Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Let Industrialists Adopt Renewable Energy Options To Save Our Environments

By Sandra Atusinguza

I recently got interested in a story published in the print media where a renowned Breweries company (NILE) came up with a plan to go green in industrialization through establishment of biogas plants at her industries.

If 90% of all industries would also adopt this, then uganda would be a better country to live in . It is true the electricity bills are very high and have pushed many out of business including small scale and medium enterprises/ companies as well as scaring way potential investors despite incentives like tax holidays due to the sustainability aspect.

It is worse in communities where power lines are seen as they Passover the houses but they cannot be connected to the grid, even those with power in their houses use it for lighting at night but when it comes to ironing they use charcoal irons and firewood or charcoal for cooking.

In order for our country to achieve the sustainable development goals and reduce green house gasses, there is much need for sustainable production and consumption patterns where more companies/ industries must adopt sustainable practices like reducing green house emissions, currently industries are at the centre of environmental pollution and degradation despite the existing measures.

Renewable energy options such as wind mills, solar energy, and bio gas must be heavily invested in to generate more power, government through Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development must also develop the thermal energy plants such as Kibiro in Buliisa district to help generate clean energy to the communities and attract investments as an alternative away from the hydro electricity. This will help reduce green house emissions effects to our environment and other costs.

Complied by Sandra Atusinguza

AFIEGO Field officer

 

Siemens, Anglo American Platinum Collaborate On Skills Development In Africa

Currently, one of the most debated topics influencing innovation is digitalization and its impact on the future of employment. It is met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. No matter how you look at it, digital transformation and a truly connected global economy is already upon us.

Siemens (www.Siemens.com) has provided automation equipment and industrial networks to assist Anglo's Engineering Skills Training Centre (ESTC). One of the pillars of Digitalization is industrial networks and security and it is crucial that these engineers understand the role of this technology in the future of mining.

As a leader in automation we are continuously expanding our leadership role in Industrial Digitalization. There is an opportunity, especially in Africa to embrace new and exponential technologies combined with human talent to accelerate industrialization and drive economic growth.

"We are proud to be supporting Anglo American Platinum to advance skills and opportunities in Africa," explains Sabine Dall'Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

Gary Humphries, Anglo American Platinum's Executive Head for Processing was appreciative of Siemens completion of yet another skills project at the ESTC. In his address, Gary said Siemens and Anglo American Platinum have been in partnership since 2010 and have seen approximately 298 artisans successfully trained and qualified at this centre.

“This vital contribution by Siemens to ESTC will significantly contribute towards the development of the human resource capabilities of our artisans and will help broaden the thinking of the students to explore new career capabilities. We celebrate the handover of the Siemens Simatic Wall and look forward to the role it will play in training the current and next generation of skilled artisans."

We are ramping up our commitment to the region to meet our customer's needs, expanding our portfolio for digital enterprises, supporting our customers in the manufacturing and process industries with digitalization, customization and efficiency improvements and investing in equipping our future generation with the right skills," ends Sabine.

ENGIE, Meridiam Win Two Solar Photovoltaic Projects In Senegal

ENGIE and investment partner Meridiam have been selected by Senegal's Electricity Sector Regulation Commission (CRSE) as preferred bidder in a tender launched in October 2017 for two solar photovoltaic projects totaling 60 MW.

These two projects are part of the Scaling Solar initiative in Senegal, conducted jointly by the Senegalese authorities and the International Finance Corporation ("IFC", member of the World Bank Group). They are located in Kahone, in the Kaolack region, and in Touba-Kaël, in the Diourbel region.

ENGIE and Meridiam will hold a 40% shareholding in the project company. FONSIS, the Senegalese sovereign fund, will also be a shareholder with a 20% equity stake. The construction and the operation of the plants will be managed and executed by ENGIE.

Yoven Moorooven (CEO of ENGIE Africa): "Our consortium delivered a highly competitive offer by leveraging our experience of developing and operating renewable energy projects in Africa – in particular in Senegal. This success demonstrates the merit of our integrated model for solar whereby ENGIE is acting as investor, operator and EPC contractor through ENGIE Solar (formerly known as Solairedirect).

The CRSE and the IFC set out a clear, sound investment framework, which favored the presence of long-term investors like ENGIE. Our focus will now be on finalising the projects to deliver the most competitive solar photovoltaic plants, to serve the country's ambition of developing universal electricity access in a sustainable manner. Congratulations to the teams on this achievement."

Mathieu PELLER (COO of Meridiam Africa): "We continue to deploy our fund in Africa, choosing projects aimed at supporting sustainable economic development. Thanks to the reduced costs of solar equipment, this particular project will have a high developmental impact by expanding Senegal's capacity to generate clean energy at a very competitive price.

Increasing power generation is critical for the Government's objective to raise Senegal to the level of an emerging market by 2035. The Project aligns with the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goal Seven, which calls for increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix."

In Senegal, ENGIE is already involved in the Senergy project, a 30 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the town of Santhiou Mekhé and in Ten Merina, a 29.5 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the region of Thiès, near Dakar. Both projects are currently in operation.

In 2017, ENGIE signed a partnership with ANER, Senegal's National Renewable Energy Agency which focuses on accelerating the development of renewable energy in the country.

