Earth Finds

Earth Finds

KISU Promises To Take Over Stranded GEMS Students

Kampala International School Uganda (KISU) will take over the students who have been studying at GEMS Cambridge International School, Kampala (CIK) in Luzira, Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of KISU has said.

“Yes, we want to help them. Many parents in Uganda are sending their children to KISU whose education is based on international curricula. KISU offers the British curriculum International General Certificate of Secondary Education and General Certificate of Education,” Rajiv said.

On learning that CIK is closing down, shifted and enrolled at KISU. In August, Riz Ahmed, the chief executive officer, GEMS Africa, said the school will be shutting down in December due to failure to mitigate COVID19 pandemic impacts. 

“As a result of these circumstances, we have been forced to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with great sadness that I am writing to advise you that CIK will close after the first term of the new academic year, with 31 December 2020 as a tentative closure date,” Ahmed said in the statement.

Established in 1993 with 67 students, KISU has grown steadily over time. It currently accommodates about 460 students representing 60 nationalities. It has invested in state-of-the-art facilities including four science labs, three computer labs, three music rooms and three performance areas.

The school also has an indoor gym, outdoor basketball court, 25 metre eight lane competition swimming pool, two libraries, smart boards in most classrooms and a five-acre playing field. It has accreditation status with CIS and IBO.

The school offers Early Years Programme, Primary Programme, Secondary Programme and IB Program all targeting different age groups. Students participate in an extensive range of extracurricular activities including outdoor education and overseas trips, to diverse destinations.

  • Published in Events
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Huawei’s Seeds For The Future Program Compliments Uganda’s ICT Training Efforts

The Minister of State for Education and Sports Denis Hamson Obua has affirmed that Huawei's Seeds for the Future Program that has been training Ugandan university students since 2016 when it was first launched falls within the country’s ICT ambitions of equipping Ugandans with the right and latest ICT knowledge and skills.

Obua was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2020 edition Seeds for the Future Program known as the “Sky Seeds for the Future”. The minister said the knowledge and skills acquired during the training will go a long way in helping the ICT industry. 37 Ugandan students selected from different universities underwent online training due to COVID19 pandemic.

“The government of Uganda is proud of the services being rendered by Huawei. We are proud of the employment and training opportunities; we don’t take that for granted. The Huawei Seeds for the Future Program complements and supplements efforts of the government in training students identified through a process from Ugandan universities,” Obua said.

Obua encouraged the continuation of the good bilateral relationship between Uganda and China because it has birthed good projects not only in the ICT sector but all in other sectors of the economy.

Gao Fei, the managing director of Huawei Uganda, revealed that the trained students learnt about artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 5G technology among others. This being the first online training, Gao believes the new trend will offer the training opportunities without borders.

Renewable Energy Jobs Grow To 11.5m Worldwide

Renewable energy continues to bring socio-economic benefits by creating numerous jobs worldwide, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today. The seventh edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review shows that jobs in the sector reached 11.5 million globally last year, led by solar PV with some 3.8 million jobs, or a third of the total. 

"Adopting renewables creates jobs and boosts local income in both developed and developing energy markets," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera. "While today we see a handful of countries in the lead, each country can harness its renewable potential, take steps to leverage local capabilities for industrial development, and train its workers."

Last year, sixty-three per cent of all renewables jobs were recorded in Asia, confirming the region's status as a market leader, the new report reveals. Biofuels jobs followed closely behind solar PV, reaching 2.5 million. Many of these jobs are in the agricultural supply chain, particularly in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, with labour-intensive operations. Other large employers in the renewables sector are the hydropower and wind industries, with close to 2 million and 1.2 million jobs, respectively.
Renewables jobs have shown more inclusion and a better gender balance than fossil fuels. The report highlights that women held 32 per cent of total renewables jobs, as opposed to 21 per cent in fossil fuels sectors. 

Although precise estimates remain scarce and absolute numbers are small for now, off-grid renewables are creating growing employment, led by solar technology. Decentralised renewable energy can also propel productive uses in rural areas. This job multiplier effect can be seen in farming and food processing, healthcare, communications, and local commerce. 

Comprehensive policies, led by education and training measures, labour market interventions, and industrial policies that support the leveraging of local capacities, are essential for sustaining the renewables jobs expansion. 

The 2020 edition of the Annual Review highlights promising initiatives to support the education and training of workers. Such efforts revolve around vocational training, curricula-building, teacher training, the use of information and communications technology, promotion of innovative public-private partnerships, and recruitment of under-represented groups such as women. 

Policymakers must also prioritise reskilling for fossil fuel sector workers who have lost or are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Many have considerable skills and expertise to contribute to a reoriented, clean energy industry. 

