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About Prof Izael Da Silva

Prof Izael Da Silva is spearheading the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/ UNITWIN chair on Climate Change Resilience and Sustainability (Strathmore University), which aims at promoting international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities, through knowledge-sharing and collaborative work. The chairs serve as think tanks and bridge builders between academia, civil society, local communities, research, and policy-making. He is also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) – Research and Innovation at Strathmore University.

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Prof Da Silva is a Renewable Energy specialist with over 20 years of experience in research and academic leadership. He is a member of several engineering and energy societies both within and outside Africa, an Accredited Energy Auditor with Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), and a Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof Da Silva has worked with government ministries, development agencies (like GIZ, Sida, the World Bank, etc), and industry stakeholders (within and outside Africa) in research and research-related projects, with the objective of deepening the linkage between industry and academia. He also serves on energy and engineering boards locally and regionally, but in different capacities. Some of them are the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), the World Energy Council (WEC), the Energy Society of Kenya (ESK), the Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa (AEPEA) which is a chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), based in Atlanta, Georgia. His research interests are renewable energy, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and adaptation, demand-side management, energy conversion, energy utilization and conservation, renewable energy technologies, and renewable energy policies. He has written and published extensively in some of these areas.

About the UNESCO Chair

Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which involves over 700 institutions in 116 countries, promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence such as education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication. 


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Through this network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their human and material resources to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies. They have proven helpful in informing policy decisions, establishing new teaching initiatives, generating innovation through research and contributing to the enrichment of existing university programmes while promoting cultural diversity. In areas lacking expertise, chairs and networks have evolved into poles of excellence and innovation at regional or sub-regional levels. They also contribute to strengthening North-South-South cooperation.

UNESCO Chair on Climate Change Resilience and Sustainability

The Chair promotes an integrated system of research, training, information, and documentation on climate change resilience and sustainability while also facilitating collaboration between high-level, internationally-recognized researchers and teaching staff from the University and other institutions in Kenya, as well as elsewhere in Africa and in other regions of the world.

The specific objectives of this Chair are to ;

  • Provide training on decentralized energy Systems to young African graduates in all fields of study, with a view to fostering technical know-how and policy prowess in developing the energy sector in Africa.
  • Set up a framework for post-doctoral research projects by visiting international researchers in the field of electrification, and developing and conducting training, collaborative research, and postgraduate teaching programmes; support knowledge-sharing on electrification through renewable energy among students, researchers, teachers, and professionals.
  • Develop a syllabus and hands-on training materials to train 200 technicians to design, install and maintain solar water pumping Systems in refugee camps and rural areas.
  • Train technicians and engineers to design, install and manage small-scale biogas digesters in rural areas.
  • Develop curricula and launch training programs to train professionals to design, install and maintain renewable energy-based mini-grid Systems in the rural areas of Africa and on other aspects of energy management; and to train government energy workers on energy management.
  • Carry out factory energy audits and train factory managers on climate change adaptation and mitigation through efficient energy management in their industrial process.
  • Cooperate closely with UNESCO and other UNESCO Chairs on relevant programs and activities.

UNESCO Chair projects (Research & Training)

  1. KawiSafi Ventures
  2. Women at the Forefront Training Programme
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering- Solar Capacity Building
  4. Adrian Solar PV Training
  5. Modern Energy Cooking Services
  6. Long Term European Union African Union Partnerships on- Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE)
  7. Electricity Reliability in healthcare facilities
  8. Technology Markets and Investments (TEMARIN)
  9. Domestic Financing for Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE)
  10. Kenya Green University Network


  1. Data Science – Dr. John Olukuru
  2. Electrification and electricity access – Anne Wacera
  3. Policy Research – Peter Odhiambo
  4. Water and Green hydrogen – Dr. Christian Berretta
  5. Healthcare – Prof. Kokwaru
  6. Food and agriculture – Prof Ndiritu
  7. Climate Conservation – Prof Jackeline Magrade