The Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (PAUWES) is one of the five hubs of the Pan African University (PAU) hosted at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria. The Pan African University (PAU) was initiated by the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2008 with the objective to promote higher education, science and technology on the African continent at a high academic level. The focus is on the development of post-graduates, PhD-candidates and applied research. The PAU is guided by the vision of an Africa managed by its own citizens and acting as a dynamic force in the international arena. PAUWES is part of a broad, integrated system of higher education institutions across the African continent which include the PAU institute on the topic of “Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation” institute in Kenya, the PAU institute on the topic of: “Life and Earth Sciences, including Health and Agriculture” in Nigeria , the PAU institute on the topic of “Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences” in Cameroon and the PAU institute on the topic of “Space Sciences” in South Africa.
Germany supports as the „Key Thematic Partner“ of the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) the establishment of the PAU hub in Tlemcen. The support is based on a trilateral agreement between the African Union Commission (AUC), the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MESRS) and the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting PAUWES in founding the research dimension of the institute.
The project – “Water and Energy Security in Africa (WESA)” funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) aims to support the development of PAUWES by enhancing its research activities in water and energy sciences. The United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences), the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn (UB), University of Tlemcen and PAUWES are partners in a consortium led by UNU for the implementation of the project. The project focusses on the development of innovative scientific research methods, which are adapted to local contexts and applicable in the areas of water and energy security in Africa. It is the first step towards the realization of a research agenda at PAUWES and at the same time offers PAUWES graduates the opportunity to conduct PhD studies. Support of young scientists plays a central role in the PAUWES research agenda with the goal to develop and implement scientific results. Beside the institutional and scientific objectives, the integration of PAUWES into scientific networks and the establishment of PAUWES as Pan African (and beyond) hub/platform on the topic of Energy, Water and Climate Change is another important objective of the project.
UNU-EHS is leading the project consortium and is further responsible for work packages that focus on research in water security in urban contexts in Africa and for reach-out activities.