Meeting the Energy Sector’s Market Demands: Assessment Workshop in Kabul

12.02.2019
This week, a workshop to assess the Afghan energy sector’s market demands regarding young professionals took place at Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU). Almost 100 high-ranking officials and representatives of universities, the private sector and other stakeholders participated. Attendees discussed how to improve relevant university curricula to meet the Afghan energy market’s needs. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Afghanistan Energy Sector Improvement Programme (AESIP) supported the event.

At the event, the Afghan Minister of Energy and Water, Mr Mohammad Gul Khulmi, stated, ‘There is rapid change in the energy sector every day globally. It is immensely important for the private and public sector in Afghanistan to cooperate. This shall lead us to energy independence and self-sufficiency.’ The attending CEO of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), Mr Amanullah Ghlalib, added, ‘This workshop will serve as an initial step to bring together the industry and academia. The universities will take note of the market needs and design their curricula accordingly.’

 

The Afghan government recognises energy as one of the primary driving forces for the country’s sustainable economic development. To improve the energy sector’s performance, university education in the fields of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency shall be improved to increase university graduates’ employability. The Afghan Minister of Higher Education, Prof Dr Najibullah Khawja-Omari, emphasised, ‘Hundreds of lecturers of Afghan universities have been introduced to Master and PhD programmes abroad. This will help us in upgrading curricula and establish new departments and programmes at our universities.’

 

At the workshop, government officials from relevant ministries, academics and graduates, as well as representatives from DABS, the Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union (AREU) and the private sector exchanged ideas on how to improve curricula. Participants also discussed weaknesses of current programmes and teaching systems on university level. One idea is to agree on specific criteria that private and governmental universities have to meet in order to increase education quality.

KPU currently plans a new master programme for power engineering. The workshop also served to assess the market’s demands to develop a matching curriculum. KPU’s Chancellor, Mr Mohammad Sayeed Kakar, commented, ‘The goal of this workshop is to bring academic institutions and the market closer together and pave the way for attracting professionals to the sector. Thus, we have teamed up with all relevant stakeholders and organisations to strengthen the Afghan renewable energy sector, including solar and wind power as well as geothermal energy and other sources of renewable energy.’

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the Afghanistan Energy Sector Improvement Programme (AESIP). AESIP aims at promoting renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in Afghanistan to boost economic growth and protect the environment. To achieve this goal, AESIP closely cooperates with key actors at national and provincial level to establish an institutional framework that enables a reliable energy supply. It also supports the private sector in adopting market-based quality standards and maintenance concepts for photovoltaics and solar thermal energy to attract investments. At the same time, AESIP implements capacity-building activities for staff in the public and private energy sectors and at universities.

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