CAPE TOWN - Wits Business School recently launched the African Energy Leadership Centre which is aimed at addressing energy shortages and skills paucity in Africa.
The school says the centre is the first of its kind in Africa and is presumed to have positive contribution towards the economic growth of the continent.
Deputy vice-chancellor of research and postgraduate affairs at Wits, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi said, "Africa has vast untapped energy potential and will be one of the fastest growing regions for power demand in the next decade. And yet the region’s development is hampered by energy shortages".
Newly-appointed director of the ELC, Dr. Rod Crompton notes that there's a scarce skills crisis in the energy sector which must be addressed.
"The energy workforce is aging, and fewer young skilled workers are entering the industry as access to energy training and education is limited. In fact, many have to go overseas to receive training which is very costly," he said.
According to Crompton, the ELC will offer both a Postgraduate Diploma and a Master’s degree in Energy Leadership, as well as executive education short courses and seminars.
The Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) - a funding partner, said that it hopes for a long and mutually beneficial partnership towards transformation of African energy.
Executive Manager at CHIETA, Raakshani Sing said, "Wits Business School is in line with our mandate to provide world class education and training in the energy and chemicals sectors".
The centre also looks at engaging with historically disadvantaged research universities across Africa.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE