CEMEREM at the DIGI-FACE Kick-Off Meeting

The Digital Initiative for African Centres of Excellence (DIGI-FACE) is a cooperation project between a network of German and African Universities under the leadership of the University of Kehl in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funds this initiative with support from the German Federal Foreign Office (AA). The kick-off-meeting of the DIGI-FACE project was hosted by the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth in cooperation with University of Kehl from 2nd -7th of March 2020. CEMEREM was represented by Prof. Jan C. Bongaerts (CEMEREM Project Leader, TUBAF), Prof. Kiptanui Arap Too (CEMEREM Project Coordinator, TTU), Dr. Nicholas Muthama (CEMEREM Project Manager, TTU) and Mr. Kibwana Zamani (ICT Manager, TTU).

At the onset of the kick-off, the delegates were taken through the overall aims of the initiative by the lead persons notably, Prof Ewald Eisenberg, representing project lead partner Kehl University in Germany; Prof Bernd Siebenhuener, German academic from Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg and Prof Paul Webb, Project Leader of the East and South African German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management (CERM-ESA). Professor Michael Samuel from the University of KwaZulu Natal, the moderator of the event, took on the collaborative approaches to capacity development and digitalization was brought into perspective. The Deputy Vice-chancellor, learning and Teaching, Prof Cheryl Foxcroft from Nelson Mandela University officially opened the meeting and emphasized the need for CoEs to make provisions for students to learn in digital spaces.

Other sessions that followed after the aforementioned preamble included the delegate’s reflections on their motivations; on-line learning experts presentations that shed more light into the digital classrooms; practical sessions of designing an interactive online session; Centres action steps, collaborations and partnerships; business plan; delegates visions and recommendations. The sessions were not only in-depth but quite mind-boggling in terms of reflections on the core challenges such as geographical complications, equipment deficiencies alongside proposed methodologies for accomplishing the DIGI-FACE project.

DIGI-FACE will have interesting and new impacts on CEMEREM in the future. CEMEREM delegates were satisfied that they could bring this issue as their contribution to the attention of the DIGI-FACE project leaders. As such, DIGI-FACE means new developments for CEMEREM, such as new possibilities for online teaching, online study and learning documents for students, online coaching, online supervision of student projects, capacity building for teachers, etc.

CEMEREM will study these new developments and as the DIGI-FACE project moves on, CEMEREM will implement them for the benefit of TTU, the German partners, CEMEREM itself, the CEMEREM staff and, least but not last, the CEMEREM students and the outreach communities.

CEMEREM is grateful to DAAD for the invitation, the opportunity to learn about DIGI-FACE and very committed as we are looking forward for the next steps.

The First CEMEREM Conference on „Mining and Education in Africa“ in Nairobi, Kenya

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.

CEMEREM – image video online available for the “Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management”

filming in Kenya for the CEMEREM DAAD centre by zazudesign 2017 filming in Kenya for the CEMEREM DAAD centre by zazudesign 2017

“Vor der Schippe ist es duster!”, is a German miners saying, meaning “It’s dark in front of the shovel.”
We have put some light there and now the image video of the centre is ready to be presented.


After some changes in the hosting of the DAADs website, finally the new image video of the Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management is also ready to be implemented in your website.

As with the videos before, follow these steps:

  1. go to and copy the code, after you have chosen the centre in the drop down menu
  2. paste the code in the HTML-code of you website
  3. Done!

The videos maximum width is 640 pixel. Up to this size it will adjust automatically to different screen sizes (smart phone, laptop). You can choose between the original version in English, with English subtitles and with German subtitles.


If you need the video for a live presentation, please contact Sylvia Vogt or Dr. Dorothee Weyler in Bonn .They have different versions available for bigger screens and beamer.


