Are you a writer? Do you want to lend your pen towards creating awareness for sustainable energy, environmental sustainability and climate change in Africa? Then here’s your chance to publish with us!
The International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa) is a youth-led pan-African initiative committed to raising global and multi-stakeholder support for clean energy transition and climate resilience in Africa through a multidisciplinary network of various stakeholders active in sustainable energy, environment, and climate change fields across the globe. ISNAD-Africa is inviting guest authors to submit articles which will be published on our website and circulated widely to our global network.
Guidelines for submissions
The following are required for articles to be published on our page.
Name of author(s)
Profile of author(s): Every article should have a 70-word profile of the author with a standard profile picture
Contact details: E-Mail and social media handle(s) – Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook
Headline or title (less than 20 words): The title should grab the reader’s attention and sum up the main idea of the article.
Feature image: This depicts the main theme of the article and is visible when shared on social media and other online media.
Article summary: Every article should have a summary that will be put in Italics at the top. Usually, it should not be more than 50 words.
Structure (style and content) :
Background – what is known about the subject, include sources or literature (use hyperlinks for online sources)
Key message – explain the message with examples, illustrations, images, numbers, citations
Conclusion – remind the reader why the article was written, reprise the argument that has been made and the call to action (what do you want the audience to do?)
Ensure to use good quality and appropriately captioned photos in the body of text
Consider the audience and goals of ISNAD-Africa: Choose your topic related to our thematic areas of sustainable energy (renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access), environment and climate change. Other topics addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are welcome as well
Consider the (who, what, when, where, why and how) before you write
Research your topic (talk to experts, review literature)
Keep it simple (avoid jargons), use simple language and explain each technical term. The readers may not be experts in your industry. Online references should be inserted in-line as hyperlinks.
You may use subheadings to break down the article
Proofread or ask a friend to review
Click here to submit an article. If you have questions, contact us on email@example.com.
Dr. Elia Mwanga, a Mentee of theMRP 2018 Cohort, is a Lecturer at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Specialized in Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law and Intellectual Property Law, his research project was on the “Legal and Policy Challenges of Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into Climate Change Strategies in Mainland Tanzania”. He shares his perspective on the programme.
Congrats on the completion of your PhD programme. Would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am Dr. Elia Mwanga, I completed my PhD studies in November, 2019. Presently I am a Lecturer at the Department of Law, the University of Dodoma, Tanzania; specialized in Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Legal Research and Intellectual Property Law. I have researched and published widely on Climate Change, Oil and Gas and others aspects of natural resources and environmental law.
Why a PhD? – Your motivation, what were your considerations before deciding for a PhD programme?
I did Master of Laws (LL.M) focusing on climate change. From that time, I developed more interest on climate change issues. I have always been curious of learning more about climate change policy both at national and international level. As such, doing PhD for me, was among the ways I could gain further knowledge on climate change.
My research project was on “Legal and Policy Challenges of Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into Climate Change Strategies in Mainland Tanzania”. As of now, climate change is among the major environmental problems facing the world. To address the problem, each state is argued to participate in implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Researches show that indigenous/traditional knowledge can also contribute into measures to address climate change. As such the study examines the role of municipal laws in enhancing and promoting the use of indigenous/traditional knowledge to address the problem of climate change.
You are one of the 2018 cohort of ISNAD-Africa’s Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP), how would you describe the programme in general?
In 2018, I was among the few applicants who were enrolled to ISNAD-Africa Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP). Everything about the Programme is organised online but the Programme offers a wide range of benefits, academic and social benefits. I consider the Programme to be among the initiatives that uses effectively the benefits brought by development of science and technology. Indeed the Programme contributed a lot to my PhD research.
You said the MRP
contributed a lot to your PhD, can you provide specific examples of how?
Through MRP, I was able to receive significant
insights and inputs to my thesis from experienced person on climate change. MRP
further increased my networking by exposing me to different persons who we can
collaborate in future through different ways including co-authorship.
What type of
insights and inputs did you receive? What do you consider particularly helpful
in the programme?
During proposal stage, I thought that I needed a person who has experience on international climate change policy to be among my respondents. Thus I had an obligation to find that person. Fortunately the MRP programme made it easy for me. My Mentor who is experienced in international climate change policy advised me on climate change policy at international level and provided me with some materials that enriched my thesis.
As you may
know, PhD research often demands more than envisaged. Would you like to
appreciate some of the people and organisations that supported the success of
A number of institutions contributed to the completion of my PhD research. Perhaps I may not be able to mention all of them. This is because during my research, I received contributions from several organisations, and I am indebted to all of them. However I must mention the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University of Dodoma who sponsored my PhD research. I also appreciate the support I received from ISNAD-MRP Programme and my Mentor, Mr. Abdelkader Allalli.
According to Arancha González, if there is one thing Africa needs to do better, it is ‘is celebrating local entrepreneurs’. It is in line with this thought that ISNAD-Africa has sets out to identify local initiatives that promote sustainable green growth on the continent.
One of such which comes to the spotlight is the young Cameroonian entrepreneur Fabrice Tayimetha Ndongmo. Ndongmo found a means to transform his theoretical knowledge to a pragmatic response to the needs of his environment in terms of energy supply. In other words, he trained himself to think out of the box, thus engaging on the course of innovation. This led him to the creation of TENEWA, a project which earned him an international Award.
Born in 1987 in Douala (Cameroon), Ndongmo is currently a student in Engineering of sustainable sources and solutions, electricity and Electromagnetic option at Polytechnique Montréal (EDUlib). A study plan he chose after graduating from the University of Yaounde II Cameroon in Economic engineering. His high school curriculum was focused on Experimental Sciences and Mathematics.
After several attempts to gain experience in the labour market through the status of employee, he was confronted with the harsh reality of unemployment. He had to think outside the box.
A display of ingenuity
Considering that energy is the engine of the world’s economy, Fabrice Tayimetha Ndongmo pondered on the knowledge he received as a student in Economic Engineering. According to his statement,
“our professor of macrodynamics always told us that it is necessary to produce because it is the starting point of the economic, statistical, management applications etc. From these words, I asked myself one question: How do I produce?
The answer which came to my mind was Clean Energy, unlimited and at an affordable cost!
It is this energy that will boost the world’s economy. I worked on complex physical and mathematical formulas for seven years to find out how to produce this energy. Thank God I finally found out how to produce it!”.
TENEWA, a hope based project
The inspiration prompted Ndongmo to found TENEWA – Together for Energy, Environment and Water. The organization’s motto is Equality, Prosperity and Durability. Theirof goal is improving the living conditions of citizens (mobility, heating, lighting, cooking and communication) by providing to each and everyone clean, unlimited and affordable electrical energy.
The main achievements of Ndongmo are mainly in the agricultural (magnetoculture) and energy (Sun’s radiant ) sectors.
In agriculture, he has developed an agricultural technique using electromagnetic fields as fertilizer and pesticide.
In energy, he has made a voltage and signal amplifier (220 volts input and 1200 volts output). The amplifier enables the functionalities of high-speed trains, electric cars, drones and geostationary satellites using just a very small amount of energy.
In addition, he has designed a very high voltage accumulator. The powerful battery (10kV-72kV) complies with the strict standard used in the automotive industry, ensuring the safety, quality and reliability required in passenger vehicles, and also meets the requirements of applications in medical machinery, oil and gas, grid, and renewable energy production.
Ndongmo proudly says “For this I was the only African to be selected in the final phase of an international competition on technological innovation (ENZEN 2019). My project was among the 27 best projects out of 630 nominations”.
Despite this commendable track record, TENEWA is facing funding issues; and seeks honest partners who share similar vision and passion. In order to have this need met, the Company has engaged itself in local communication and participation in colloquium.
Being an influence in the next generation
The young entrepreneur is foreseeing himself in 10 years among the giants in the world of technology such as Elon Musk, Mark Zukenberg, Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many others. His desire is to serve as a model to the younger generations and enlighten them by sharing his achievements and debates on both online and offline platforms. As of now, he greatly encourages young graduates and non-graduates to believe in their talents and to be very creative.
Ndongmo is always thankful for every opportunity given to him to share his ideas and projects. His hope is that the world will understand his vision and contribute therein to build a better world.
Dr. Caroline Ouko, an Alumni of the Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP) 2018 Cohort, graduated with a PhD in Environmental Policy. Her dissertation topic was on ‘Governance Dilemma and Sustainable Provision of Ecosystem Services by Mt. Marsabit Forest, Kenya’. She shares her research journey, motivations for the chosen topic and what she benefited from the programme.
