Higher Education Programme for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Project description

Title: Higher Education Programme for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Senegal
Lead executing Agency: Ministry for Higher Education and Research
Overall term: 2015 to 2022


Creating an efficient energy economy is one of the central goals of the Senegalese government’s development strategy. It includes a significant increase in the share of renewable energies in power generation through the promotion of solar and wind power, electricity price reduction and rural electrification expansion. To achieve this modernisation, qualified professionals with academic degrees are needed. Some Senegalese universities offer relevant study programmes for this purpose. However, they need increasingly be orientated on labour market requirements in order to make it easier for graduates to find adequate employment. Promoting youth employment is also a priority goal of the Government. 

These challenges require a paradigm shift within the higher education system. More attention should be paid to the vocational qualification of students as well as to the promotion of their integration into the labour market as employees or businessmen/women. The reform strategy of the Senegalese Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation takes this up. One key component is the founding of new practice-oriented training institutions at the interface between vocational and university education, the so-called ‘Instituts Supérieurs d’Enseignement Professionnel (ISEP)’. After two years of training, they lead to a university degree as high-level technician.


Senegalese universities offer practice and labour-market-oriented degree courses as well as further training courses for professionals in renewable energies and energy efficiency and strengthen skills for business start-up in this field.


On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the Senegalese Government in implementing its goals and strategies in the energy and higher education sector.

The project operates in three fields of activity:

  1. The ISEPs are advised on developing practical degree courses on the productive use of renewable energies and energy efficiency in locally relevant sectors. To complement this, the programme supports the piloting of short-term ISEP training courses relating to energy, also for people without university entrance qualifications (including returnees). In Mbacké, the German Development Bank ‘Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)’ is providing support for building a new ISEP for renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as environmental professions. GIZ is advising on the development of adapted curricula for the new courses.
  2. Four partner universities (Universities of Bambey, Saint-Louis, Ziguinchor; Engineering College in Thiès) are accompanied in the implementation of the newly designed inter-university master’s programme in renewable energies (MIER). The innovative degree programme integrates practical teaching approaches as well as capacity building for applied research and technology transfer. The universities are advised on how to improve the quality of their education and to expand cooperation with enterprises in the energy sector.
  3. The programme supports the partner universities and ISEPs in establishing business incubators and developing relevant offers. These introduces students to the alternative of setting up a business and testing initial business ideas. One focus is on promoting women as entrepreneurs.


Since 2018 and 2020, three ISEPs have been offering degree courses for training high-level technicians in renewable energies. Three ISEPs have also piloted short-term training courses for regional demand. In 2020, the first 50 students started the new MIER master’s degree course. Furthermore, all four partner universities validated the jointly professionalised MIER and the process of inter-university accreditation has been initiated.

Advanced training courses for university teachers and staff on competence-based teaching, technical expertise and technology transfer in renewable energies and energy efficiency, on digital learning approaches, and on promoting entrepreneurship reached more than 440 participants.

The programme equipped three university incubators technically and materially. They are developing into contact points for students interested in starting a business. Awareness raising, training and coaching measures to strengthen business development skills reached more than 2,200 student participants. An inter-university competition for the best start-up idea in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency is anchored in all four universities. It includes various training and coaching formats and culminates in material and professional support for the winners to realise their projects. The third round is currently being organised. All four partner universities also fleshed out a project idea to particularly encourage women’s entrepreneurship in renewable energies/energy efficiency.

Last update: January 2021