Cross-Continental Collaboration for Sustainable Energy in Zambia

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Delegation in front of University of Zambia

Novia UAS and project partners in the Biogas and Sustainability project SF-BioVaC met up in Zambia in April.

At the end of last year Novia UAS was together with teams from Copperbelt University, The University Of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Oulu awarded funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland for the joint initiative “Sustainable Futures- Biogas Value Chain for Circular Economy Competence Growth in Zambia”.

The project was one of seven initiatives selected by the Higher Education Partnership (HEP) Programme administered by  Finnish National Agency for Education. The project builds on lessons learnt from an ongoing Team Finland Knowledge project.

Much focus during the visit was put on awareness raising and bridging the gap between academia and industry for capacity building around the biogas value chain and circular economy in general. The starting point for co-creating and bringing local perspectives to global solutions is to understand each other’s contexts, jointly working for a “Global Orientation for a Sustainable Future”, in line with the recently approved Novia UAS strategy.

During the week-long visit, the team from Finland was able to participate in the “6th Women in Engineering Conference” of the the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) in Livingstone, with a project presentation by Novia's Project Leader Cynthia Söderbacka and Senior Lecturer Roger Nylund as part of a panel discussion. The theme of the conference was “Resilience & Innovation: Women Engineering the Future”.

The team was also invited to visit two of the boarding schools for girls, where the non-academic project partner Rural Electrification Authority Zambia (REA) runs pilots to create new biogas solutions. On the sites, our key experts Cynthia Söderbacka and Petri Hietaharju were already able to interact with the technical teams and provide some recommendations on how to further improve.

In Lusaka the team also had the possibility to visit the campus of UNZA to initiate the planning of a laboratory scale biogas pilot plant as well as the Finnish Embassy. Together with our university partners Novia presented the project for a wider stakeholder audience - with the presence and remarks of the Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Saana Halinen; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy Mr. Peter Mumba; the CEO of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) Eng. Linus Chanda; REA Director Engineering Services Eng. Alex Mbumba and REA Acting Director of Strategy Dr. Chilala Bowa.

We look forward to moving from planning to implementation phase of the project.

Photos from the visit

Delegation in Zambia
Delegation in Zambia
Anna-Karin Karlsson, Cynthia Söderback, Saana Halinen,
Hanna Guseff in discussion
Novia team: Emma Westerlund, Roger Nylund, Hanna Guseff, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Petri Hietaharju  (Oulu), Katrin Asplund, Cynthia Söderback
Roger Nylund on stage
For more information contact Head of Global Education

Anna-Karin Jansson