The Governing Board of WASCAL has appointed Dr. Moumini SAVADOGO as the new Executive Director effective 1st January 2018.
Dr. Savadogo has a PhD in Animal Sciences with specialization in Sustainable Land Use in Crop and Livestock systems from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Dr. Savadogo joins WASCAL with very rich experience of more than twenty-five years as a Scientist and Project and Programme Manager in Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa, including fifteen years as senior management level. He also has expertise in Programme development and management (fund raising, implementation, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, budget management, Human Resources management and reporting) and negotiations.
Until his appointment as WASCAL Executive Director, Dr. Savadogo worked as Head of Burkina Faso office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), West and Central Africa Program (PACO). He also worked as Scientist for the National Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA); the joint Sahelian Programme of Wageningen University and the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso ; the regional Coordinator of the W. Arly–Pendjari programme development (Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger) as well as consultant for several international and national organizations.
Started on 14th March 2016, the 3rd promotion of the ten students of the Master Research Programme on Climate Change and Human Security are preparing to defend their thesis. After the defence, each student will be granted a participation certificate in a graduation ceremony. The ceremony will be held in the University of Lomé at WASCAL on the wake of the Honoris Causa awarding ceremony, Friday 9th February 2018 and will mark the end of this promotion of students.
WASCAL Programme in Togo is monitored by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research where a monthly report is submitted since the beginning of the year 2017. Therefore, the political engagement of the concerned Minister raised the issue of unemployment of the MRP-CCHS graduates, thus the President of the Republic vows to solve the issue following the communication released by the Minister of Higher Education to the Council of Ministers.
Therefore, the graduates were called on Monday 15th January 2018 to meet with government officials.
This meeting was called upon the ordinance of the President of the Republic.
So during the meeting every WASCAL graduate made a brief statement on his training course at WASCAL, his/her skills, his/her current occupation and his/her project for the future.
Realizing that none of them was duly employed, the government official promised the graduates to report to the President of the Republic, so that, decisions are taken as remedy on one hand, and on the other hand, the government officials required that should a position or an activity that can be carried out in a ministry or an institution be advertized, WASCAL students can point them out so that favorable action is taken on their favor.
Following this communiqué made by the Minister of Higher Education and Research at the Council of Ministers during the month of December 2017, the Presidency of the Republic wished to obtain a list of all Togolese who have been supported and graduated at WASCAL Programme. In view of their professional integration, the MRP-CCHS had sent the lists below of Togolese trained by WASCAL and are unemployed:
The Minister of Higher Education and Research presented a communication during the Council of Ministers of the month of December 2017. This presentation is part of the integration of the WASCAL Programme into the teaching programmes of the University of Lomé and its viability approach. In his communication, the Minister recalled the objectives of WASCAL in the West African sub-region and particularly in Togo by informing the Council of Ministers about the difficulties faced by students at the end of their training; three major challenges to note, such as the unemployment of WASCAL graduates, the search for additional funding and the payment of the Togolese State’s contribution to the programme as required by the sponsors.
Besides, these challenges threaten the sustainability of the programme and are often a source of misunderstanding between the beneficiary countries and the German government. Only a few countries manage to pay their contribution, he said.
Recalling on the occasion, the Memorandum on the Establishment of WASCAL, which stipulates in Article 6 concerning commitments and financial provisions, the Minister clarified that member countries would have to contribute three hundred thousand Euros (300,000 Euros), that is one hundred and ninety-six million seven hundred and ninety-six thousand one hundred FCFA (196,787,100 FCFA) in 2013 and, from 2014, the contribution to the budget operating costs adopted will increase each year by 5% until 2015 to build up reserves “. To date, the total financial contribution of Togo is forty-one million two hundred and thirty-eight thousand one hundred and twenty eight FCFA (41,238,128 FCFA) including a first installment of ten million eight hundred and twenty four thousand FCFA (10,824,000 FCFA) in 2015 and a second of thirty million four hundred and fourteen thousand one hundred and twenty eight FCFA (30 414 128 FCFA) in 2016.
According to the Minister, from 2013 to date, the Government of Togo should contribute one hundred and forty one million three hundred thirty six thousand five hundred and twelve FCFA (141,336,512 FCFA); he paid forty-one million two hundred and thirty-eight thousand one hundred and twenty eight FCFA (41,238,128 FCFA); it remains to pay one hundred million four eighteen thousand three eighty four thousand FCFA (100 098 384 FCFA), had stated the Minister.