Congrats on the completion of your PhD programme. Would you like to tell us about yourself?
My name is Caroline A. Ouko a multi-skilled professional with 15 years’ experience in leadership, policy development and facilitating change in the Agriculture and Environment sectors. I recently completed my PhD in Environmental Policy from the University of Nairobi – Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). With over 15 years progressive involvement in various initiatives geared towards supporting the global agenda on environmental management both in Kenya and Canada, I have a strong track record in networking and stakeholder engagement, partnership modelling and relationship building. I have successfully designed and executed successful programmes applying innovative participatory approaches involving the government agencies, local communities and private partnerships. I have also led the CETRAD team in various research projects funded by the Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Project (ESAPP), National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR), Act Change Transform (ACT!) among others.
Why a PhD? Motivation and considerations
Advanced degree is critical for me at this time for career progression. I was
motivated to join a PhD programme in order to develop independent research
skills in environmental management; focusing on the gaps in research, which
have characterized protected areas especially forests in Kenya, addressing the
paradox of continued degradation and loss of biodiversity leading to
unsustainable provision of ecosystem services.
your research focus and what motivated the choice?
My research topic was “Governance Dilemma and Sustainable Provision of Ecosystem Services by Mt. Marsabit Forest, Kenya”. In Africa, the interdependence between man and environment cannot be overemphasized. There are wicked problems which can only be solved by understanding and creating scenarios for sustainable existence between man and environment. I have a lot of interest in environmental management and my research focus was mainly driven by my working experience and realization of the disruption of provision of ecosystem services due to anthropogenic issues.
What spurred you to do a
PhD in the field of environment/energy/climate science?
I am passionate in
promoting sustainable natural resource management. The drive to join hands with
like-minded scholars to reduce degradation and ensure sustainable provision of
ecosystem services is a noble call to me.
Apart from gaining a PhD
degree, what are your findings?
The findings of the study
confirm the importance of studying the human – environment -relationships to
increase the efficiency of natural resource management and ecosystem
conservation. Governance of protected areas and especially the interaction
between different actors and the biophysical system influence the provision of
ecosystem services. Stakeholder network analysis of the Mt. Marsabit protected
area in northern Kenya provided insights of the complexity in collaborative
governance set-ups. The results showed that centrally placed stakeholders are
very important during interactions and representation. Multistakeholder
processes such as policies and communication strategies should be based on
And how long did this take you?
There was a one-year
course work, followed by proposal defense, data collection and the write-ups
which included peer reviewed journal publication articles and the thesis. This took a total of five years and two
Beyond academics who do
you think could directly benefit from your findings outside your university?
This study uncovers the
linkages between state-society partnerships in Kenya and Africa generally. It
addresses institutional design aspects of governance systems mentioned in
sustainable goal 15 and 17, Africa Union agenda 2063 and thus it contributes to
partnership scenarios nationally regionally and internationally.
The community members
depending on the ecosystem services provided by the protected area are the
immediate beneficiaries because effective governance will lead to sustainable
provision of the ecosystem services.
You are one of the 2018 cohort
of ISNAD- Africa’s Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP), how would you
describe the programme in general?
The one on one mentoring
is unique in that the pairing of mentor and mentee is well done. It is one of
its kind and I would highly recommend it for African graduate students.
Could you kindly share
with us your personal experience in the programme?
I joined the Mentorship
for Research Programme (MRP), a programme of the International Support Network
of Africa Development (ISNAD-Africa) in 2018. I had just published one paper,
when I joined the programme. We had several skype meetings with my mentor but I
vividly recall the first skype meeting because my mentor had asked me about the
problem statement. After explanations she shared that the governance issues I
was raising were being faced in other protected areas and they are not uniquely
Kenyan. This enlightened me and I appreciated that effective governance for
sustainability was a global focus. I highly appreciated my mentor’s comments
during the preparation of the following published article;- Ouko Achieng, Mulwa Richard, Kibugi Robert & Oguge Nicholas
(2019) Effectiveness of Protected Area Governance in the Conservation of Mt.
Marsabit Forest Ecosystem, Kenya, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, DOI: 10.1080/10549811.2019.1683752
If we may ask, taking a
retrospect of your research programme, what do you think you could have done
better or in another way?
