Botswana International University of Science & Technology - BIUST


BIUST hosted the International Conference on Clean Energy for Sustainable Growth In Developing Countries from September 16th to 18th, 2015 at Majestic Five Hotel in Palapye, Botswana. The Conference was held under the theme “Trends in Energy Service Provision for Sustainable Development.”

BIUST hosted the International Conference on Clean Energy for Sustainable Growth In Developing Countries from September 16th to 18th, 2015 at Majestic Five Hotel in Palapye, Botswana. The Conference was held under the theme “Trends in Energy Service Provision for Sustainable Development.”

Speaking at a press briefing held in Gaborone prior to the conference, the Chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee, Professor M.T. Oladiran, said that energy is not usually emphasised during various stages of projects delivery. “The impact of uncontrolled energy use is manifested in its severe negative impact on the environment, cost, non-availability and non-affordability” adding that when energy provision is not sustainable then health, safety, comfort, productivity, education delivery and the general standard of living are compromised.

Prof. Oladiran noted that “effective clean energy must be planned and introduced pragmatically and energy culture must also be developed and nurtured”. He explained that the objective of the Conference is to bring together professionals, academics, researchers, industrialists and policy-makers engaged in the assessment, design, service provision, mainstreaming and maintenance of clean energy systems with the  expectation that they share knowledge, experiences, practical examples and sustainable practices on the Conference theme.

He envisaged that the Conference will foster links and networks between public and private practitioners and the academe on clean energy issues as well as create opportunities for collaboration on sustainable development of energy projects and services.

In his closing remarks at the press briefing, the Director of the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR), Mr. Kenneth Kerekang, indicated that although Botswana is committed to environmental propriety, “unfortunately in terms of renewables, satisfactory achievements have not been reached yet.” He highlighted that “currently renewables contribute 1 percent to the total energy supply and that with proper planning; they should contribute 15 percent by 2030.

“The government has undertaken several initiatives which include the expression of interest for 100 megawatts,” said Mr Kerekang, adding that the Conference would provide an opportunity for networking, sharing and refining the draft energy policy to be presented to Parliament in November 2015.

When welcoming the delegates during the Official opening of the conference, BIUST Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor J. Cooke explained that “The conference comes at an opportune time for BIUST and its growing research and development commitment to Clean energy production systems.” Professor Cooke said. He noted that the papers that will be presented in areas of renewable energy, waste to heat, biodiesel and biogas, energy efficiency, solar energy, policy and education and environmental sustainability will all help inform and enrich BIUST efforts in promoting Energy scholarships at BIUST.

He stated that he believes that “the outcome from the conference will go a long way in laying a strong foundation for clean energy as a tool for National Development Scientific Research and as multi-disciplinary areas of study.

In a speech delivered on behalf of Honourable Minister, Mr Kitso Mokaila, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources during the conference, the Minister stated that lack of sustainable energy affects all sectors of the economy, adding that the need for Energy cannot be over emphasised in the world we live in today. He commended BIUST for keeping the mandate, direction and the aspirations presented by Batswana in founding the ‘second University’

The delegates were informed that the National Energy Policy has been considered by cabinet, hence will be presented to Parliament and “Once adopted, the Energy policy will pave way to development of sectoral strategies which will guide energy planning and decisions making in regard to the Energy sector”

The Honourable Minister envisaged the discussions of the conference to stimulate more interest and enhance awareness on the significance of the utility provision trough diversification of energy mix in the socio-economic development of Batswana and that of the region.

Professor J.P Meyer from Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria in South Africa stated that “The research into small-scale solar-powered micro-turbines is a new and exciting research field in which Southern African researchers can take the lead in terms of skills development and training” adding that South Africa has one of the best solar resources in the world and this resource is free to use and study for all Southern Africans.

“The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is not immune to issues of energy security and energy access challenges and one way of successfully addressing these challenges is through building effective regional cooperative relations based on common energy concerns” said Mr Wolfgang Moser, Advisor, SADC Energy Division When delivering a message of Goodwill.

SADC representative, Mr Wolfgang Moser, Technical Advisor to the SADC Energy Division stated that one area affecting economic development and growth within the region identified by SADC is the energy crisis, hence the SADC is attempting to address the matter through increasing energy supply and energy access.  “The SADC recognises that energy security can be achieved through regional cooperation.  In partaking in regional cooperation, SADC MS have jointly established a number of legal and policy frameworks and institutions, as well as technical standards to successfully facilitate infrastructure development in the region” he said.

These policy frameworks include the: SADC Energy Protocol, SADC Energy Sector Action Plan, Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Regional Energy Regulators Association (RERA) and most recently the establishment of the Southern African Centre for Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Department of Energy was established to prepare, integrate, coordinate, supervise and control all plans, programmes, projects and activities of the Government of Botswana for issues related to energy exploration, development, utilisation, distribution, while BIUST was established as a research university in science, engineering and technology having several research activities such as in the energy field and related matters based in the College of Engineering and Technology.

Recognising the benefits to be gained through cooperation and exchanges for the purpose of deepening the understanding of scientific, technological, social and economic issues, hence a desire to promote sustainable research activities and professional development as well as enhancing the ethos of each organisation, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding as a common and national interest to enhance their cooperation in scientific areas during the conference.

The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to provide the general framework for cooperation between the participants governing collaborative efforts on projects and activities. The participants will also identify areas of common interests and priorities, in accordance with the availability of funds and other resources.

The Conference attracted several partnerships and sponsors from Government, parastatals and private entities such as the Department of Energy under MMEWR, Botswana Innovation Hub, Botswana Ash, Botswana Development Corporation, Morupule Coal Mine,Wood Logic, ABB, the Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit, Botswana Power Corporation, BCL Mine as well as Debswana Diamond Company mines in Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa.


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