Into Africa ‐ Welsh Sustainable Development

Welsh experts have been sharing their experience with African entrepreneurs in a course on renewable energy and sustainable development. It is hoped that the entrepreneurs will take their experiences from Wales back to Africa to find solutions to the global climate challenge. The 15 participants in the programme were encouraged to develop their own solutions to the African challenge of sustainable development.

“Our role has been to encourage them to consider what sustainability really means, and to dare to think and do things differently and creatively. We want them to have the confidence to go back with ideas for renewable technology solutions that can be adapted to solve their challenges in their own way,” said Dr Einir Young, Head of Sustainable Development at the Welsh Institute of Natural Resources (WINR), Bangor University. The month long course was supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

The participants, from six African countries, are committed to the UNIDO ideal of ‘promoting industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability’.

“We are all from different parts of Africa to learn about sustainability in Wales. We are joined in the global challenge to make the world a zero carbon environment,” said Mr Samuka Dunnoh from Liberia.


Enter the Welsh Dragons:

Experts from BC (The BioComposites Centre), BML Oils, Bright Light Solar Ltd, Centre for Alternative Technology, Clifford Jones Timber Ltd, Climate Change Centre Wales, Forestry Commission Wales, Infinis Plc, Moelyci Environmental Centre, Reegen Ltd, Resurgam (the Conwy tidal power project), Q Marketing & PR Ltd, Venture Wales, Waste Recycling Group Ltd, Wind Power Wales Ltd and Ynys Resources Ltd were involved in informing and encouraging the entrepreneurs.

The climax of the course, on Thursday 16 September, was presenting business plans developed while in Bangor to a panel of ‘Welsh Dragons,’ to practise making a successful business pitch. In the evening the goup met Alun Ffred Jones, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Heritage, to discuss their plans, and share some of the highlights of the month with him.

“This has been a great opportunity to showcase the best of Wales’s renewable technology, and I hope their Welsh experience will help them find African solutions to our global climate challenge,” said Mr Jones.

“I would like to thank the University for their expertise and hospitality. The trips to meet Welsh experts have been enlightening. This course has demystified sustainable technology, I now have the confidence to implement Welsh technology in an African context. We are up to the challenge,” said Usamah L.Kaggwa, Energy Officer for the Republic of Uganda.

See a film about theAfrican UNIDO entrepreneurs on YouTube here

Publication date: 4 October 2010