Sustainable mobility and alternative means of transportation are a sustainability goal globally. In regions of sub-Saharan Africa, population growth is directly related to the problem of traffic congestion and calls for innovative approaches. The need for rural and urban transportation changes exists in several use cases: from the congested streets of Accra to decaying food produce in local farms. For this reason, the Sustainable Technologies Laboratory organized the kick-off workshop and a further stakeholder workshop in Ghana as part of the funding program “Mobility thought through the life cycle” (MoNaL) to pilot the use of light electric vehicles backed by decentralized energy systems with payments facilitated by blockchain technology.
During the kick-off event in Sunyani which occurred on April 19, 2021, the university president Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bock signed the Memorandum of Understanding between Bochum University of Applied Sciences and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).
The head of the Sustainable Technologies Laboratory Prof. Dr.-Ing. Semih Severengiz opened the event together with the Vice Chancellor of UENR, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako. The goal of the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), is to consider the entire life cycle of electric vehicles. Starting with production, through energy supply during use, to recycling, the concept is thought of and considered as part of the circular economy.
In addition, a pilot implementation of a rental system for e-mopeds and cargo bikes is being carried out at the site of the local partner Don Bosco Tech in Ghana. This will be tested technically and economically and adapted to local conditions and user requirements. In this context, the second workshop was held on April 22, 21 at Don Bosco Tech University. The event served to network with local stakeholders on the ground and addressed similar problem-solving approaches as the kick-off workshop in Sunyani, as the measures are also supported by the faculty of UENR.
Additionally, the Brong-Ahafo Regional minister, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene, stated the commitment of the regional and national government in achieving the sustainable development goals and lauded the efforts of HSBO and UENR. She pledged the support of her office in ensuring the success of the MoNaL project. The director of the Regional Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (RCEES), Dr. Eric Ofosu Antwi, pledged his support and that of his team to ensuring the success of the project and indicated that further projects on similar thematic areas would be supported by the Centre. the laboratory’s employees Dr.- Ing. Sebastian Finke on the life cycle analysis of mini-grids and cargo e-Bikes, and Frederick Adjei on the benefits of Light Electric Vehicles, made presentations on the MoNaL project to stakeholders. Michele Velenderic of Green Power Brains in Munich, partner of the Sustainable Technologies Laboratory also presented the application of decentralized energy systems to show the work done so far on renewable energy supply options. The concepts and implementations in energy supply and transportation design will be scaled to other regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and explored in different use cases.
The activities of the MoNaL project did not end in Sunyani, the project had as well a stakeholder workshop on the campus of Don Bosco Solar and Renewable Energy Centre in Tema, Ashaiman (about 10 km from Accra). Here the focus was on highlighting the training and vocational work undertaken by the Centre. Fr. Christoff Baum, the Director of the Centre, presented the work of Don Bosco and assured the readiness of the Centre to pilot the use of light-electric vehicles on the campus. The stakeholder event saw the signing of a memorandum as well of understanding between HSBO and Don Bosco.
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