Prof Felix Ankomah Asante, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, ISSER, has made an emphatic statement about the fate of the Supporting Sub-Saharan African Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) Project that is about ending.

Sharing his unhappiness that such a laudable project is ending and its future uncertain, he stated “ISSER is ready to commit resources to help in any way possible for SAMSET 2 to happen”.

The Director was speaking at the end of a four-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course held at the Noguchi Memorial Institute, University of Ghana. The training programme came on the heels of SETUSA 2017 International Research Conference that was held at the ISSER Conference facility on the 19 – 20 June, 2017 since it is a key milestone for the SAMSET project. 

It was organized by ISSER, the EU and Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMSSA) the CPD training programme was under the broad theme: Energy and Sustainable Urban Development in Africa.

Funders were Department for International Development (DFID), Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and CoMSSA.

Opening the training course on behalf of Prof Felix Asante, Director of ISSER, Dr. Simon Bawakyillenuo, Senior Research Fellow and Course Coordinator at the training programme, disclosed that the professional training course was the third in the series under the SAMSET Project.

He expressed delight at seeing participants come from different countries in Africa and Europe as well. African countries represented were Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, Benin, Togo and Ghana. Europe was represented by the UK and France.

Dr. Bawakyillenuo said the essence of the training course was to build capacity within the energy transition field and also learn beyond the energy transition mix.

In her welcome address, Madam Juliet Mekone Sale, West Africa Regional Director of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, UGLGA, noted that Africa’s urbanization population is the fastest in the world  perAfrica Economic Outlook Report which implies that the continent’s future is urban.

She argued that development of cities and improvement of livelihood of its inhabitants have a lot to do with the availability and consumption of energy which transforms the planet, climate, natural resources and the ecosystem.

The UGLGA Regional Director said conventional energy sources and systems have serious limitations and devastating effects on the climate and wondered why so much money is injected into such unsustainable sources and systems of energy production.

She postulated that renewable energy is the way to go and Africa has it in abundant. “Energy efficiency is seen as one of the main measures to alleviate the energy crisis in African cities by controlling increasing energy demands, ensuring security of supply thereby promoting economic and industrial development”, she stated.

The West Africa Regional Director urged all to work hard to make energy affordable for populations in Africa to enable them undertake income generating activities.

The Course content included: Contextualising sustainable energy transitions in global and local imperatives of development and climate change,  clarifying the role of local government and other players in a sustainable urban energy future, and  exploring different local-level  GHG accounting tools.

Others are mitigating and adaptation planning at the city-level, detailed inputs on implementation of different technology options in urban areas,  understanding and addressing energy poverty and access to energy in towns and cities and  exploring the financing of sustainable energy implementation in municipalities.

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