Enel Foundation announced today the launch of the Open Africa Power 2020 call for applications and confirmed the new edition will start in February 2020. The third edition of the flagship training initiative will host its African residential module in South Africa, in partnership with the Graduate School of Business at the prestigious University of Cape Town.
The call for applications is open from Oct 1st to Oct 31st to high-profile African students undergoing or having completed Master’s, MBA or PhD studies in African universities. After receiving more than 400 applications in the previous edition, Open Africa Power is welcoming candidates who want to acquire an holistic know-how of the electricity sector, enhancing their technical, regulatory and business skills required to work in the private and public sector towards the electrification of Africa. African candidates currently living abroad but wanting to relocate back to Africa will also be admitted, as one of the program’s aims is to contribute to talent retention in the continent.
Enel Foundation invites interested candidates to read carefully the call for applications available at Enel Foundation website and those fulfilling the required criteria to submit their applications via the dedicated online platform and using the verification code (OAP20CFA) until October 31st 2019. After visiting Kenya and Ethiopia in the previous editions, Open Africa Power will land in one of Africa’s most important power market hubs and a country facing relevant energy challenges that require a new generation of young, skilled and talented leaders.
Carlo Papa, Director of Enel Foundation, commented, “We are extremely happy to host the African residential module in partnership with the University of Cape Town, one of the most prestigious and top-ranked academic institutions in the continent. Education is crucial for Africa’s sustainable development and OAP demonstrates that the international academic cooperation between Italian and African institutions can help win the race from poverty to prosperity for all”.
Open Africa Power is an education venture initiated by Enel Foundation in 2018 in partnership with top Academic institutions such as Strathmore University from Kenya, the University of Addis Ababa from Ethiopia, and Italian institutions such as Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Milano, Bocconi University, Florence School of Regulation and Venice International University.
The ambition of the program is to empower and retain African talent in a crucial sector like energy, of paramount importance to unlock Africa’s sustainable future. The program offers knowledge on all aspects of sustainable electricity production and distribution to the best and most motivated PhD Master’s and MBA students and alumni. The program also aims to create a networking platform for participants in order to maximize impact.
Anton Eberhard, Emeritus Professor and Director of the Power Futures Lab at the UCT Graduate School of Business, commented: “This is a vital and important collaboration that will inject much-needed skills into the energy sector in Africa. Infrastructure utilities on the continent, in common with those around the world, are facing far-reaching changes. State-owned vertically integrated monopoly electricity industries are being restructured to improve performance and new regulatory regimes are being put into place. This means that leaders and managers in the sector face complex new challenges and require specialized skills to navigate this terrain with confidence. Open Africa Power has the potential to play a key role in ensuring that African utilities are able to deliver and expand affordable and sustainable services for the continent, while underpinning and supporting much-needed economic growth.”
The Power Futures Lab is part of the Managing Infrastructure Investment Reform and Regulation In Africa (MIRA) that strives to be a leading centre of excellence and expertise for Africa and other emerging and developing economies. Based at the UCT Graduate School of Business, MIRA aims at enhancing understanding and building capacity in infrastructure investment, reform and regulation, in support of sustainable development. MIRA's main focus at present is in the electricity sectors.
Each OAP lasts six months with two residential training modules (one opening week in Africa and two closing weeks in Italy) and an online learning module in-between. Rolled out in 2018, the first edition of Open Africa Power attracted over 140 applicants from nine African countries while in 2019 the number of applications grew to more than 400 from 37 different nations.
One of the key aspects of the program is to focus on geographical as well as gender diversity. With a high percentage of female participants, the program is providing a concrete demonstration of African women’s role in pushing forward a new generation of African leaders deeply engaged with their respective country’s clean energy future. A compilation of stories about some of the women who attended OAP 2019 is available here as an inspiration to others wishing to apply to the program.