For any questions, just send me a mail:



Visit to Nairobi and Taita Taveta University (TTU), Voi, Kenya

From 14 – 20 December, a delegation of four (Prof. Jan C. Bongaerts and Dr. Jiangxue Liu, Erik Ferchau, biogas researcher of TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Niazi Khan, Manager International Business Development at Nagaro GmbH in Frankfurt am Main) travelled to Nairobi and TTU In Voi.
During the first part of the travel, on 14 December, a meeting took place with Helmut Blumbach, Head of the DAAD East Africa Regional Office in Nairobi. The next day, Prof. Bongaerts and Dr. Jiangxue Liu were received by Hon Dan Kazungu, Cabinet Secretary for Mining in his personal office. On 16 December, all four members participated in a Workshop entitled: “Mining Education and Rare Earth Minerals in Kenya” with representatives from TTU, government offices, industry associations and Base Tianium Mining attending. Dr. Jiangxue Liu gave a presentation on her PhD work entited: “The Economics of Rare Earths Minerals”. Kenya has an untapped deposit of these strategic minerals even larger than in China. Prof. Bongaerts gave an overview of financing instruments especially for mining projects.

daad-nairobi workshop-nairobi_jl_s workshop-nairobi_jcb_s

During the second part of the travel, a visit was made to the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) of Taita Taveta University in the Taita Hills for the purpose of inspecting two biogas plants. One of them is installed at the dairy unit of SAEES and another plant is operated by a High School in close vicinity. Both plants have a traditional design which allows for a reliable yield of biogas but with a low level of effectivity. Whilst some improvements can be achieved with operational measures, the so called smart biogas plant proposed by the Freiberg experts Niazi Khan and Erik Ferchau has a much higher effectivity with a much lower input and, above all, with a high variety of organic input matter. This was explained in a presentation by Niazi Khan to members of the local community at SAEES who showed a great interest in the technology as such and in business models for practical implementation and use.

Visit of Kenyan Delegation of Government Representatives

From 17th to 21st October 2016, a delectation of representatives from the government of the Republic of Kenya visited Germany. The Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Hon Dan Kazungu, led the delegation. Members of the delegation were Mr. Raymond Mutiso – Ag. Director Mines, Mr. Stephen Mwakesi – Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Charles Obiero Afullo, Senior Deputy Director of Education, Ministry of Education, Prof. Hamadi Iddi Boga, Principal, Taita Taveta University, Ms. Helen Rosa, Second Counsellor, Kenya Embassy in Berlin.

Day 1 – 17 October 2016 – Berlin

Visit of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)



Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) (from left Dr Benjamin Laag, Hon Dan Kazungu, Stephen Mwakesi, Charles Obiero Afullo, Prof. Hamadi Boga)

The first day began with a meeting before the arrival of the Kenya delegation with Mr. Günter Nooke, German Chancellor‘s Personal Representative for Africa, Dr Sören Dengg, head of Division Energy; infrastructure; raw materials at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr Benjamin Laag, Senior Policy Officer of Division Energy, Infrastructure and Raw Materials at BMZ, and Mr. Zimmermann, head of the DAAD office in Berlin. Prof. Feistel gave an introduction into the CEMEREM project. Mr. Nooke introduced Germany’s current Africa policy.

Dr Benjamin Laag presided the meeting on behalf Dr Nooke, Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Hon Dan Kazungu introduced the mining industry in Kenya, stating that the mining sector in Kenya is in an early stage of development with a contribution of mining and minerals to GDP of less than 1% to the GDP. He reported on the Kenyan government’s new strategy to increase that share to 10% by 2030. As a first step, a new Mining Act, replacing the pre-independence Mining Act of 1940 was adopted in May 2016. Its overall purpose are to give guidelines of the mining sector and facilitate for foreign investment. The Act regulates land policy, public land, land and property use, and environmental protection. It also has regulations on artisanal mining. An important element covers the shares of royalties with 70% accruing to the national government, 20% to county governments and 10% to local communities. Currently, the Mining Ministry is conducting an aerial geophysical survey project to map out the country’s mineral resources digitally. This project is monitored by a new national steering committee consisting of Kenyan cabinet secretaries, skilled geologists and technical experts.

