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NUL launches M8 million green energy project

Business

Libuseng Molato

In a bid to deliver high-quality education in sustainable energy, the National University of Lesotho’s (NUL) Energy Research Centre (ERC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) has launched a green energy initiative codenamed LETSEMA.

The Low Carbon Economy Transformation through Sustainable Energy Modernisation and Access (LETSEMA) project, aims to increase clean energy generation and energy efficiency, with the ultimate goal of generating employment opportunities in the green energy sector.

The EU, through its flagship programme for capacity-building in higher education, Erasmus+, funded the initiative to the tune of €400 000, which is approximately M8 million.

Other partners in the project are the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), the University of Turku in Finland, and Linnaeus University in Sweden.

“It is a fact that education is capable to accelerate the pace of development globally and solve issues such as poor access to energy. Our youth are innovative and development-oriented,” said NUL’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sola Fajana during the recent project launch.

On her part, the EU ambassador to Lesotho, Paola Amadei said the LETSEMA programme complements the actions that the EU is already involved in in supporting in helping Lesotho translate into reality the vision of sustainable access for all, to clean energy and energy independence.

“In the present budget speech the commitment was made that Lesotho will reach the SDG 7 that is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 2030,” she said.

She added that the programme will strengthen the sustainable energy ecosystem in Lesotho by providing equitable, digital and future-oriented education on sustainable energy that promotes inclusiveness, diversity and creation of green jobs.

“Project activities are focusing on developing management, administration, monitoring and evaluation capacities and improving equitable access to digital and hands-on learning opportunities in the field of sustainable energy.

“This projects crowns all the efforts, over the last years, to make NUL a centre of excellence when it comes to renewable energy research thanks also to the leadership of Professor Nqosa Mahao during his time as Vice-Chancellor,” she added.

Also speaking at the launch, Prof Mahao said the success of the initiative could make Lesotho the first country in the southern region to attain renewable energy self-sufficiency and become an exporter of energy.

Professor Ntoi Rapapa, the Minister of Education and Training said the country is proud and grateful for NUL to have the collaboration with its partners. He said if handled well and with transparency, the LETSEMA programme would attract more funding for NUL.

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