U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Moroccan Energy Minister Mustapha Mansouri have signed an International Accreditation for the Renewable Energy Development Center of Morocco that will expand existing training activities for Moroccans and other African post-baccalaureate students. The students will study Renewable Energy technologies, such as programs to install and service photovoltaic, wind turbine, or other Renewable Energy systems.WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 6, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “This marks a very significant step in Africa’s development of and attention to energy resources,” Secretary Abraham said. “The Renewable Energy Development Center of Morocco is highly respected in the field of energy research and provides techniques and avenues for improvements to the African energy industry. Today’s agreement means that it will also continue to provide significant educational experiences and opportunities to the men and women of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa as well.” Under the agreement, the Renewable Energy Development Center will provide training for Moroccan and other African students at facilities in Morocco and other sites in Africa with the goal of expanding and improving upon Africa’s energy research and development programs. By training technicians in Renewable Energy systems, the region hopes to attract international investment not only in Renewable Energy technologies, but in other energy-related fields as well. On the U.S. side, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will expand its existing cooperative efforts with the Moroccan Ministry of Energy to include the new training program. The agreement also outlines opportunities for a major expansion of Renewable Energy programs in Morocco through energy infrastructure development, public/private partnerships, environmental protection programs and expansion of capabilities at Morocco’s Center for Renewable Energy Development. The Casablanca Conference will provide the U.S. and the African nations the opportunity to build upon the achievements of the previous conferences, including a focus on development of the energy sector in African economies and support of accessible, environmentally safe, and affordable energy supplies in Africa. The conference will consist of presentations and panel discussions on energy technology, funding opportunities, planning and regional integration, capacity building and the future of energy development in Africa. The participating ministers will also discuss strategies for joint partnerships and sustainable energy development.