Despite huge energy potentials in Africa, the energy production costs are high and the consumption is low as compared to other World regions. Less than 40 % of Sub-Saharan Africans have access to electrical energy. Lack of electrical energy hampers the rapid development of the continent. The present yearly economic growth of~ 5-6% will be higher if sufficient electrical energy and infrastructure are present. However, Africa cannot embark on the same path as Europe, USA and China for its development by relying only or strongly on non environment-friendly energy sources. This is imperative in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2016-2030) and the resolution of COP 21 of maintaining the world temperature rise not above 1.5 °C. The appropriate use of the abundant solar energy and other renewable energy sources can be regarded as a solution to the African energy problem. This requires highly qualified human resources at all levels. The presence of local qualified skills lead to acceptance by the population of the renewable energy technologies and reduction of energy end-price.
This lecture will present the energy situation of Africa followed by an overview of capacity building activities (training, education and research) going on, especially actions taken to address the low experimental research budget in most African institutions of higher learning.