On 15 and 16 November 2017, within the CEMEREM Project, the first International Conference on Mining and Education took place in Nairobi. CEMEREM is a common project of TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden (University of Applied Sciences HTWD) – the project co-ordinator, and Taita Taveta University (TTU) in Voi, Kenya, with the aim of establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management. It is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs through DAAD. CEMEREM is one of now eleven Centres of Excellence of DAAD in Africa.
Both partner universities from Sachsen were represented with papers and discussion contributions. High-ranking personalities and stakeholders from Kenya participated. Members of Universities of Namibia and Zambia also took part. Many papers and presentations were given by university members, education experts, representatives of natural resource sector associations and of companies about current practice and experiences in education for mining and engineering, expectations for the future and requirements to be met currently to achieve them. A Keynote Speech by Cabinet Secretary for Mining Hon. Don Kazungu highlighted the significance of education for the newly emerging mining sector in the country after his Ministry has established all required laws and regulations for implementation. CEMEREM project leader Prof. Ulrike Feistel of HTWD presented an overview of work done so far within the CEMEREM project and of tasks to be managed in the future stage of CEMEREM II. DAAD Regional Office Director Helmut Blumbach, explained the plans of the German Government to establish a completely new University of Applied Sciences in East Africa. During a panel discussion, experts from Government, universities, mining companies and private education companies expressed the need to bring study programme curricula in line with the requirements of graduate profiles for a better entry into professional careers in the natural resources sector.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Hamadi Boga, commented as follows: “We set an important milestone with our first CEMEREM Conference on Education for Mining for the benefit of Africa‘s natural resources sector. I am particularly delighted with the interest we have raised as witnessed by the attendance of all stakeholders. Prof. Feistel added: „as of now, new CEMEREM study programmes, especially at Master’s Level, are on offer at TTU. With them, we respond to the needs of public administration and the business community for a modern and sustainable natural resources sector in Africa.
Meanwhile, during the conference, it became apparent that the proposal of both German partner universities for a prolongation of the project until the end of 2020, known as CEMEREM II, was successful and signatures will be placed soon. This allows for a continuation of work done in the next three years.