I completed my studies
recently and for now I feel that I did my best with the available resources and
the guidance from the supervisors. However, I know that with time I will
realise that maybe there were other additional inputs or lenses I would have
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in one way or the other during my PhD journey. I would like to invite the readers to read and share comments on my publications.
Jean Mathieu Nyobe was born in 1983 in Paris (France).
Being a young job seeker on the Cameroonian market, he has worked for several companies involved in the operationalization of technological tools. This exposed him to the manipulation of a technology that led him on the path of voltaic. After several readings and subscriptions to Youtube channels focused on the voltaic, Jean Matthieu Nyobe was not hesitant about collecting factory parts at hand to design not only models of voltaic plates but also samples. He explains it in these terms: “I found it to be a very simple technology and the most affordable of all renewable energy technologies”. Being a Baccalaureate D holder, he went in to be a graduate of SRH Berlin.
A passion is born
Despite this spark, the lack of capital and mentors in the field of
operations has hindered Jean Matthieu
Nyobe’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. This young enthusiast overcame these
obstacles by obtaining partnerships with companies that provided him with
quality equipment. According to Jean Matthieu, the realization of these
partnerships is a divine grace; because it is rare in his environment to meet
people who are open to give young entrepreneurs a chance. This is a risk that
his partners were willing to take and he expresses his gratitude. These
partners include Felicity Solar, Ets ZOBEL, Ets MbockSam, AMTECH SARL, G-TECH, YOUSSE & PARTNERS.
After a resolute outshow of perseverance and recklessness, Jean Matthieu
and his team officialized their company on March 12, 2019 under the name of
MAGE Solar after several years of operationality in the informal sector.
To date, MAGE Solar has carried out multiple solar installations in the Central, Eastern, Littoral and Southern regions of Cameroon. They have recently made installations in the cities of Bamenda, Banyo, Sangmelima and Yagoua. A little over a month ago, they won a public contract launched by the Mayor of Makak in an Open National Call for Tenders for an amount of 45,000,000 CFA francs, which consists of the construction of a solar system at the Makak City Hall and the installation of 26 solar street lights all around the city. The young company is at the starting blocks for the implementation of this project.
The young company is planning in the next 10 – 20 years to become a
large company that will have branches in the sub-region and will offer many
jobs to Africans. They plan to be involved in structuring projects focused
on access to energy in Cameroon and
across the African continent. Their target is to implement solutions that will
ensure to all or at least almost all people living in rural areas, access to
Motivations and values
Stating his motivation, Jean Matthieu says “ I have in image my fellow citizens with access to solar energy; with a main goal of improving the living standard of citizens, especially those living in rural areas where electricity needs are very high; once you have access to energy, the rest follows, internet, TV, information, communication,…etc.”. Considering that energy is one of the greatest challenges for Cameroon and Africa, his passion is to contribute to making development a reality on a sustainable format.
Setting the path of the next
Jean Matthieu sees in the tropical climate (sun shine) a source of
wealth and potentialities offered by God to Africans to enjoy and be safe from
suffering. he says “We should just take
advantage of it”.
According to Jean Matthieu, starting from scratch and reaching to the
level where they are today is a divine grace coupled to the showcase of their
professionalism, diligence and self-denial. The latter considers that he thus
has the responsibility to show to the youngest generation that you don’t need
to have all the conditions met to start. You can start with the little you have
at hand; also he has at heart to share his passion about being an entrepreneur.
He says every youth “must firstly have a vision and set clear and reasonable
objectives and then pursue them because man has infinite potential. Young
Africans and particularly Cameroonians are in need of guidance, I deeply
believe that the testimony of my experience could inspire many people”.
When Jean Matthieu is
asked to present himself in a few words, here is his statement: “When I make an
assessment of my weaknesses and strengths, I come to the conclusion that it is
in my faith in Christ Jesus that I draw
my identity, courage, strength and inspiration of ideas and strategies” .
Dr. Enoch Bessah, an Alumni of the MRP, graduates with a PhD in Environmental Management. He shares his experience on the programme, the research journey and subsequently joining ISNAD-Africa as an Associate.
