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Hydropower training academy to build up local expertise in Angola

Within the framework of a delegation led by the German Chancellor, technology group Voith signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the Angolan capital Luanda on Feb. 7, 2020, to build a training center in Angola.

Establishment of the Voith Academy and associated development of a training center are designed to provide basic and advanced training for skilled workers in Angola in technical and commercial occupations relevant to the hydropower industry.

In accordance with Voith’s long-established dual training approach, it intends to build a training center for the theoretical part of the training. For the practical training component, Voith plans to work with the trainees to build a small hydropower plant in the Cuemba region.

Voith will consult with the Ministry for Energy and Water of the Republic of Angola (MINEA) in 2020 to determine a suitable location for the training center.

The envisaged total investment will be in the region of several million euros.

The MOU was signed by João Baptista Borges, Angolan Minister for Energy and Water, and Dr Toralf Haag, president and chief executive officer of Voith, in the presence of Dr Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. A business delegation accompanied the German Chancellor on her visit to South Africa and Angola for political discussions.

Highest percentage of untapped hydropower potential is in Africa

Africa has a huge technically feasible hydropower potential, estimated to be more than 470 GW. However, the installed capacity in Africa is only around 36 GW, meaning the continent has the world’s highest percentage of as-yet-untapped hydropower potential.

In remote regions, the focus is on small hydropower stations that help facilitate the rapid development of reliable decentralized power grids.

The declared objective of the Angolan government is an increase in electricity generation capacity from the current 5,700 MW to around 9,000 MW for years to come.

In addition, the surplus energy expected to be produced is set to be offered to neighboring countries, which will boost Angola’s economic development.

Projects like Cambambe II are milestones for the African country on the west coast of the continent as it moves towards a more diversified and stable energy supply for households and industry.

Until now, the electricity supply has only covered about 40% of the population. This means that more than 15 million people live without electricity.

This article was adapted from one originally published on the ESI-Africa website.