With climate change being one of the most severe challenges to rural Africa in the 21st century, West Africa is facing an urgent need to develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures.

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused program designed to help tackle this challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), WASCAL is coordinated by the Center for Development Research (ZEF, Bonn University), and is implemented in a collaborative effort by West African and German partners.

Climate change is projected to be more devastating making the challenges facing the region more complicated. Therefore there is a pressing need for a comprehensive understanding of the climatic system of the region and for adequately trained human resources in water-related sciences in order to meet the requirements of water-related MDGs and other regionally and nationally agreed goals.

WASCAL partner countries

Wascal Partners countries
  • Bénin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Sénégal
  • Togo

WASCAL is organized around three principle components:

Competence Center


The Competence Center, a newly established institute in West Africa, carries out research and provides science-based advice to policymakers and stakeholders on climate change impacts, mitigation, and adaptation measures.

Core Research Program


The Core Research Program complements the scientific activities of the Competence Center, and is implemented by a network of German and West African research institutes.

Graduate Studies Program


The Graduate Research Program, involving the creation of seven graduate schools in West Africa, will contribute to the education of the next generation of African scientists and policy makers in the field of climate change and land management.