Congrats on the completion of your PhD programme. Would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am Enoch Bessah from Ghana. I hold a Master’s degree in Climate change and Adapted Land Use and BSc in Agricultural Engineering. I just completed a PhD in Environmental Management from the Pan African University, Institute of Life and Earth Sciences which is hosted by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I am a highly motivated, dynamic, and development-oriented researcher, skilled and experienced in the field of climate change, soil and land-use engineering, social survey, remote sensing, GIS and modelling. My research experience in the field of environment and agriculture is about 7 years. My research interest is centered around ecosystem services, specifically on freshwater ecosystem services and its interaction with climate change.
Why a PhD? – Your motivation, what were your considerations before deciding for a PhD programme?
The lack of climate and ecosystem services experts in Africa was my major motivation to continue my education to specialize in the area of climate impact studies. I also considered the relevance of the study or area of research interest in contributing solutions to the current global challenges.
What was your research focus and what motivated the choice?
My study was on the “effect of climate and land use change on hydrological ecosystem services in the Pra River Basin, Ghana”. Climate change is currently one of the greatest global problems affecting all sectors with an enormous projected impact on Africa. Furthermore, freshwater resources (hydrology) are consistently decreasing at the global scale in addition to its uneven spatial distribution in the world. Knowing how freshwater provision will behave and change in the future under climate change would support the adaptation in decision making and lead on the next phase of research to improve resilience to climate change through nature based solutions.
What spurred you to do a PhD in the field of environment/energy/climate science
I have a desire to be part of the solution to the current global problem of climate change through research.
Apart from gaining a PhD degree, what are your findings?
I found that the West African climate system is complex, especially the modelling of rainfall, therefore, high-resolution spatial models should be used in climate impact assessment to reduce the uncertainty in projections based on model skill. Furthermore, conversion of forest or land cover for other activities could bring about a positive or negative impact on the services provided by terrestrial ecosystem on freshwater. The kind of effect is dependent on the site specific location of the conversion. Therefore, scenarios of conversion should be generated for each basin to have an idea of the possible consequences before granting permission for the conversion of forest or land cover for any other activity.
And how long did this take you?
I did a course work for one year while field work and write-up of the thesis was 2 years and 4 months. The final defence process took 4 months to complete. In total, my PhD covered a period of 3 years 8 months (Feb. 2016 – Oct. 2019).
Beyond academics! Who do you think would directly benefit from your findings outside your university?
Farmers and inhabitants are the direct beneficiaries of my findings. I will be communicating to them the results of the study through the extension officers I worked with during the data collection period and the chief farmers (head of farmer’s association in each community). Policy makers and the Pra River Basin management would also benefit from the findings by using it to support decision making on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services protection like sediment and nutrient delivery control in order to ensure the provision of quality water to the about 1300 towns depending on the basin for freshwater supply.
You are one of the 2018 cohort of ISNAD-Africa’s Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP), how would you describe the programme in general?
The mentorship programme is the best amongst many programmes that break racial and continental barriers in bringing the best out of African students. The initiative was timely and it is delivering results from my experience on the programme. MRP will be the game-changer in building the Africa of our dreams through a transformed research at the postgraduate level.
Could you kindly share with us your personal experience on the programme?
The first thing I learnt from my mentor during our first Skype interaction was “your research must not only fill a scientific gap. It should also be relevant for policy”. That changed my perspective of postgraduate research. Beside my thesis, I had the opportunity to participate in a one-month short course in Germany at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management, in the Technical University of Dresden. The course was on Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency. I was further enlightened on the relevance of my field (Climate Change) in the global energy transitions. My research network has grown, thereby increasing my collaboration potentials. Through MRP, I have the opportunity to publish in reputable journals that are fully open access through my collaboration with my mentor. Currently, we have two publications under review and three manuscripts are in preparation.
If we may ask, taking a retrospect of your research programme, what do you think you could have done better or in another way?
There are three major areas of my research I would have changed if for instance the duration of the research was longer and funds were available. The first will be to carryout in-situ experiment for some of the biophysical parameters I used in my models which were not available for the study area nor in any part of Ghana. I had to rely on other African countries with similar climatic conditions to use their reported data to run my models. The second will be to use reanalysis climate data after checking their correlation factor with station records. This would have increased the number of stations (generated grids for climate parameter sampling) over the study area and reduce the spatial variation due to the limited (7 functional) climate stations over an area of about 23,000 km2. The third thing I would have added will be to assess rainfall onset, cessation and length of rainfall season from farmers’ observation and compare it with the stations records and historical simulation of the models for a better understanding of the distribution of rainfall over the study area and also determine the type of model projection of onset, cessation and length of the rainy season the farmers could rely on.
