Obituary for late Mohamed Ali Hamid and his Family

by Dr. Ekkehart Naumann, former managing director of PPRE

In the batch 1992/3 a Sudanese student joint PPRE and was from the beginning one of the very active but decent participants of lectures and showed team work capacity, which made him a well accepted member and friend of his group. His name was Mohamed Ali Hamid.

After finalizing his exams with excellent (Thesis: Design of a Hybrid Electrical Energy Supply in Small Autonomous Systems) he went back to his home country Sudan, and was further specializing on Photovoltaic Systems and worked with several international organizations like UNESCO and UNDP for decentralized implementation of PV systems for schools, hospitals, water pumping and the like, focusing always on an entire supply system. Since 2015 he was appointed director of the Wind Energy Program of Sudan (UNDP-WEPSD).

End of 2015 he informed via PPRE network that the WEPSD/UNDP was advertising the vacancy of an individual expert for developing a general Power Purchase Agreement [PPA][1] for grid connected wind parks and other RET based power generation plants to increase the power generation capacity of The Sudan, which was dramatically falling short after Sudan lost access to the petrol sources, following the separation of South Sudan from Sudan by referendum in 2011.

After reviewing all sources of information about objectives and methods of WEPSD ( I found, that under the directorship of Mohamed Ali the WEPSD was following the “case study approach” which we applied during the time I was lecturing “Case Study” in PPRE. And I was impressed how creatively Mohamed had further developed that integrated approach for making Wind Energy and other RE Sources a serious amendment to the energy mix and an alternative to fossil based Thermal Power Plants. Detlev Heinemann and myself as supervisors of his thesis can be proud: he initiated compilation of a very comprehensive wind atlas for Sudan and considered interaction of various factors within a complex energy system.

Having some experience in developing PPAs in Pakistan, I decided to submit my application to UNDP and finally was accepted, and I happily signed the contract. Some alumni might remember that I have a special relation to Sudan (my wife Nagwa Gadaheldam [PPRE 1993/4] is a Sudanese and was a classmate of Mohamed at the University of Khartoum, working now hard as peace activist in this crisis area of Africa).

I then contacted Mohamed, and he told me that he was so happy to work with me after two decades again, and I found it a nice indicator for the success of PPRE that I as the co-founder, lecturer and former director of that Postgraduate Program would now work “under” my former student, who became a leading expert for RET implementation of his country.

We made a lot of jokes about this change of hierarchy levels, and he always introduced me to the authorities as “my professor from Germany”, while I was adding that I was proud of having such an excellent student who at the end became the boss of his teacher.

We even decided to write a short article for the PPRE Newsletter about our cooperation.

But all changed on June 9, 2016…

After arrival in Khartoum I met Mohamed and his team of young and enthusiastic engineers he gathered around him. We shared our experience of the last 20 years and started working hard.

We developed a concept for my assignment, which was focusing not only on the core objective (development of a general PPA for wind parks) only, but to include awareness and capacity building for the stake holders of the energy sector of The Sudan, including a one week workshop for members of the respective authorities including ministries, privatized power generation companies, transmission/distribution companies and private sector.

The whole project went well with the open minded cooperation between Mohamed, his team and myself as international advisor, and we drafted further activities for country wide implementation of RET based power generation and its connection to so far neglected parts of the Sudanese people in areas with no central grid.

We finished the project successfully and looked forward to future cooperation, for which Mohamed Ali drafted already proposals to UNDP, which had been well received.

AND THEN THE UNBELIEVABLE AND UNFORSEEABLE HAPPENED: Mohamed Ali Hamid passed away in a terrible bus accident on his way to his family on the road to port sudan on June 9, 2016.

Mohamed had taken the bus, because he borrowed his personal SUV to somebody who needed it more, as he thought, and he did not take his office Land Cruiser because he considered it a private travel, which shows late Mohamed´s genuine honesty and his way of never taking advantage for himself while fighting for success of his program with all power and tricks available in his environment.

The bus driver suffered a heart attack on a downward slope of the road, and the co-driver was not able to get the bus under control again. It crashed into a tanker truck and 36 passengers died, Mohamed being one of them.

I was told his face looked calm, and no visible injuries have been seen when he was found.

A lot of us and I myself lost a close friend, caring colleague and team worker, and the green family of the Sudan and the global sustainable development society lost a highly experienced expert with a well based vision for a better world.

May Allah bless Mohamed and his family. He left his wife and 3 children behind

Salaam Alaikum, Al Habib Mohamed Ali Hamid


[1] Mohamed and myself joked about this common term: only energy is sold and purchased in units like kWh, but it is the generally accepted contract name.


Farewells from the Network

Representing the manifold reactions, only some farewells are shown in the following

From his team on the Wind Energy Project website

From Hiwote Teshome, Ethiopia (PPRE 1996/97):

‘Beginning of 2015, I have been with Mohammed in Mozambique working for the same organisation and sitting in the office next to each other. He was the one who informed me about that opportunity as he had already spent some years in the same organisation. He was very helpful in all aspects during my stay there though he left before me as his assignment has been finalised earlier. He was a true friend and brother who was there whenever needed!

Indeed he was highly qualified and very experienced RE expert promoting RE not only in his country (Sudan) but also in the region. 

He was very humble and warmhearted person that is very rare to be found especially these days!

I knew how much he was looking forward to be again with his family while he was in Mozambique. I can feel how huge their loss is though it is also a big loss for his friends and colleagues.

Mohammed, I will never forget you my Brother!

My condolences to his family! Rest In Peace!’

From P. L. G. Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka (PPRE 1992/93):

Please accept my deepest sympathies of demise of Mohamad Ali Hamid. He is a true friend and could remember our Oldenburg days in 1992/1993 and even during the summer school in 2012.

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