Welcome to the ARUA Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Energy, hosted within the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) is an Africa-wide research network that aims to strengthen research on the continent and improve postgraduate training. Stellenbosch University is proud to contribute to this effort by hosting the CoE in Energy, and building a network of excellent African researchers around the common theme of energy.

On this website page you will find information on the CoE, our activities, network & collaborators, the projects we are busy with and opportunities to engage with us. Also take a look at our news page for interesting developments, and updates from our researchers sharing work and views on energy issues in Africa. We believe that by working together, we can bring new African perspectives and ideas to the table to help solve energy issues in Africa.

History & Leadership

The ARUA Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Energy is hosted at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) in the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University. ARUA awarded the CoE to Stellenbosch University during early 2018, and in August of that year the CoE was officially launched during a collaborative workshop that brought together leading researchers from all across Africa. Since then the CoE has been an active member of ARUA, participating in various activities and representing the CoE and ARUA at scientific events and other stakeholder engagements. In 2019 Stellenbosch University appointed a full-time Director for the CoE, to expand the CoE’s activities and collaborator network. Since January 2024, the CoE directorship is headed up by Prof Cristina Trois. Prior to her becoming full-time Director of the CoE, the CoE director role was first shared jointly between Prof Johann Görgens and Prof Sampson Mamphweli thereafter appointing the CoE’s first full-time director, Dr Neill Goosen, in 2019.


The CoE in Energy has three main activities: (i) doing cutting edge research with an African focus, (ii) training postgraduate students, and (iii) building a network of collaborators and stakeholders around issues of energy in Africa. The CoE collaborates extensively with other disciplines, both within Stellenbosch University and in our wider network. We believe energy, and particularly renewable energy, plays an enabling role in various industries and disciplines and we align our work accordingly. Our research goes hand in hand with the training of postgraduate students, and our postgraduates have access to Stellenbosch University’s excellent facilities and the guidance of leading researchers. Collaboration forms a main pillar around which we build our research projects, and we therefore engage with academia, industry and other stakeholders to ensure that our work stays relevant, to learn from colleagues and to share what our CoE is doing.


In partnership with Stellenbosch University’s African Doctoral Academy, the ARUA CoE in Energy will be running a series of workshops and a panel discussion aimed at building capacity of postgraduate students. This workshop will be taking place on 11 – 12 November 2024 as pre-events to the SASEC conference. Link and registrations to both the conference and pre-events can be found on the SASEC conference website.


Prof Cristina Trois

ARUA CoE in Energy Director

Yumna Parker

ARUA CoE in Energy Centre Manager

ARUA CoE in Energy Network and collaborators

Partnerships are crucial to do top quality research that impacts society. One of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is also specifically building of meaningful partnerships, because in partnerships we can build on one another’s strengths. For this reason, the Centre is constantly looking to build partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including academia, research and development organisations, industry, non-profit organisations and society at large. The ARUA CoE in Energy is pleased to have a number of academic collaborators from across Africa within our network, and we hope to engage more partners in the course of our work. The ARUA CoE in Energy follows a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model. Spoke Universities include, University of Addis Ababa, University of Ghana, Strathmore University, University of Rwanda, Rhodes University, University of Cape Town, Makerere University, Maasai Mara University, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Lagos, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Ibadan and Usmanu Danfodiyo University. Below are the spoke universities and a brief overview of the current active academic collaborators.