This point sheds light on the late payment of the contribution of Togo, it is in this context that the German Minister of Education, Prof. Johanna Wanka, sent a letter on 7th April 2017 to the Minister of Higher Education and Research, in which she required for tan immediate payment of the contributions that the States engaged to pay and committed them to seek additional funds, under the re-examination of Germany’s commitments in the current structures of WASCAL.
In summary, the Minister invited the Council of Ministers to take on a particular responsibility to rise to the challenge and take the historic opportunities of the sector of Higher Education and Research by honoring his commitment to the Wascal programme in line with the objectives set out during a previous Council of Ministers towards the Future of Higher Education and Research held in Lomé at the date of 28 to 30 November 2013.
The University of Lomé is honored to receive Mr. W. Kraus who is responsible of the WASCAL Programme at the Federal Ministry of Education in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Not only Mr. Kraus will be received in Lomé, but also the University of Lomé planned to award him the highest degree of merit of the Higer Education sector; in this regard, on Thursday 8th February 2018, Mr. Kraus will be honored and will receive the “Honoris Causa Award of the Univesity of Lomé”. For the occasion, it is worth noting that the country’s Ministers of Higher Education, the Minister of Environment and Forest ressources, and the Minister of Agriculture will be in attendance, while the WASCAL member countries Ambassadors will also be present.
He thanked the Minister for the unwavering support of his country, Togo, to the WASCAL Programme, and thanked them for hosting the Master Research Programme on Climate Change and Human Security, stressing particularly the key importance of this Programme for WASCAL Institution as a whole and then put in a new request : that of having two (2) key meetings back to back in the 3rd week of September in Togo, ie. The Board Council and the Ministerial Council to be hosted back to back in Togo. Next, he left the floor for Dr. J. Dery to stress some of the key contributions of the Republic of Togo to the foundation of WASCAL.
Taking the floor, the Board Chairman highlighted the key contributions of Togo to the Programme that earned the country a special place in the history of WASCAL:
The constitution / the birth document was signed in Togo in February 2012 in the presence of the Prime Minister;
The first Chair of the Ministerial Council of WASCAL was the Minister of Higher Education of Togo;
The first WASCAL Ministerial Council was held in Lomé.
The first Board meeting was held in Lomé; and
Togo is the first Country to pay its contribution to WASCAL.
In conclusion, Dr. Dery said Togo is very committed to WASCAL and WASCAL history cannot be written without Togo. Dr. Dery later on his turn, requested Togo, on behalf of WASCAL, to host the 11th Board meeting and the 3rd Ministerial Council in the 3rd week of September 2017.
The Executive Director and his delegation visited the Master Research Programme on Climate Change and Human Security. At the MRPCCHS Centre, the delegation exchanged with the administration about the program, it successes and challenges before discussing with the current batch of students preparing to depart to the fields, where the Executive Director and the students exchanged about their takes on the Programme.The MRP-CCHS students expressed the challenge of pursuing a PhD degree after earning a Master’s degree focused on human security and Climate Change. Considering the job market and given the dearth of such a pointed Programme all over the world, they strongly wish that WASCAL upgrade the MRP-CCHS into a PhD programme. On his turn, the Executive Director encouraged them to keep eyes and mind open because they are not specifically trained for their home country and want them to keep the WASCAL network alive because education and job related opportunities can be channeled through this connexion.
At the Presidency of the University of Lomé, Prof Kokou introduced the delegation to the President and his Associates, and presented the head of the University of Lomé to the visiting delegation. Then, the Executive Director on spot stated his delight to be in Togo and at the Presidency of the University of Lomé because Togo is a special country among the ten (10) west African countries of WASCAL – Germany being the 11th country – He informed the President that WASCAL is working hard to bring two more African countries – Cape Verde and Guinea – to ratify WASCAL Constitution before the end of 2017. ” I will like to visit the Ministry and the Presidency because of the Uniqueness of Togo in the Programme ”, he stated. He thanked the President of the University. Prof, Dodzi K. Kokoroko for hosting the MRP-CCHS and inform his team that he will visit Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, the following week, to sign the memorandum of the 11th graduate school, Climate Change and Informatics in that country.
The Chair of the Board reviewed the list of the outstanding contributions of Togo to the life of WASCAL and thanked the country for the opportunity it granted WASCAL before putting in the request for Togo to host the Board meeting and the Council of Ministers. He thanked him for the facility, and fully acknowledged Togo’s contribution through the action of local board chair.