The Group is also implementing solar energy solutions for rural households in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. ENGIE has been selected for the Dakar TER project in partnership with Thales for the design and production of infrastructure and systems, with a contract amounting to 225 million euros.

New Technologies Excite Ugandan Students In China

Ugandan ICT students currently undergoing training at Huawei’s Technologies Co. Ltd Headquarters in Shenzhen China, have appreciated the one-week hands on training that has exposed them to the latest technology trends and what the future of the ICT Industry will be.

The students who include eight in their final year, one in second year and one in her first year were the successful ones picked from four public Universities in Uganda to benefit from the Huawei Seeds for the Future Programme 2018.

This is after their proposals about using ICT to improve certain issues in the health, education, agriculture and transport sectors were the best among the 35 presented by University students.

During their time at the Huawei headquarters, which is built on an area covering 2.2 km², the Ugandan students were exposed to the different networks like the 3G, 4G and also made to understand more about the cutting-edge technologies trends such as 5G, Internet of Things (IOT) and Cloud computing. They had a hands-on practice in Huawei Technologies’ most advanced labs and were also taken on a guided tour of Huawei’s Exhibition hall of digital technology.

The students described their training at Huawei as a great eye opener into the emerging and dominating technologies in the world today. They were particularly ardent about the cloud computing which enables data to be stored in the clouds so that one can easily access it from any place on a monitor without a computer.

Kasumba Robert a final year student of Software Engineering from Makerere University said he liked the future potential of Huawei 5G network which will open doors to an all connected world.

“With an all connected world, my proposal on helping farmers get information about the common crop and animal diseases as well as pests will easily come to life and many homes shall be able to share the much-needed information easily and cheaply or at no cost at all”, Kasumba said.

Oola Gerald a finalist of Information Technology at Muni University said the training has shown him that implementing the technologies and embracing them is not as hard as he earlier thought.

“I have learnt that in order to leverage on the emerging 4.5G and 5G technologies which will dominate the world in the not so far future, I should incorporate remote sensors such as thermometers and blood pressure sensors in my health care proposal in order to have the data processed quickly”.

The students were also passionate about the Internet of Things (IoT) which is the connection between objects, humans and other things using sensors. Karasira Cosmas a year four Computer Engineering student at Busitema University said the Seeds for the Future training has opened up his world to the evolving technology.

”IoT technology can surely be used in the project of installing closed-circuit television camera in our city and towns to curb the rampant crime, safe driving, improved health care and smart homes to mention but a few”, he said.

Mangeni Ajambo Cleopatra a Makerere University finalist of Computer Science said she enjoyed the networking lessons and was looking at the challenge ahead to improve her skills.

She also noted that with a 5G network capable of transmitting data at up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), IoT and Cloud computing, the health of a patient with chronic disease can be closely monitored in real time because there will be immediate communication between the wearable gadgets and smartphone.

“With this training I can now say that I am ready to make my contribution to the digital community. I am going to teach my colleagues about the 5G technology and how to build a 4G base station” said Kirembwe Andrew an Information Technology student finalist from Muni University.

As for Annet Mary Nakate a third year Information Systems student from Muni University, she has learnt the basics of networking especially when it comes to modern technology and was also exposed to smart farming.

Mugisha Samuel a second-year student from Muni University said what he found most interesting was the Phone tracking and Quick Response (QR) technology that can help improve the standards in Uganda. He added that the infrared technology he was exposed to can contribute much to his automated solar powered incubator proposal.

Obbo Peter said when he returns to Uganda he will enlighten his friends about the 5G network and encourage them to embrace it since only a few know about the 4G and cannot even tell the difference.

Nanyonga Berinda a Software Engineering finalist from Makerere University described the training as very educational and a mind questioning experience. “Every second I spent in this training is so memorable to me and I would wish to pass on the skills I have learnt from the Chinese people to my colleagues,” she said.

The youngest on the team Abigaba Hilda a First-Year student from Lira University said the training hadn’t been so compatible with what she was learning, but she was however happy to get exposed to the future potential of the 5G network.

According to Huawei’s Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Holy Ranaivozanany, the Seeds for the Future programme was initiated by Huawei Technologies to nurture the talent for tomorrow that will contribute to building the Information and Communication Technology Industry.

“We create a pool of talent that will probably be working for Huawei in the future, or with our competitors and customers but really contributing to the industry. It is important that we give the students a hands-on experience and chance to try and build the networks themselves”, she said.

She added that 108 countries are so far benefitting from the seeds for the Future programme and a total of 3,660 people have benefitted from the 2 weeks study tour to China since it was initiated in 2008.

She also pointed out that many of those who come to Huawei headquarters for the training are inspired by Huawei’s story to believe in what they would like to do in the future and how technology can make a difference in their respective countries. “We hope that in the future these students can apply these technologies in their countries”, she said.

Huawei’s Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility said the programme will continue for the next coming years and she hoped it will continue giving the young talents an open mind and enable them to make a difference by being innovative and bringing in new technologies so as to effectively contribute to the development of the ICT Industry.

The Huawei Seeds for the future programme has been running in Uganda since 2016 and a total of 30 students have benefitted. In China the Ugandan group was twinned with ten students from Myanmar.

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