REI assists United Nations Environment Programme on energy efficiency training in Africa and Asia

Dr Marco Buoni, Honorary Director of the Renewable Energy Institute, has been asked by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assist emerging economies as they launch educational standards based on European experience in the Energy Efficiency and Environmental sectors.

Global Round Tables

Global Round Tables

Dr Buoni has just met with officials from leading government agencies in Africa at a number of UNEP global Round Tables which have been organised in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Kigali (Rwanda). Such knowledge-sharing exercises have introduced international government agencies to the education and training systems which have previously been adopted in Europe on Energy Efficiency and Environmental Regulations – invaluable knowledge which will aid the development of emerging economies in the industry with the assistance of UNEP and its partners.

UNEP Objectives

The primary objective of the global Round Tables is to promote training and education through certification schemes and national associations, looking towards the opportunities for such schemes to be introduced in developing countries and economies in transition. As part of the REI’s commitment to Energy Efficiency and Environmental education and training and as an expert on European Certification in the industry, Dr.  Buoni was invited to present and discuss the established Certification Scheme which has been functioning well in Europe since 2008.

Extending the Certification Scheme

The lack of certification schemes in developing countries and economies in transition has hindered the ability of regions to adequately train professionals in the industry and adhere to compulsory international protocols. For this reason, the global workshops have been set up to facilitate the interaction of industry experts within each region to exchange best practices, disseminate the knowledge and experience already held in Europe, and assess the capabilities to extend such Schemes in the participating countries.

Training in Africa

At the Workshop held in Kigali on 11 – 13 June 2014, highly-skilled technicians from a variety of African countries were invited to attend in order to maximise the dissemination of the knowledge gained about the industry-wide certification scheme. The technicians in attendance were given the opportunity to take both the theoretical and practical exams, which are compulsory to pass the European Certification Scheme and were assessed on the day by Dr Buoni. In the established European Scheme, technicians receive an award which acts as a ‘badge of competence’ for the technicians themselves, their clients and the industry authorities.

The Way Forward

As a result of the meetings all of the involved parties, including international institutions and associations, have expressed the desire for the Certification Schemes to be extended in their countries.

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About the Renewable Energy Institute: The REI is a global leader in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy education and runs a series of classroom based and distance learning Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency training courses and conferences with the United Nations Environment Programme. For further information, visit or contact Hannah at