Kampala — A NEW programme, Master of Science in Renewable Energy, has been introduced at Makerere University Faculty of Technology. The the two-year programme will run concurrently at Makerere and Dar-es-Salaam universities.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) are sponsoring the 14 pioneer students, 10 of whom are Ugandans and the rest from Ethiopia and Malawi.
Undergraduate students with physics, mathematics and engineering background are eligible for the programme involving other universities from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Malawi.
Students can specialise in any of the five areas of renewable energy.
The launch of the programme comes at a time when power crisis continues to hinder the country's development.
The programme is meant to build the required local capacity to look into the available renewable energy options, thus reducing rampant environmental degradation due to over dependence on fossil fuels.
"This is the most relevant programme today if we want to develop," said Dr. Izael da Silva, the director of the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation.
Bjorg Leite, the Norwegian ambassador and Reinhard Buchholz, the German ambassador, were optimistic that the programme would increase knowledge and experience and bridge the gap between energy needs of the country and home-bred specialists.
Leite said the Norwegian agency will continue sponsoring 10 students per year until 2010, by which time the programme should be sustainable.
Dr. Albert Rugumayo, the director of the Electricity for Rural Transformation Programme in the Ministry Energy, urged the beneficiaries to be innovative and exemplary.
He added that Uganda has developed a renewable energy policy, but lacked implementers.