Professor Dodzi K. Kokoroko said how much the UL was honored to have the delegation and host the WASCAL MRP-CCHS because Climate Change is a common concern. In light of Togo’s past record in the WASCAL history, the President strongly urged them to come for both meetings in September 2017. To crown it all, the President of the University of Lomé asserted that he is fully prepared to make WASCAL a success in Togo.
The ceremony was closed off with the presentation of a symbolic gift to the members of the delegation by Prof. Dodzi K. Kokoroko.
The delegation headed back to Accra Friday afternoon after the two day successful courtesy visit.
Under the initiative of WASCAL Director in Togo, Head of the Master Research Program on Climate Change and Human Security, HKVcollaborated with WASCAL for the implementation of a flood early warning system for the Oti River in Togo and Ghana.
WASCAL in Togo offers a Master Research Program on Climate Change and Human Security while HKVprovides consultancy and services in water management and risk analysis. The latter is a consultancy firmwhich is based in Netherlands and has established its branches in several countries in Europe and some African countries including Ghana, Burkina-Faso, and Togo etc. HKV works currently under the World Bank Project on flood risk assessment of the OtiRiver in Togo and Ghana. The Oti River Basin is shared by four countries namely Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Benin.
Under the direction of Prof. KOKOU Kouami, Director of the National Institute of Scientific and Technical Research, Head of the Master Research Program on Climate Change and Human Security in Togo, and under the supervision of Dr. KOMI Kossi , two interns of HKV, namely Mrs. Lisa Swaalf and Noor H. Beek stay in Togo for a full research from May 11 to June 09, 2017. Together with WASCAL Alumni Dr. KOMI kossi who obtained his PhD in Climate Change and Water resources at WASCAL-UAC in Benin, the two students carried out during their one month stay in Togo as part of their research,field measurements and data collection in the Prefectures of Kpendjal and Oti in Northern Togo.
Mrs. Lisa Swaalf and Noor H. Beek who came from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands conducted this research work in the framework of the completion of their Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering. The main objective of their research is to model the streamflow from Pendjari River (Benin) and Oualé River (Burkina Faso) into the Oti River. The results of this work will help in reducing the dependency on discharge data from the upstream countries of the Oti River Basin (Benin and Burkina Faso) during the implementation
The Day of German Unity (German: Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is the national day of Germany, celebrated on 3rd October commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990, when the goal of a united Germany that originated in the middle of the 19th century, was fulfilled again. Therefore, the name addresses neither the re-union nor the union, but the unity of Germany. The Day of German Unity on 3rd October has been the German national holiday since 1990, when the reunification was formally completed.
Thanks to HEM Christoph Sander, German Ambassador to Togo, the students of the Master research program on Climate change and human security of WASCAL joined the assembly of guests at the event celebration in the garden of the Embassy as they were gently invited by His Excellency on Monday 3rd October 2016 on the occasion of the commemoration of the German Unity Day.
It is worth recalling that other high rank personalities of the government of Togo took part in the commemoration of the German Unity Day celebration including the President and Vice President of the University of Lomé as well as the public and private media.
The Ambassador, Mr. Christoph Sander recalled the historic cooperation ties which link the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Togo through various economic and educational agreements. According to His Excellency the Ambassador, ” The relations between the two countries now go beyond political and diplomatic spheres“, as he cited development project activities like GIZ, Goethe Institute, and WASCAL, etc. These projects and initiatives came to the fore by the initiative of the Togolese Diaspora in the Federal Republic of German, he added. His Excellency spoke about intercultural projects which prepare Togolese students to learn and speak the German language fluently after their study in Germany in a course which aimed at postgraduates with EU passports as well as Swiss and Norwegian citizens. Since the program is focused in German bilateral Development Cooperation, fluency in German language is no longer a stumbling stone for Togolese applicants.
In his address, the German Ambassador equally informed the audience that Germany and Togo will expand their cooperation in the health and Sport sectors. Regarding the sector of education and professional training, he cited the West African Science Service Center on Climate change and Adapted Land Use which has been implemented in Togo and which activities started since 2012 in the country and in 10 West African countries. He hailed the students for their effective presence at the German Unity day celebration.
On the occasion of the German Unity Day celebration at the German Embassy in Lomé, WASCAL 10 students of the Master research program and staff featured in the event as they are also part of the beneficiaries of the renewed German cooperation in Togo. For the Ambassador, “these students will become future ministers, policy makers and future ambassadors of their countries“. He called for support and urged them for hard work so that the set objectives of WASCAL is met in West Africa.
Students snapped shots with His Excellency Mr. Christoph Sander and other Embassy staff on the 3rd October German Unity Day.