Visit of the BDI-The Voice of German Industry


BDI Building Berlin (from left: Helen Rosa, Raymond Mutiso, Katharina Loy, Jakob Ebermann,  Hon Dan Kazungu, Prof. Ulrike Feistel, Dr Jiangxue Liu, Henry von Klencke, Prof. Hamadi Boga, Charles Obiero Afullo, Stephen Mwakesi)

The delegation was received by Mr. Henry von Klencke and Ms. Katharina Loy, Senior Managers at the department for Security and Raw Materials of BDI. Mr. von Klencke gave a presentation about the structure and activities of BDI and its current policy issues concerning raw materials. Ms. Loy, who happened to have returned a mission to Kenya explained BDI’s strategy and activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. BDI is monitoring and contributing to the German Government’s Africa policy with advice and support for the purpose of the promotion of an attractive and sustainable investment climate in African countries. BDI has set up its own catalogue of activities towards strengthening German business in Africa. As a member of the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI), BDI draws attention to opportunities available to German industry. Ms. Loy also mentioned the second German-African Business Summit (GABS) to be held in Nairobi from 9th to 11th February 2017. GABS will focus on Africa’s economic potential and future trends in African-German cooperation.

Meeting with Frank Heinrich MdB and Veronika Bellmann MdB at the Bundestag


Bundestag, (from left Hon Dan Kazungu, Frank Heinrich, Veronika Bellmann, Prof. Hamadi Boga)

Day 2 – 18 October 2016 – Berlin

Visit of the German Federation of International Mining and Mineral Resources (FAB)


At the German Federation of International Mining and Mineral Resources (from left: Helen Rosa, Raymond Mutiso, Charles Obiero Afullo, Prof. Hamadi Boga, Dr Martin Wedig, Hon Dan Kazungu, Prof. Thomas Grischek, Jakob Ebermann)

On the second day, the delegation met Dr Martin Wedig, director of the German Federation of International Mining and Mineral Resources (FAB). Dr Wedig explained that FAB is a federation of more than 70 German member companies with activities in international mining and related activities. FAB offers a platform for exchange of information on mining activities and as consultant for member companies to find partners abroad. He pointed out that Africa’s countries are rich in natural resources, in particular in critical minerals, which are important sectors of Germany’s economy. He also mentioned the challenges for investor in African countries due to intransparencies in policy and legislation and insufficient infrastructure, including energy security. Hon. Kazungu presented the new Mining Act and the new mining strategy and the status of development of infrastructure in Kenya. He promised the encouragement of his government for investments in mining.

Visit of the DAAD Office in Berlin


At DAAD Wissenschaftsforum, (from left: Stephen Mwakesi, Helen Rosa, Daniel Zimmermann, Dr Dorothee Weyler)

After welcome words by Daniel Zimmermann, head of the DAAD office in Berlin, Dr Weyler, head of Fachzentren Afrika of DAAD, gave a presentation on DAAD’s activities in Africa with focus on postgraduate and alumni programs. Prof. Boga reported on the status and current achievements of the CEMEREM project since its start in April 2016. He highlighted bilateral exchanges of staff and students, the delivery of laboratory equipment to Kenya and the review of curricula. He announced the inauguration of the CEMEREM building in April 2017 and invited DAAD representatives to the opening ceremony. Together with Charles Obiero Afullo, Senior Deputy Director of Education, Prof. Boga explained introduced higher education and research polices in Kenya.

Day 3 – 19 October 2016 – Welzow


At open pit mine in Welzow, (from left: Charles Obiero Afullo, Raymond Mutiso, Prof. Hamadi Boga, Hon Dan Kazungu, Marco Drechsler).

On the third day the delegation visited the open lignite mine in Welzow-Süd guided by Marco Drechsler, Mining engineer of Vattenfall and the rehabilitation project guided by Thomas Neumann, Landscape engineer of Vattenfall.

Day 4 – 20 October 2016 – Dresden

Visit of the University of Applied Sciences (HTWD) and the Ministry of Science and Education (SMWK)


At University of Applied Sciences Dresden (first row from left Stephen Mwakesi, Prof. Ulrike Feistel, Hon Dan Kazungu, Prof. Ronald Stenzel, Prof. Hamadi Boga; second row from left Jakob Ebermann, Charles Obiero Afullo, Raymond Mutiso, Faith Tumwet)

The focus of the visits to HTW Dresden and SMWK was on education and the involvement of partners from industry and consultancy in university education and research. HTWD Rector Prof. Ronald Stenzel gave an overview on practice-oriented education at HTWD and current research activities. Prof. Ulrike Feistel used the example of collaboration among three partners, Vattenfall, Ingenieurbüro Wasser und Boden Dr Uhlmann (IWB Dresden) and HTWD to illustrate benefits of such collaborative work for all three partners and, above all, for students. Another example of collaborative research funded by SMWK was presented by Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Fabian Musche. These presentations triggered an intensive discussion within the Kenyan delegation and Hon Dan Kazungu urged that universities have a prominent role to play in assisting problems in industry, specifically in the mining sector. In conclusion, Stephen Mwakesi suggested a number of follow-up actions. Prof. Boga proposed to open up dialogues on such issues with relevant stakeholders and TTU staff.