The world has seen encouraging growth in renewables jobs. But it can bring about much larger employment by adopting a comprehensive policy framework that drives the energy transition. Never has the importance of such a push been clearer than at this momentous juncture. Even as the world is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity receives near-daily reminders of what lies in store if we fail to address the gathering climate disruptions. 

The need to chart a different course is undeniable, as are the benefits to be reaped. IRENA's recently-released Post-COVID Recovery Agenda found that an ambitious stimulus programme could create up to 5.5 million more jobs over the next three years than a business-as-usual approach. Such an initiative would also allow the world to stay on track for creating the 42 million renewables jobs that the agency's Global Renewables Outlook projects for 2050.

  • Published in Energy
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Data Emerges As Crucial Component Of Post-COVID-19 Oil Industry Recovery

The 'Leveraging the Power of Technology for Oilfield Optimization' webinar was organized by Microsoft in partnership with Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber; Lower production costs are paramount to a revamped global oil sector with technology to spearhead cost reductions; The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology adoption as an integral component of oil and gas projects.

During a webinar organized by Microsoft and Africa Oil & Power under the theme 'Leveraging the Power of Technology for Oilfield Optimization' on Tuesday, panelists examined how digital applications are capable of uniting real-time data with advanced analytics to improve decision-making and boost efficiency and sustainability. As oil and gas companies continue to face threats to efficiency, sustainability and profitability, digitalization and optimization of oilfield assets have emerged as principal cost-cutting mechanisms in the wake of the COVID-19 era.

According to Vaseem Khan, Global VP Digital, Analytics and Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer, McDermott, Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog traditional oil and gas operations thanks to technology.

"Technology is an enabler for sub-Saharan Africa to become more competitive and become one of the most prominent producing area globally," he said.

Multi Cloud Specialist at Microsoft, Dizando Norton, presented to the large virtual audience Microsoft's initiatives to boost technology adoption in the oil and gas industry while lowering carbon emissions footprint in line with Paris Climate Agreement. "By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, reducing emissions by more than half. By 2050, Microsoft will remove all the carbon the company has produced since its founding in 1975," he noted.

Microsoft is collaborating with Chevron and Schlumberger to deploy optimized technology-based processes looking to accelerate data analyzing, thus triggering new exploration opportunities and speed up time to first oil.

According to Norton, there are a number of transformative projects currently taking place in the eastern and southern Africa energy space. "These projects are supported namely by Microsoft's enabling cloud services allowing customers to increase efficiency while reducing operational costs."

Looking at the perceived high cost of entry to technology, Dr Babajide Agunbiade, Business Development Director at National Oilwell Varco believes the long-term vision is a crucial aspect of technology deployment. "Customers need to move away from the short-term financial aspect and look at the entire lifecycle of the project which can have up to a 30-year lifespan."

Vaseem Khan further stated that "technology is becoming cheaper and more accessible. The cost of deploying technology is now a minor expenditure in the project. Technology is the most efficient when looked at as an integral part of the project. Implementing a holistic vision will allow decision-makers to implement technology in a stable and rational way, with immense rewards down the way."

Osama Hanna, WW Energy Industry Core Team / Industry Digital Strategist at Microsoft gave the example of a project he led with an industry stakeholder regarding well corrosion. Following a government regulation regarding well maintenance, Microsoft implemented a real-time monitoring solution to proactively detect corrosion, ultimately reducing corrosion by up to 46%, thus avoiding a potential "plug & abandon" down the road.

Finally, the panel touched upon the role of technology in a post-COVID environment. According to Vaseem Khan, "COVID-19 has acted as a technology accelerator. Technology adoption has dramatically increased during the pandemic. It has allowed many projects to continue or resume faster and has shown many operators than remote work is an efficient way to maintain operations while lowering costs. The new normal is to use technology in order to deliver projects efficiently, in a cheaper manner. Technology is not an option for the future, it's necessary at the present."

Dr. Agunbiade stressed the importance of lowering costs thanks to technology in a context of long-term lower demand for oil: "COVID-19 has brought peak oil closer. Demand for oil is set to decrease continuously from here. This situation stresses the importance of lower costs in all aspects of the petroleum business: material selection, improved research and development, remote work. All these crucial topics can and must be supported by technology."

On a final note, Osama Hanna highlighted efficiency as the central topic for the post-COVID era. "Looking forward, efficiency will be a key challenge for all operators in the petroleum space. The price of a barrel is decided by the market, but companies can have an impact of their operational expenditure by optimizing efficiency across the value chain, whether we speak about human resources, equipment, technology and so on."

  • Published in Africa
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