Smart Villages is a major new project looking at how to supply energy sustainably to enable the creation of ‘smart villages’ in Africa and Asia. In such "smart villages", energy access would act as a catalyst for development, enabling education and local business opportunities, improving health and welfare, and enhancing democratic engagement. As such, energy access can provide a much needed driver for sustainable economic development and growth for a major (circa 2 billion people), but neglected, sector of the world’s economy. They would also provide an alternative to population drift to cities and perhaps act as an incentive to those who have left villages to return.
The study is focussing on the science of energy provision in off-grid villages in developing countries and is being undertaken collaboratively with key stakeholders to ensure that the initiative is firmly rooted in addressing real-world issues, and achieves effective uptake and impact. By bringing together top European, African, and Asian scientists with local stakeholders (entrepreneurs, villagers, NGO’s, financers and policy makers etc.) in a series of workshops in Africa, Malaysia, India and finally Brussels, the project aims to develop an insightful, bottom-up view of the challenges of village energy provision for development, and how they can be overcome.
The prime objective of the project will be to inform EU policy making and initiatives on energy for development, in particular Directorate General (DG) Development and Cooperation, and also DG’s Energy, Climate Action, and Research and Innovation. The study will be undertaken collaboratively with relevant national academies, and networks of academies, in Tanzania/Kenya/Africa and India/Malaysia/Asia. Through them, the study will also inform national and regional policy makers (in particular, for Africa, the African Union).
The first phase of the project will comprise workshops in Africa, Malaysia, India and Brussels will be held over a 12 month period commencing in June 2014. The final workshop in Brussels will bring together participants from the previous workshops with experts, policy makers and thought leaders from the EU, in order to draw key conclusions from the study and to formulate advice to EU and national policy makers by Spring 2015 on how the challenges of providing sustainable energy as a catalyst for ‘smart villages’ may be addressed.
The logo should be flexible - we might want to colour code for the workshops - ie
Arusha June 2014