The Federal Minister of Education and Research of Germany, Her Excellency, Anja Karliczek has paid a 2- day visit to the West African Climate Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, WASCAL at its headquarters in Accra.
During her stay, she participated in the Third WASCAL Ministerial Council Meeting which brought together 11 West African Ministers responsible for climate change action in West Africa.
Delivering her speech at the ministerial council meeting, Her Excellency Mrs. Karliczek expressed the importance of a German African collaboration in the areas of science and education.
“The African continent is of great importance to our international cooperation. Science and research play a growing role in shaping international relations between Germany and its African cooperation countries. And the two sister initiatives, WASCAL and SASSCAL, are among the most visible and ambitious projects in our joint responsibility.” She said.
She further expressed the global effect of climate change on the African continent.
“We all know that climate change, together with other drivers of change such as urbanization or land change, will have drastic impacts on natural resources in Western Africa. Many people, especially in Africa, are directly affected, because the majority of the population still lives from what their own land produces. But we all know that these impacts are not and will not be limited to national or even regional borders but will have an impact on global sustainability. “
Mrs Karliczek also challenged the West African Ministers to show commitment to complement the efforts by the German government in order to build a sustainable organization
“I would like to ask you personally to take all necessary measures, on the one hand, to reliably provide the financial contributions of your countries and, on the other hand, to make every political effort to put the success of WASCAL on a secure long-term footing.” She emphasized.
The Federal Minister also had an interactive session with a cross-section of WASCAL Alumni, selected from all the WASCAL member countries. Ten doctoral graduates and beneficiaries of the Graduate Studies Programme (GSP) shared their experiences and impacts WASCAL has made in their career pathways.
She also paid a working visit to the headquarters of WASCAL where she interacted with staff and management of the German-funded organization to understand the day to day operations of the organization. She expressed delight and satisfaction at the work of staff in ensuring the successful running of the organizations and was quick to say that she will return to Germany with lots of memories about West Africa and WASCAL.
WASCAL is a German-funded international West African based organization committed to climate change and improving livelihoods through innovative solutions in the areas of climate research, climate, service provision, and capacity building. Since 2012, WASCAL has produced 258 Post-graduate scholars from 11 West African countries in various climate change thematic areas. It is headquartered in Accra, with its Science Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It has also provided climate services in the areas of observation networks, data infrastructure, climate change information and impacts on various development sectors within the sub-region.