Academies need research capacity to promote economic growth

Libya

Libyan universities As it seeks to recover from a seven-year civil war that began in 2014, it seeks to increase its research capacity in key areas of the economy.

A temporary peace plan for 2021 is still underway.

In June in Berlin, the international community discussed how to support economic growth and how Libyan universities can play a role.

Ahmed al-Amin, head of research and construction at Saha University’s energy and mining engineering department at Saba University in southern Libya, can provide quality research on key areas.

Al-Amin told him University World News: “The problem is that we have a severe power outage. Once the supply was cut off for 12 days and caused a lot of problems; He could not cool down and we lost so much food and medicine.

Al-Amin emphasized the need for irrigation in southern Libya – “We have lost a lot of olive trees in the south due to lack of water,” he said, adding that local water supplies in the ocean city need to be pumped out of the Numidian aquifer.

“I am working on a solar irrigation system for olive and smallholder farmers,” he said. We call it the “Solar Cooler.”

It is a solar-powered heat exchanger or cooling plant.

The research team also focuses on refrigerating milk from 5 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius (avoiding storage) and refrigerating food.

Some money for research

One of the problems facing Libyan universities as they reflect on their research role is that of Col Muammar Gaddafi, the former socialist regime that collapsed in 2011.

“Teaching is more important than research,” says Adel Diaph, director of international cooperation at the University of Tripoli. University World News.

And, like many Libyan scholars, he struggled to continue his studies after his return to Libya, where he received generous PhDs in solar energy from the University of Horticulture in Scotland.

“The problem is we don’t have great facilities,” said Diaph.

Eager to find ways to continue the study, he explored what kind of equipment he had and accidentally discovered a new “Plasma Modified Chemical Variation Depot from the Netherlands,” which puts silicon on gas in solar cells.

However, he said, “This system does not work in Libya because we do not have gas silicone, or the necessary safety equipment.

Due to a lack of proper equipment, money, and equipment, Diaf “moved to the simulation rather than testing the materials in the laboratory.”

He noted that Libyan universities in general were suffering from a lack of funding, and that many researchers were providing financial support on their own. He added: “I am doing it [research] Working on my own. The university is not giving anything for research weekends or French expenses [access] To Conferences ”

He said such services had been suspended since 2014 when the United Nations imposed heavy sanctions on the civil war.

Meanwhile, some small research groups are funded by the interim government, and scholars seek funding from abroad, such as the European Erasmus program, as well as local communities or oil companies.

Focus on health care, the media, women

Marcelo Scalisi, director of the United States University of the Mediterranean (UNIMED), said the Erasmus + project, known as the Ibrahims project, has continued to explore research capacity building in Libya and could still analyze partners.

Libyan scholars say they have “a clear understanding of their needs.” However, “there are many obstacles [such as] Lack of infrastructure and lack of autonomy [which is very common in south Mediterranean countries like North Africa], ”Universities traditionally controlled by government agencies.

A previously established project (launched in 2017), ENBRAIN is a Erasmus + project that develops academic research in renewable energy in Libyan universities, including Zawya University (west of the capital). . And the University of Tripoli.

According to Pirluji Lyon, Coordinator of ENBRAIN Projects, Engineering, Professor of Italian Turin Polytechnic University University World News“I think Africa needs to be more involved in PhD at research programs and capacity building.

However, he said: “Before jumping into PhD programs [research], We need some master’s degrees. We want to create an attractive environment for companies that offer jobs abroad. ”

According to Lyon, ENBRAIN sought permission to start master’s studies with Libyan government ministers in renewable energy as the civil war eased in 2020. But there were many obstacles.

“It was very difficult to transfer money to Libya,” he said. “Finally, four years later, we are transferring money [of the project]. ”

Lyon wants other obstacles to cooperation in Libya, such as obtaining visas for guerrillas or visiting partner universities.

Libya says the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is also a problem – a move that “opens up access to renewable research to the international community” and therefore to investment.

He said another source of funding and funding was the European Union’s hydrogen strategy.

Meanwhile, other scholars want to see research on the development of the Libyan healthcare system in the UNIMED project, funded by Erasmus + SAHA. He has visited six universities throughout Libya – the University of Zawiya, the University of Tripoli, the University of Missouri, the University of Seventy, the University of Serte, and the Libyan International Medical University in Benghazi.

Abdulbasst Krimma, director of international cooperation at Zawya University, said the SAHA project at the institute is focused on improving hospital management. [healthcare] The system in Libya is very weak. We want to update the system. ”

“We will have a data center to digitalize health care management. The information system will cover the whole of Libya. At the end of the project, information will be available from all Libyan universities.

One goal here is to alleviate the Libyan crisis during the conflict years: “People used to love each other, but now it’s horrible; They do not accept each other. We need to study the psychological impact. ”

He added that the Erasmus + Pags project, which focuses on training Libyan journalists, could help heal the country.

“The developed media [after the fall of Gaddafi], Was primarily [spreading] Propaganda, [and] It encourages more conflict, ”he said, noting that the project will encourage students to think about how to work in Libya.

UNIMED SCALESY UNIVERSITIES “CIVIL SOCIETY AND YOUTH; You can provide the right knowledge through politics.

“Female students are in the majority, but not in society or in the labor market,” he said, noting that the academy could change the role and place of women in Libya. To start an initiative for female leaders in academia.

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