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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 to participate in model design meetings at Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms near Lake Volta in Ghana from 30-31 October

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 07 October, 2013 – African Agribusiness Knowledge Centers (AAKC) is pleased to announce collaboration with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies of Abu Dhabi.

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), 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 at AAKC.

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.

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

AAKC's diverse agribusiness educational programming will range from residency curriculums that integrate classroom study with outdoor field-work practice, to five-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.

Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.

Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.  With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

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