategically set to promote best practices of managing knowledge in renewable and sustainable energy systems, network simulation, skills development, and transfer of expertise internally among the MZUNI staff and externally with personnel in the government line ministries, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), supporting partner institutions and other stakeholders.
TCRET, established in 2003 by the Government of Malawi, was a subcomponent of the Barrier Removal to Renewable Energy in Malawi (BARREM) Project, which was implemented by the Department of Energy Affairs (DoE) in the then Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, now Ministry of Energy (MoE) from 2001 to 2006.
The mission of TCRET is to provide high-quality training, testing, and complementary services in energy systems through innovative continuance professional development programs, research, and consultancy in Malawi and beyond.