Prof. Jörg Feller, Head of the division of Inorganic Chemistry, accompanied the delegation to the SMWK. Dr Kühme, Head of Division responsible for Universities at SMWK, presented the structure and the political functions and responsibilities the Ministry and its specific role in funding universities. Dr Zimmermann, Head of Division of Research at SMWK, explained research funding in Saxony in more detail for further discussion.

Day 5 – 21 October 2016 – Freiberg

Visit of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg


At TU BAF, Lampadius-Klause room (from left: Gloria Auma Njagah, Prof. Hamadie Boga, Dr. Jiangxue Liu, Jakob Ebermann, Prof. Mischo, Charles Obiero Afullo, Mr. Hon Dan Kazungu, Prof Reinhardt Nindel, Ms. Sylvia Morgenstern, Dr Wolfgang Reimer, Dr Andreas Barth, Ms. Katharina Rosin, Mr. Raymond Mutiso, Mr. Stephen Mwakesi, Prof. Reuter Markus)

The first visit took place at Research Institute of Mineral Processing in UVR-FIA GmbH guided by Prof. J. Schoenherr and Dr Morgenroth. This is a private Institute with official affiliations to TU Berrgakademie Freiberg.

The second meeting took place at TU Bergakademie Freiberg. Prof. Mischo, director of Institute of Underground Mining received the delegation. Also present were Prof. Markus Reuter, vice director of Helmholtz Institute Freiberg, Dr Wolfgang Reimer, Manager of Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg e.V. (GKZ), Dr Andreas Barth, CEO of beak Consultants GmbH, Sylvia Morgenstern of Geotechnical, Environment and Civil Engineering Ltd (G.U.B. Ingenieur AG) and Prof. Dr Reinhardt Nindel, Chairman of the supervisory board of ibes AG.

Hon Kazungu presented the mining sector in Kenya and his willingness to expand co-operation with German Universities and German companies.

All participants gave presentations of their organisations and their activities related to mining in Africa. The meeting an exchange of ideas and proposals on future co-operation opportunities.

After the meeting, the delegation visited the Institute of Underground Mining Institute and the underground mine at Reiche Zeche.

The Freiberg visit was concluded by a complimentary meeting with Prof. Broder J. Merkel, Prorektor who gave an overview of TU Bergakademie Freiberg. On behalf of the delegation, Hon. Kazungu reported on the visit in Germany, highlighting the interesting opportunities for further co-operation between Kenya and Germany.

Other Activities

In addition to the technical meetings and excursion the delegation had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Dresden where they went on an evening tour around the historic town. In Freiberg the delegation was shown around the old mining town. A visit to the exhibition Terra Mineralia crowned the day. Some time for sightseeing in Berlin had been set apart at the end of the visit.

Contract signed

The cooperation agreement between the main partners of the new selected Centre of African Excellence in Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management (CEMEREM) at Taita Taveta University College (TTUC), Voi Campus (Kenya) was signed during the kickoff meeting

(Foto: Prof. Hamadi Boga TTUC in front, Prof. Thomas  Grischek, FH Dresden and Prof. Jan Bongaerts, TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

Kenyan German Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmantal Engineering and Resources Management (CEMEREM)

This recently established Kenyan-German Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resources Management at the Taita Taveta University College in Voi responds to the recent discoveries of substantial deposits of minerals, iron ore, coal, gas and oil in the Eastern African Region. The centre aims to meet the need for well trained environmental engineers and resource managers for industry and government to respond to the challenges that arise from these finding.

The German partner Universities are Hochschule für Technik und Wasserwesen Dresden and the Bergakademie Freiberg.

More information on the centre to be published on the African-Excellence Homepage soon!