As you may know, PhD research often demands more than envisaged. Would you like to appreciate some of the people and organisations that supported the success of your research?
The summarised acknowledgement in my thesis was two pages. It shows that many hands contributed directly and indirectly to the success of my studies. I will however mention some few ones here for the sake of time and space. I appreciate African Union Commission that awarded the PhD scholarship for my studies and the International Foundation for Science (IFS) for the research grant awarded to complete my field work. I am grateful to my supervisors; Prof. A.O. Raji, Prof. S.K. Agodzo, Dr. O.J. Taiwo and Dr. Olusola O. Ololade and my international mentor, Dr. Alexandre Strapasson, who served as external supervisor for the interest they had in my work and their investment for a successful research. I appreciate ISNAD-Africa for the MRP initiative that connected me to my international mentor. I also acknowledge the following organizations for access to data and support during data collection; West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, Ghana Meteorological Agency, University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, developers of SDSM-DC, United State Geological Survey Department and many others. I finally appreciate the Director of my institute, Prof. M.O. Abatan for his immense support; Coordinator and Professors of Environmental Management Programme and all the staff of the institute. Special thanks to everyone, not forgetting the follow-ups of the Programme Manager of ISNAD-Africa and the entire team of the organization for their tireless support.
In 2019, you joined ISNAD-Africa as an Associate, what was your motivation and how would describe your experience on the team?
I joined ISNAD-Africa to contribute to the development of other postgraduate student in Africa as I have received during my time as a mentee on the MRP initiative of ISNAD-Africa. I see ISNAD-Africa preparing the next generation of leaders through quality research and giving them an international perspective to development. I believe many more African potential leaders will do better for the continent if they get an opportunity to enroll in the programs of ISNAD-Africa. ISNAD-Africa is a loving family with determined youth working tirelessly to make postgraduate research in the area of focus of the organization in Africa relevant to this generation. The dedication of the staff encourages you to always do more for others (mentees) to assist them achieve their goals.
ISNAD-Africa hosted another engaging session of the Environmental Education Programme (EEP) which brought together two schools across Africa – Mada International College, Yaoundé, Cameroon and URDT Girls’ school, Kagadi, Uganda. The programme is aimed at enlightening secondary school students on environment and sustainability issues and encouraging them to get involved in finding sustainable solutions to challenges facing their communities.
The EEP webinar featured speakers based in the United States and Qatar, both members of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAEE). Maureen Ferry, Founder/Creator HouseStories introduced the ‘Urban Engineers’ framework which provides models for students to apply systems thinking to their specific geography and environmental realities. Building on the students’ science knowledge, Stephanie Dobbie, Environmental Education Consultant, gave a presentation on the importance of regenerative agriculture on ecosystem resilience. Altogether 13 students and 8 teachers from the schools participated in the event.
As a run-up to the webinar, the students carried out a project exercise where they applied the concepts to come up with their vision and big ideas for tackling environmental issues in their community. Mada International College presented an impressive “Green City” project, including innovative energy-harvesting solutions. While students from URDT Girls’ school shared with us their ambitious vision for a protected and conserved environment through engagement with stakeholders like the government, community members and fellow students.
This session revealed the potentials, ideas and resources that we have in materialising great perspectives among the youth towards sustainability in Africa. We acknowledge the effort and contributions of the teachers and commitments of the students in the two schools. Our appreciation also goes to the facilitators and presenters for coordinating this knowledge exchange and interaction across continents. ISNAD-Africa remains committed to raising environmentally conscious populace and workforce in our strive for a greener and climate-resilient Africa.
The Environmental Education Programme (EEP) seeks to raise the awareness of secondary school students on the challenges and opportunities in the green growth in Africa. The programme is conducted anually under the supervision of Ms Sonma Agatha-Christy Okoro, the Manager, Administration of ISNAD-Africa. The objective is to facilitate critical thinking towards finding sustainable solutions to environmental and energy issues facing their communities. The webinar is also aimed at motivating students to pursue professions in the field of sustainable energy (renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access), environmental sustainability, and climate change disciplines.
To this end, a preparatory workshop was held Mada International College, Cameroon, to interact and exchange ideas with the students and staff on the subject of environmental sustainability. The school Director Mr Abah Georges Mendi, then Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), expressed his enthusiasm for the prospects and goals of the Environmental Education Program.
