PROF JIMMY O. ADEGOKE, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WASCAL VISITED TOGO

Thursday July 27th and Friday July 28th 2017 witnessed the visit of the Interim Executive Director of WASCAL and his delegation in Togo.

Three places constituted the main landing spots of the visit : the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Presidency of the University of Lomé and the WASCAL Center located on the Campus of Lomé University.

In the afternoon of the arrival day, they paid a formal visit to the Minister of Higher Education, Professor Octave Nicoué K. Broohm who welcomed them in person.

After receiving the delegation – composed of Prof Jimmy O. Adegoke, Dr. Peter J. Dery, Board Chairman, Mrs. Harriet Apoley Baffoe, permanent Secretary of WASCAL, Prof Kouami Kokou, MRP-CCHS Director and Prof Kodjo Afagla, MRP-CCHS Deputy Director – the Minister of higher Education and Research invited the Interim Executive Director and his team to exchange about WASCAL prospects.

Prof Kokou presented the Accra WASCAL head office delegation to the Minister, each in his/her capacity. Prof Adegoke took the floor and stated the purposes of their formal visit :

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 Minister of Higher Education and Research expressed joy and happiness about WASCAL delegation visit in Togo because the Institution is committed to educating and training students including Togolese in matters of climate change which, he said, is a common challenge to the world in general and to West Africa in particular. He expressed the unfailing commitment of his government to WASCAL by fully accepting to convey the request for organization of the two (2) meetings planned by WASCAL to his government. He equally expressed gratitude to the Government of Germany for funding a programme which is a key tool to handle Climate change and its adverse impacts on humans in Africa. Further, His Excellency reasserted the commitment of the government to back the Programme and welcome any WASCAL delegation in Lomé. He also expressed the wish to upgrade this Master Programme after celebrating its International outlook translated through its teaching in the English language. Equally, he stressed the unique job seeking opportunity offered through this Programme thanks to its English language. Finally, he expressed commitment that the government of Togo will repossess it. Expressing deep gratitude to the common cooperation between the various stakeholders of the Programme, he vows to boost the Programme. He definitely promises to see to its sustainability : Togo will never fail the Programme.

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.

 

 

 

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