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Pioneering technology leader ABB today handed over a digitally empowered high-voltage substation to the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia. The high-tech equipment will be used for training purposes and forms part of a partnership ABB entered in 2015 with the University of Zambia in Lusaka and Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia. This is a combined project with Education Partnership in Africa (EPA), Copperbelt Energy Corporation and the German government and allows students to work on ABB equipment in their engineering lab.
“ABB is a strong believer in the power of engineering to promote human development. We are proud to be able to support Zambia’s largest university to modernize their offering and ensure their graduates help the economic growth of the country and support the access to energy. This substation will help Zambia to accelerate skills development as we look towards the future of energy,” Venu Nuguri, ABB’s Lead division head for Power Grids in South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
In terms of the partnership, ABB has collaborated with Professional Training Solutions, who has supported the curriculum development and train-the-trainer initiatives to support quality teaching with ABB specialists providing lectures on smart grids, solar technologies, and other topics. The intention is to bridge the gap between industry needs and university offering, ensuring students are well-equipped for the workplace after graduation.
ABB also takes on two Zambian engineering graduates a year for comprehensive international in-house training which spans two years. So far two trainees have completed their programme, two have completed their first year of training, and another pair joined ABB earlier in April 2019.
“The University of Zambia is committed to the highest standards of teaching and research. The new substation provided by ABB will ensure our students are able to work on the latest equipment and can keep up to date with technology developments. Engineering education is critical to our development as a country, and we thank ABB for their support in this regard,” said Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia.
Zambia has invested in power generation over the last few years and has also invested heavily in hydro and solar power technology. Currently, the country plans to increase power production such that it will have an energy surplus.