MIT Hosts International Training on Power and Renewable Energy

Mekelle Institute of Technology (MIT) – Mekelle University in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, has held an international training on power and renewable energy from 20 to 30 January 2019.

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Dr. Leake Enquay, Academic Vice Dean at MIT and one of the coordinators of the training, said the EuropeAid-funded international training was mainly provided for ten lecturers from Somali National University of Somalia and Gollis University of Somaliland. Some members of the academic staff of MIT have also attended the training. And, in the same vein, five trainers who came from Netherland, France, Indonesia and Ethiopia (MIT’s alumnus) have offered their respective areas of the manifold training.

In this regard, Professor Sjef Cobben, Content and Technical Coordinator of the Project and one of the five trainers, said the training has been given in five major subtopics entitled Electricity and Energy Economy, Low Voltage Networks, Electrical Installation, Renewable Energy and Components, as well as Power Quality Monitoring and Management. Prof. Sjef said giving this training for the trainees would enable them to have profound knowledge in the field and thus they would provide and transfer better knowledge and skill on their respective universities, wherein they’re planning to set up similar undergraduate programs in electrical engineering.

Prof. Abdirahman Sid Ahmed, one of the trainees, also said that the training was truly empowering and helpful to reestablish the electrical engineering units under the Faculty of Engineering at Somali National University. “Our university had been closed for more than two decades and we are now doing our best to revive the undergraduate program with all the necessary laboratory facilities,” he said adding, “Hence, thanks to the training program, the experiences we gained from MIT would be very helpful for our future endeavors.”

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According to Prof. Henny Romjin, Coordinator of the Project, the training is part of a much larger EuropeAid (European Commission) funded research project entitled “The BRIDGES Project” which aims to support the Government of Somalia/Somaliland to enhance inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty by assisting in skill development for two key infrastructure sectors: road construction and energy services. While the project is embarked on in collaboration with CARE International, Prof. Henny said the role of Eindhoven University of Technology in the project “lies in university curriculum development and staff training in electrical engineering and renewable energy services, and outfitting of lab facilities.”

To this effect, the project coordinators have chosen MIT to host the international training. Mr. Alula Yohannes, an MIT alumnus and member of The BRIDGES Project, had a pivotal role in bringing this particular training to MIT by convincing that it’s capable of successfully hosting such an international training, Dr. Leake said. Mr. Meles Gebreyesus, Dean of MIT, on his part thankfully said Mr. Alula, has much confidence in his former institute (MIT) to successfully host this international training. Mr. Alula, besides his affiliation with the BRIDGES Project, is the Director of his own firm (PV Electrical Power Systems Consultancy PLC.).

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The laboratory facilities available in MIT and stability of the region are said to have compelled the coordinators of the training to host the training in Mekelle Institute of Technology. Likewise, Prof. Henny said, her training team is so happy with the peaceful environment in the region, the cooperative staff as well as management of MIT, as well as the well-furnished laboratory facilities that the MIT provided them for free.

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By hosting this international training, Mr. Meles Gebreyesus said MIT is looking forward to creating international linkage and cement long term partnership in the areas of research, capacity building and staff exchange with Eindhoven University of Technology which is one of the renowned European universities in the areas of technology and energy. “We’re discussing on possible ways of creating formal partnership whereby we can mutually benefit,” he added.

Furthermore, the Dean said, for the trainees are aspiring to establish similar set up in their respective universities in Somalia and Somaliland, they have shown their interests to closely work with MIT. Congruently, Ms. Shukri Osman Abby Duale, a trainee from Gollis University in Somaliland said, “We hope we’ll sign MoU with MIT and thereby strengthen our relationship in the future. We need to benefit from the experiences and facilities of MIT.”

Finally, Dean Meles said, hosting such international training and maintaining the relationship afterward will have significant values in attaining the internationalization value of our university and institute.