The workshop featured presentations from ISNAD-Africa, as well as the students who participated in the session. Mr Adeleke Adedoyin presented on Capacity building on Environmental Sustainability, calling up the youth see challenges existing in their environment as opportunities to be change makers in terms of sustainability. In addition, the students got to learn about various careers opportunities renewable energy sector. On the other hand, the students presented their observation of challenges in Africa’s energy sector. Five students among which three boys and two girls worked on the presentation. They approached the problem by identifying renewable energy as a solution to the named challenges; and stated their qualities and variety of sources. However, they highlighted the limited access to the technologies due to the high cost of equipment.
The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, with questions from the students showing their keen interest in the subjects discussed and sharing ideas on projects they could implement.
As a result of this engagement, Mada International College committed to setting up an environmental club and rendering more visible the recycling activities they carry out. A highlight was their recent collection of waste car tyres that were often burned to recycle as decoration items in the school premises. It was encouraging to note that this activity was carried out by students. ISNAD-Africa committed to further promote such initiatives online and via other media in order to showcase how the youth can take a hands-on approach towards solving problems identified in their environment.
A positive feedback from the students’ parents on the interactive session with ISNAD-Africa came up during the Parents’ Teachers Association meeting that took place few days later.
My Journey and experience in the international arena – The conference angle
Since my admission in 2018 to the Mentorship for Research
Programme (MRP), a programme of the International Support Network of Africa
Development (ISNAD-Africa), I have up to now (August 2019) attended,
participated and presented my research findings in two international
conferences in Europe. My first
international conference experience was in my first year in the MRP programme
precisely 17th -19th
October, 2018 when I attended, participated and made a presentation of my first
research findings for my PhD work atthe2nd International
Conference on Solar Technologies and Hybrid Mini-grids to improve energy access.This conference was organised by
Trama Tecnoambiental (TTA) and the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain.
The conference took place in Spain in the city of Palma de Mallorca, at the
University of the Balearic Islands.
Notwithstanding the fact that I had completed my MSc. Programme from a
European University in one of the Scandinavian countries, my participation in
this conference in Spain was a whole new experience. I went from compiling a
research paper for an international audience, designing a poster for
international exhibition, connecting long to short range international and
domestic flights, in Africa and Europe; to standing before a global audience of
eminent scholars, researchers, academicians and industry practitioners as I
presented my first PhD research findings. It was awesome! Thanks to
ISNAD-Africa who made all this come to a reality through the well-thought-out
and implemented MRP Progarmme. I made both an oral and poster presentation in
the auditorium and poster exhibition area of my work ‘’Renewable Energy Resource Development and Procedural Application of
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Tool: Lessons from Kenya’’. The planning,
organisation and funding for my participation in this conference was made
possible through the full sponsorship received from Waterloo Institute for
Sustainable Energy (WISE), University of Waterloo, Canada. All expenses including conference fee, air tickets, hotel and
accommodation for the first conference were fully sponsored by my ISNAD- MRP
Mentor Prof. Dr Jathin Nathwani of WISE under the Affordable Energy for
Humanity (AE4H) Global Change Initiative Programme. Obtaining a Schengen visa to enter Spain was
facilitated by ISNAD-Africa’s authority support letter alongside those from
Egerton University (my university) and WISE.
Major milestones achieved from my first conference
participation included communication of my research findings to a global
audience, publication and dissemination of my research findings, international
collaboration and networking. Whilst communication of my research findings and
publication is a requirement under my PhD programme, the climax of my
participation in this conference and showcasing my research work was my
admission into the prestigious AE4H Global Change Initiative, an international collaboration between the world’s leading scientists,
technology developers and practitioners on the topic of universal energy access.
Through this, I am now a participating member ofAE4H’s Domain IV:
Environmental and Human Dimensions of Energy Transitions. This
conference has since opened more international opportunities for communicating
my research findings to the international global audience, thanks to
ISNAD-Africa’s MRP Programme that continuously made all these possible.
