AFRICA: Research, Empowerment, Partnership

AFRICA: Research, Empowerment, Partnership (REP)

Africa: REP program based its activities on an innovative, integrated approach aimed to introduce a new research paradigm for Africa, able to empower local citizens, firms and institutions, and to strengthen partnerships for guaranteeing a sustainable future to the continent. REP research is from one side supported by international cooperation with expert stakeholders and by a renovated partnership among private sectors, research centres, academia and civil society, and from the other relies on local researchers and innovators to valorise the African genius. Three are the main direction of the REP area:

Joint and Native Research: the promotion of joint and native research on integrated planning methodologies for sustainable development at local or regional scale, together with technological scenarios’ forecasts. Integrated methodology represents a new frontier for research on impact assessment, linking traditional energy planning (linear programming or mix-integer) with macroeconomic empirical instrument (like Multiregional Input-Output Table - MIOT). Through an environmental extension, this integrated approach is able to provide socio-economic and environmental Life Cycle Impact of national policies and to address productive sectors.

Empowerment of local capacity: the programme supports the strengthen of the capacities and skills in the continent through a wide programme of knowledge sharing on integrated energy planning methodologies for researchers and officers. The programme will be coupled with advisory actions for local authorities.

Transversal partnerships: The programme works to strengthen an entire African Scientific Network connected to the best Italian and international scientific excellence. FEP tries to act as a catalyst for a new way of networking and partnership with Africa which overcome the traditional donor-receptor approach.

Thanks to the availability of raw materials and natural resources, Africa has potential to drive its own sustainable development in full autonomy, but empowerment is still needed within a new paradigm of partnership that promote joint actions and knowledge sharing.
Factors such as population growth and economic development, and the subsequent increase in energy demand and consumption might increase environmental impact and emissions of greenhouse gases, given the current asset of the energy systems and the efficiency of the productive sectors.
In this context, Energy as well as Digital and Mobility are the main sectors where enabling infrastructures are requested to boost the national productive sectors and generate Prosperity for the People while preserving the Planet.
REP is committed on the exploring the energy challenge in Africa, which calls for a new way of approaching research, technological development and innovation in order to respond to a long lasting decarbonisation path that can avoid lock-in solutions and assuring universal and affordable access to both electricity and thermal energy. The energy transition needs to be based on three pillars:
1) Variety of Energy mix and technological alternatives designed for the given context;
2) Planning and Optimization of consumption to study trends in end uses (including storage, reuse of CO2 and potential synergies with the savings associated with digitization) and wastes (including fugitive methane and gas flaring);
3) Spreading a new energy culture that leads to maximizing the effects of efficiency and circularity in the use of resources while inducing more sober and fair consumption patterns.
For this reason, the link between energy and the productive sector of a nations needs to be analysed with care and all the implications included in an integrated planning methodology for testing the effect of national policies on socio-economic development and international commitment like NDCs and SDGs.

Research Program and Team
Scientific coordinator

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