On the 9th of January 2019, the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) conducted a media and communication skills course facilitated by Diane Myers a film maker and broadcaster from the University of Leeds in the UK. The training attracted a diverse range of participants who are playing key roles in the design and implementation of renewable energy projects as well as managing renewable energy businesses. An identified barrier to the widespread use of renewable energy technologies is the lack of understanding in the public, at a political level and within the industry sector about the benefits, opportunities and capabilities of renewable energies (RE). One reason is that the communication of the RE sector may not be convincing enough.

Trainees pose for a picture at the end of the media and communications training

The ACERA training emphasized how communication messages should be placed into compelling and memorable stories. Practical sessions were also designed to enable the trainees to learn how to design messages about their businesses that can create an impact. This training project was hosted by the African Clean Energy Research Alliance (ACERA) a consortium that is implementing a project comprised of three research components of the topic “Solar treatment of biomass for power generation using carbon slurries in hybrid renewable energy systems” undertaken by students from Université Marien Ngouabi in Congo-Brazzaville, Makerere University in Uganda and Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Tanzania.

To ensure sustainability of this project, the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) in Makerere University has partnered with industry partners to engage non-academic stakeholders with a focus on knowledge transfer and sharing through the trainings.This is to engage private sector companies involved in renewable energy and build a network of professionals and entrepreneurs with a willingness to take up the technologies from the student’s research. The ACERA project has trained over 200 professionals in the three partner countries; Uganda, Tanzania and Congo in the areas of scientific writing, bio-energy technologies, gender and ethics, business modeling and the recently concluded media and communication skills training. With more concepts being developed, the ACERA network is continuing to grow beyond the project design with the network expanding to countries like Indonesia.

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