The ‘’8th International conference on Energy and Sustainability’’ held in Coimbra Portugal
Africa MRP Programme has continued to ensure its mentors realise the
programme’s objectives and succeed in disseminating and communicating their
research findings to a global audience. The ‘’8th International conference on Energy
and Sustainability’’ held in Coimbra Portugal was made known to me through
ISNAD-Africa’s MRP Programme regular updates on opportunities available to
Mentees via-email communication and posting on the website. This conference was
the Wessex Institute, UK and Itecons-University of Coimbra, Portugal. As
a dedicated Mentee of the MRP programme, I initiated the communication with the
conference organisers, developed an abstract for my paper and sent it to the
conference scientific community for review and consideration. Once the abstract
was reviewed and approved, I developed a full paper for consideration for
presentation in the conference publication. Energy and Sustainability is an
international conference which focuses on the topics of energy policies,
renewable energy resources, sustainable energy production, environmental risk
management, sustainable buildings, energy storage and distribution, energy
management, biomass and biofuels, waste to energy, processing of oil and gas,
CO2 capturing and management, pipelines, energy efficiency, sustainable energy
from hydrocarbons, and much more. My paper for this conference focused on ‘’Public Participation in Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) and its substantive contribution in environmental risk
management: insights from EIA practitioners and other stakeholders in Kenya’s
renewable energy sub-sector’’. Thanks to my ISNAD-Africa MRP Mentor Dr.
Prof. Jathin Nathwani who despite his busy schedule made time to review the
paper alongside the review of my University superiors.
Once my paper went through the lengthy back and forth scientific peer review process and was finally successfully accepted for presentation and publication, I hardly had any time left to source funding support to attend the conference as I had about two weeks left to the conference. Thanks to my employer who on short notice agreed to sponsor my participation. Whilst my employer- Sigtuna Consultancy, fully sponsored my participation (conference fee, international insurance cover, air tickets, local travel in Kenya and in Portugal, hotel & accommodation and stipend), Egerton University, WISE and ISNAD-Africa once again provided the much needed authority support letters that facilitated the swift approval of my Schengen visa to enter Portugal in a record three (3) days! My travel experiences this time round was more thrilling adventurous and exciting, the most exciting part of it was the seamless connection of air- metro-speed train -road connection from Kenya all through to Coimbra Portugal! The metro encounter was my first time! The conference was held at ITeCons – Institute for Research and Technological Development in Construction, Energy, Environment and Sustainability, Coimbra, Portugal in the University of Coimbra, in the period 3rd -5th July 2019. My paper this time round was not only presented before a global audience of eminent scholars, scientists, researchers and industry practitioners but also published in the WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Volume 237, WIT Press, 2019, ISSN 1743-3541. In addition to this, I received an opportunity to publish for free another paper in the International Journal of Energy Production and Management as a bonus to my contribution in the conference. A paper I am currently working on.
Highlights from my second international conference experience:
A big thank you to ISNAD-Africa MRP for this life changing opportunity
About the author
Philip Manyi Omenge is a PhD Candidate at Egerton University, Njoro Kenya, pursuing a doctoral degree programme in Natural Resources and Peace. His PhD research focuses on application of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) procedures for renewable energy projects in Kenya. More specifically, the research evaluates the effectiveness of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Tool in identifying and preventing potential conflicts for renewable energy projects in Kenya. The aim of the research is to identify areas of ESIA Tool application that underpin poor conflict identification and prevention for renewable energy projects and provide recommendations to policy makers and practitioners to address the inadequacies.
Mr. Omenge is also a Mentee of the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa). He is one of the Mentees under the Mentoring for Research Programme (MRP) in the 2018-2019 Cohort. He is being mentored by Professor Jatin Nathwani of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), University of Waterloo, Canada.
Mr. Omenge has over fourteen years of experience in Impact Assessments. He is a Registered and Licensed Lead Environmental Impact Assessment/Audit Expert by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kenya, a Lead Member of the Environmental Institute of Kenya (EIK) and a Senior Lead Consultant at Sigtuna Consultancy in Kenya.
Mr Omenge has handled various Impact Assessment Projects including East Africa’s largest Industrial Solar System installed at Krystalline Salt Limited, Gongoni Kenya. The project is the first of its kind in Kenya and in East Africa.Mr Omenge holds a Master of Science Degree with a Specialization in Rural Development Studies from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Uppsala, Sweden and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management from Egerton University, Njoro Kenya.
Mr Omenge holds a Master of Science Degree with a Specialization in Rural Development Studies from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Uppsala, Sweden and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management from Egerton University, Njoro Kenya.