Wits Business School, Siemens Energy sign collaboration agreement

7th October 2021 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Business School (WBS) and electricity technology multinational Siemens Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a number of training and development programmes in energy leadership.

The goals that form part of the agreement include a bursary programme at postgraduate level ,including PhD or Master’s degrees; the development of foundational postgraduate courses in energy; tailored events, such as seminars on industry-specific topics; and an awards dinner to recognise up-and-coming leaders in the African energy sector,  Wits said in a statement on October 7.

“WBS is committed to joining forces with industry leaders to address issues of sustainability on our continent. When it comes to managing Africa’s transition to an efficient, low-carbon future, Siemens Energy and Wits are on the same page. I am delighted to formalise our association with Siemens Energy and am looking forward to a fruitful exchange of ideas and expertise,” said WBS head Professor Maurice Radebe.

The MoU is a milestone for WBS’s African Energy Leadership Centre (AELC), which introduced two new academic programmes in 2019, namely a Master’s and a Postgraduate Diploma in Energy Leadership. The AELC was founded in 2017 to address the scarce skills crisis in the sector and is the first of its kind in Africa.

Siemens Energy offers products, solutions and services across almost the entire energy value chain, be it generation, transmission or storage, and supports its customers in achieving greater sustainability.

“This collaboration is a step-change in our relationship with industry as it furthers the AELC’s ambitions to engage in industry-relevant research that has the potential for immediate impact on and results across the energy landscape in the country,” said AELC director Professor Lwazi Ngubevana.

“Siemens Energy believes that enabling access to sustainable, reliable and affordable energy is too big a challenge to go alone and requires strategic collaboration, such as our agreement with WBS.

"There is a growing urgency to accelerate the process, and this is where the importance of skills development comes in. We are delighted to partner with the AELC at WBS in accelerating leadership development in the sector energy,” says Siemens Energy Southern and Eastern Africa MD Thabo Molekoa.

The first joint event by the partners will be a virtual seminar with panel discussions on gas, green hydrogen and renewables on October 27.