UP’s Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz appointed Vice-President: Regional Affairs of international energy economics council

Posted on February 05, 2021

“International collaboration between research and science communities is imperative in finding solutions in the energy sector,” says Economics academic Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz, who talks more about her new role on the international stage.

UP Professor Roula Inglesi-Lotz has been appointed Vice-President: Regional Affairs of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Council. The Department of Economics professor – who is also president of the South African Association for Energy Economics (SAAEE), a recognised affiliate of the IAEE – will hold the position for a year.

Being nominated to serve on the council of an organisation that consists of hundreds of members and more than 30 country affiliates is a great honour, she says. “I am thankful for the organisation’s appreciation of my hard work over the past few years, and that I am involved at an international level, but also leading the South African affiliate. And of course to top it off, to be elected to that crucial position of Regional Affairs.”

The IAEE’s main objective is to provide for the mutual association of individuals who are interested in energy economics in order to create a forum for multi-national, multi-disciplinary discussion, and to provide a means of professional communication and constructive dialogue.

Its local affiliate, the SAAEE, aims to establish a national forum for energy specialists from various spheres in the energy sector (academia, industry, government, private and public sector) and plays an advisory role in policy propositions and implementations. Its expertise lies in energy economics and policy.

In her newly appointed role at the IAEE, Prof Inglesi-Lotz’s primary focus will be to provide leadership to and oversight of the organisation’s regional and country affiliates, and establish connections with underrepresented areas globally. “This role and portfolio is crucial in current times,” she says. “International collaboration between research and science communities is imperative in finding solutions in the energy sector, particularly when countries go through a transition period on the road to sustainability and cleaner environments.”

Prof Inglesi-Lotz says her first objective is to do a thorough analysis of the evolution of the organisation’s membership through the years, and how it compares with other energy economics research communities around the world. “Next, I’m hoping to establish a programme of interactive engagements within the leadership of regional and country affiliates. Such interactions will aim to have a win-win outcome, from the affiliates and membership to IAEE management and vice versa.”

The professor says the IAEE is an organisation that promotes gender equality in all aspects of leadership and management, adding that women from the developing world generally do not have international opportunities – which is why she is so proud to be representing that demographic and be in a position that allows her to promote regional integration and cooperation in research.

Prof Inglesi-Lotz notes that her work with women in science is gratifying, and while many aren’t yet in a position to affect policymaking, what they can do is act as role models for young women who have an interest in science and academia.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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