PV and a Woman Led Electrical Engineering Department at KIST in Zanzibar

The Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) is just down the road from Stonetown on the island of Unguja (Zanziba, Tanzania). KIST is a technical college offering Bachelor’s degrees, diploma, and vocational training in the practical sciences needed in any growing economy.

New Sun Road’s Adrienne Pierce joined a tour as part of the Alliance for Rural Electrification Energy Access Investment Forum held in Dar es Salaam. The group received a warm welcome and visited the campus to learn about the academic programs, see their renewable energy installations and hear about the electrical infrastructure plans for expansion among the islands of Zanzibar.

Established in 2009 and with a student body of 1500, the institute is led by Dr. Mahmoud Abdulwahab Alawi and offers degrees in Engineering, Electronics and Civil Engineering as well as diplomas in Electrical, Telecommunications, Computer, Information and Renewable Energy Engineering. In addition, there is vocational training in electrical installation, computer maintenance and networks.

The Electrical Engineering department is headed by Eng. Nyausi Makame. With a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Master’s of Science in European Renewable Energy from Hanze University of Applied Sciences (HUAS), Eng. Nyausi is a role model for young women and girls worldwide. In the U.S., only 10% of Electrical Engineers are women. At KIST, Eng Nyausi was proud to share that about 20% of the students are women.

KIST boasts two solar arrays that power buildings and serve as example installations for their Renewable Energy and Electrical Engineering students. The first solar array with battery storage was installed in 2014 on the school’s workshop. The system is grid tied and has 180 modules at 280W each, producing 50 kW power at peak. Funded by an 80,000 Euro grant from GWS in 2014, there are 5 inverters.

The second solar array, installed in 2018, is on the administration building. This system offers 38 kW of off-grid power, supported by a bank of lead acid batteries. The array consists of 90 modules of 280 W panels and three 3-phase 24 kW inverters.

At KIST, Dr. Alawi, and Eng. Nyausi are at the forefront of training the next generation of engineers and technicians to build a clean energy economy.