The European Union, in collaboration with the ECOWAS inaugurated a Scholarship programme for 72 post-graduate students across the ECOWAS member countries and Mauritania.
The scholarship programme tagged: ‘EU-ECOWAS Scholarship Programme for Sustainable Energy”, is aimed at improving sustainable access to clean energy and electricity to West African States through capacity building of young graduates and professionals in the region’s energy sector.
At the inauguration in Abuja, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Fatou Sow Sarr said it would help to bridge the gap in the region’s energy transition process.
For the ECOWAS Director of Energy and Mines, Dabire Bayaornibe, the programme would further cement the relationship between the EU and ECOWAS.
Mr. Bayaornibe explained that though funding was critical to the development of Africa’s energy sector, there was the need to harness skillful manpower that exists in the region to boost sustainable energy system in Africa.
The British Council’s Country Representative in Senegal, Alex Lambert said the idea of the scholarship was to grow the potential in African youths on energy transition and also improve mentorship skills in the region.
He said the British Council will always open its door of economic growth to Africa to enable it achieve its full potential in energy governance and transition.
Also, the Head of Cooperation of the EU, Cecile Pelzer said the aim of the scholarship was to improve mentorship and grow the potential of youths across ECOWAS Country and Mauritania.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization, Sediko Douka urged the EU and the British Council to be fair in their selection process to enhance equal distribution across the participating member states.
The Scholarships will be offered to 72 scholars chosen from nine universities in the ECOWAS region and Mauritania including three from Nigeria.
They are University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Nigeria, Nsuka.
Reporting by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu