Masdar Institute of Abu Dhabi, MIT, and African Agribusiness Knowledge Centers team-up to bring renewable energy solutions to African agribusiness zone/city planning

Masdar Institute faculty will participate in model design meetings at Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms on the shores of Lake Volta in Ghana, West Africa, on Oct. 30-31st

Masdar LogoAbu Dhabi — African Agribusiness Knowledge Centers (AAKC) is pleased to announce collaboration with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology of Abu Dhabi. AAKC, in association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Harvard Kennedy School’s Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, and Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms (a farm development business pioneering commercial farming on 25,927 acres (10,497 hectares) on Lake Volta in Ghana, West Africa), the Masdar Institute will apply its expertise in renewable energy technology and innovative solutions to the mission of improving the skills and competitiveness of the African agricultural industry and its farmers.

AAKC is pioneering “21st Century Model Agribusiness Economic Zones and Cities” with faculty of the MIT School of Architecture and Urban Planning to design fully integrated rural African communities built around sustainable agribusiness. Faculty and students of Masdar Institute will collaborate in these model designs by focusing on renewable and hybrid energy grids, which can later be incorporated into courses aimed at building knowledge of renewable energy applications in Africa.

“We are delighted to team-up with Masdar Institute,” said Issa Baluch, Chairman of AAKC and Africa Atlantic Holdings, and alumni senior fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative of Harvard University. “The future of agribusiness in Africa requires rural energy solutions. Masdar Institute is the pioneer, and their contribution to these models is crucial.” “The future of agribusiness in Africa requires rural energy solutions. Masdar Institute is the pioneer, and their contribution to these models is crucial.”

AAKC’s diverse agribusiness educational programming will range from residency curriculums that integrate classroom study with outdoor field-work practice, to 5-day global executive seminars, to youth school micro-farms. AAKC will teach best practices and will introduce graduates to techniques, technology, and the vendors supporting Africa’s farming industry. And AAKC will educate professional farmers, farm or cooperative managers, industry executives, government officials, and youth populations. Agribusiness vendors from all points along the value-chain such as those selling crop inputs, farming tractors, irrigation, finance, renewable energies, transportation, logistics, crop insurance, and wholesale commodity buyers will all benefit from introducing and training students on their respective equipment and services all from one location.

About Masdar Institute of Science and Technology: The Masdar Institute offers Masters and Doctoral programs in engineering disciplines with a focus on advanced energy and sustainable technologies. The Masdar Institute Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment supports the International Renewable Energy Agency in its advancement of a publicly-accessible atlas of solar and wind resources, particularly for developing countries.

About African Agribusiness Knowledge Centers. AAKC is a United States-based non-profit organization being developed by Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd to teach a financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable farming system that is scalable, builds capacity, and is globally competitive. Its flagship project is being developed in Ghana with Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms Ltd.

AAKC: Jon Vandenheuvel (jvan@africaatlantic.com)
Abu Dhabi, UAE Masdar Inst.: Bader Alzarei (balzarei@masdar.ac.ae)