Ghana hosts workshop for Africa-EU Climate Change Research

Climate ChangeGhana is hosting a two-day workshop aimed at creating an Africa-European Climate Change Research Platform to strengthen the capacities of researchers towards sustainable agricultural growth.

The vision is to develop a new crop of African researchers in climate change-related studies for agriculture intensification with studies that better reflect the needs of their local industries and policies in support of sustainable agriculture.

They would collaborate with their European Union (EU) counterparts for sustained knowledge sharing and improved outcomes.

The workshop, which is the second of three pilot platforms, has brought together experts from academia, the private and public sectors from across the Africa Region, including Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Benin and Uganda.

They are working in the area of climate change research and research funding, with a particular focus on sustainable agricultural growth.

They would be provided with guidance on developing research ideas leading to draft project proposals, and be identifying options for accessing research financing to place them in a better positions to secure funding through the private sector and other sources.

The sources include the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding mechanism.

In the end, African academics would be able to

Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in a speech read on his behalf, at the opening ceremony of the workshop in Accra, commended the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) and Science, Technology and Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) for collaborating with CAAST-Net Plus, a project supported by the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU, to organise the workshop.

He said Ghana was on track to realising Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, which was launched in 2005, which was followed up with what was popularly called the Addis Ababa declaration in 2007.

These seek to articulate the African Union agenda for harnessing Science, Technology and Innovation to boost economic growth, he said.

However, Mr Ayariga said, these could not be done without effective research to ascertain the actual problems, the needs and how to improve upon them, adding that capacity building was always desirable given the changes and new challenges that faced the world on a daily basis.

He said the focus of the programme on young or early career researchers or lecturers was significant just as the availability of  funding opportunities to help confront the issues with all seriousness.

Mr Victor Agyeman, the Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, said Africa had not done well by contributing just one per cent to global research, and having less than 0.1 per cent of patency.

Even with this, he said, there were wide country disparities.

He said the issue was very embarrassing because the continent, which suffered most, had a rich number of researchers.

It, therefore, needed to reverse the situation, especially with regard to  agriculture,  to forestall the recurrence of the world’s worst food crisis that was greatly felt in East Africa – in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya some years ago.

Mr Arne Tostensen, a Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway, said CAAST-Net Plus, which was a consortium of 26 partners, was committed to designing and setting up a tangible project legacy intended to strengthen the EU-Africa research collaboration on Climate Change.

He said the Organisation was conceived with the objective that Science and Technology was essential to economic competitiveness, sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Therefore, in improving its contribution in this arena, it would help address common challenges through internationalisation of research and innovation.

The workshop would serve as a pilot format for adoption and it would be continued by external partners beyond the time span of CAAST-Net Plus, which ends in December 2017. 

Source: GNA

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