1. Overview

The general objective of the action is to enhance the capacity of higher education with new to be designed and developed educational system to attribute and manage regional and/or local development and food security issues.

Accordingly, the specific objectives of this action goes to integrate and/or upgrade existing academic curricula by providing multidisciplinary knowledge and know-how on the Energy_Agro-food Nexus through the development of ad-hoc teaching modules, by supplying training materials and by the creation of students’ internship programmes which are accountable to external subjects. Further, the action will merge in improving the academic staff scientific competences and networking capacities, andtraining experts with higher standard qualification in the energy and agro-food sector.

  1. Activities

There are four main core activities to be processed for realize the objective. These are:

a) A deep integration identification between Energy and Agro-food thematic fields focused on sited region, East Africa.

It encompass:

  • the agro-food supply chain as an opportunity to provide renewable energy sources and improve access to energy;

  • the rural communities as major target of innovative solutions for better access to energy;

  • renewable energies as the key element to boost efficiency and competitiveness in the agro-food value chain;

  • the agro-food chain as leading sector in the reduction of CO2 emission;

  • the local coping strategies to climate change impact;

  • the synergies among agricultural, economic and environmental policies, and sustainability-oriented strategies;

  • the need for specific competences on energy policy design, energy market analysis and governance, energy system design, Agro-energy chain logistics, innovative cropping system and energy chain-supply, etc…

b) The action is profiled by an inter-disciplinary approach:

  • integrate specific knowledge of different scientific fields (technical, didactic, economic, social, historical, policy, environmental), and

  • provide adequate theoretical, operational, normative, methodological and cultural skills to the CEAU.

c) The action has strong inter-sectorial and systemic dimensions.

  • promote cooperation among project partners, associate NGOs and the principal stakeholders (farmers and farmers’ associations, rural communities, agro-food business sector, stakeholders of renewable energy sources – RES, Institutions) in planning activities, reaching milestones, and assessing results.

d) The action extends to an inter-regional scale:

  • to create or enhance institutional networking through:

  • integrating teaching modules and higher education; and

  • enhancing the capacity of identifying regional needs (academics and students mobility, conferences, etc…) and creating awareness.

  1. Context

The action mainly focuses on bilateral co-operation between European and East African Universities, EDULINK II program, on thematic fields of study on Energy and Agro-food rather than a mono- disciplinary for three East-African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania).

In particular, the action moves from two specific issues.

a) The growing role of the Energy – Agro-Food Nexus in the socio-economic development of the region:

- Energy is one of the key sectors for a sustainable growth that affect the socio-economic development and the quality of life in rural areas;

- in turn, Agriculture, which still today is the leading sector of local economies, will play a pivotal role in the sustainable energy production and consumption.

b) The existing higher-education supply shows several gaps in the Energy–Agro-food Nexus.

That is related with

- limited inter-disciplinary approach;

- lack of holistic approach;

-gap in evolving socio-economic, environmental and technological scenarios;

- inadequate provision of PhD and Lifelong Learning programmes.