VACANCY FOR REGIONAL THEMATIC COORDINATOR – RENEWABLE ENERGY PRIORITY – RESEARCH THEME (PRT-RE)

Location:                                WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Duration of contract:            3 years fixed term renewable contract, with possibility of renewal  Date of publication              20th June, 2020 Closing date                           20th August, 2020 Supervisor                             Research Director Background WASCAL seeks to hire Regional Thematic Coordinator to work directly on its Renewable Energy Priority theme, to Continue Reading

VACANCY FOR COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER – RENEWABLE ENERGY PRIORITY – RESEARCH THEME (PRT-RE)

Location:                          WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Duration of contract:      3 years fixed term renewable contract Date of publication          20th June, 2020 Closing date                      20th August, 2020 Supervisor                        Director of Research Background WASCAL seeks to hire Communications officer to work directly on its Renewable Energy Priority Research Theme. The position holder will work under the Continue Reading

Government of Burkina Faso pledges support for WASCAL

The Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in Burkina Faso, Prof. Michel Filiga Sawadogo, has pledged Government’s readiness to work closely with WASCAL on issues related to climate change in West Africa.

He said the release of hectares of land in the heart of Ouagadougou for the establishment of what will become West Africa’s biggest Climate Change Resource Centre is symbolic of government’s commitment to WASCAL. He stressed the relevance of the Competence Centre and indicated that it will contribute immensely in the fight against climate change in West Africa.

The Minister also commended the German Government and the leadership of WASCAL for the initiative and for choosing Burkina Faso to build the center of excellence.

Professor Sawadogo made the remarks when the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of WASCAL paid a courtesy call on the Ministry as parts of efforts to deepen the bilateral relationship between the two outfits.

The chairman of SAC, Professor Jimmy Adegoke thanked the government for expressing keen interest in the work of WASCAL, evident in the contribution of the vast land they have allocated to WASCAL.

He also congratulated the government for being the first ECOWAS country to fulfil their financial pledge towards the sustenance and development of WASCAL.

5th scientific advisory committee meeting held in Ouagadougou

The three day meeting formed part of efforts to strengthen the capacity and operations of the Competence Centre to serve its original purpose.

In his welcome address, the Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr. Laurent Sedogo, indicated that the Competence Centre was set up to play the steering role of WASCAL, and so there was the need to ensure that it was on the right track. The Committee also paid a courtesy call on the Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Professor Michel Filiga Sawadogo.

The chairman of the SAC, Professor Jimmy Adegoke, underscored the core mandate of the Committee as being sub-committee of the Governing Board, responsible for the provision of technical advice to the Board. The visit to the Centre was, therefore, to directly interact with the scientific staff, share ideas and experiences, assess the role and place of the Centre in the overall WASCAL science plan and programme implementation. The Committee also tasked the Researchers to develop products and services that will strategically position WASCAL as a West African think-tank in Climate Change services.

Announcement: Application Process for Doctoral and Master’s Fellowships at the Graduate Studies Program has been extended

Please note: The call for application has been extended to January 22, 2016.

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Center designed to help tackle severe challenges posed by climate change 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. Through the Graduate Studies Program WASCAL’s Capacity Building Program helps educate the next generation of scientists to attain an intimate knowledge of different climate related issues in order to help the region develop suitable management strategies.

The WASCAL Graduate Studies Program supports four Master’s and six Doctoral Programs implemented at ten lead Universities across West African countries. WASCAL provides full scholarships to the Doctoral and Master’s students in all the ten lead Universities with comprehensive training and research support. Doctoral students may spend up to six months at a host institution in Germany. The language of instruction is English. English and French language training programs are provided for all graduate students. Graduate students have access to the research facilities set up through WASCAL funding and located at various watersheds in West Africa. German partner universities collaborate with the Doctoral and Master’s Programs in the areas of curriculum development, visiting professorships and co-supervision of graduate students.

The WASCAL Graduate Studies Program offers its students:

High quality research and education on climate change and its impact on human environmental systems.
Up to six months at a host institution in Germany (Doctoral Programs only!)
Interdisciplinary working approach
International lecturers and supervisors
English language classes
Scholarship and research budget, including a personal laptop computer

Doctoral Programs

West African Climate System
Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form and the recommendation letter

Climate Change and Water Resources
Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change Economics
Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Senegal
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Biodiversity
Université Felix Houphouet Boigny (formerly Université de Cocody‐Abidjan), Côte d‘Ivoire
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Land Use
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana
Apply now: Download call for applications and referee form and application form

Climate Change and Agriculture
L’Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée, (IPR-IFRA), Mali and University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Time Frame

The time frame of the doctoral programs is three and a half years. During the first three months, students take English and/or French language classes and common courses at the language centers. During the next 6 months student participate in lectures at their Graduate Research Program and prepare their proposals. After their proposals have been approved by their supervisors, the students conduct their field research for 12 to 24 months. For the remaining period of time, students will write up their thesis and are offered to spend up to six months at a German host institution.

Requirements

Candidates applying for a Doctoral Program must have a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline in addition to a BSc degree (second class upper division).
Citizenship in one of the WASCAL member country (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Sénegal, Togo)
Five credits including Mathematics and English Language that are also equivalent to Francophone university grading system
Gender-balanced selection decision
Applicant should show proficiency in English Language.
Meet additional requirement of the lead university

Master’s Programs

Climate Change and Human Security
University of Lomé, Togo
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Education
University of The Gambia (UTG), The Gambia
Apply now: Download application form

Climate Change and Energy
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM), Niger
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Adapted Land Use
Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
Apply now: Download application form

Time Frame

The time frame for the Master’s programs is two years. During the first year students participate in the course program of their Graduate Research Program and work on their research outline. Research will be conducted during the second year within a period of six to nine months. Students finish the program with writing up their thesis during the last three to six month.

Requirements

Candidates applying for Master’s Program must have a minimum BSc degree (second class upper division) in a discipline relevant to the respective program.
Citizenship in one of the WASCAL member country (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Sénegal, Togo)
Five credits including Mathematics and English Language that are also equivalent to Francophone university grading system
Gender-balanced selection decision
Applicant should show proficiency in English Language.
Meet additional requirement of the lead university

Application Process

The application process is handled jointly by WASCAL and the individual Graduate Programs. Applications can be submitted online to any of the Graduate Studies Program for the 2015/2015 season until January 22, 2016. The details of the application process can be found at the respective programs pages (see linkes above). Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for interviews by January 29, 2016.

More information on the Graduate Studies Program and on open applications can be found here or at the respective universities websites.

Thesis Research Awards for Non-WASCAL Sponsored West African Nationals

Update: The deadline has been postponed to february 29, 2016

Applicants must have completed all course requirements for the degree as well as be in the research and/or writing phase of the dissertation. The dissertation must be on climate change and any of the thematic areas of biodiversity, agriculture, adapted land use, climate systems, education, human security, economics and energy. In addition, applicants should not have received any other funding to support the dissertation activities outlined in the PhD or MSc proposal/budget. Priority is given to candidates pursuing a career in government ministries, research and/or teaching at a public institution in West Africa.
Requests should be supported by the following documentation:

Evidence of an attachment to, or sponsorship by, an institution in West Africa engaged in government ministries, research and/or training in the public sector in the region.
Evidence of registration in a recognized PhD or MSc program in a relevant area.
An approved research proposal, complete with clearly defined objectives, substantial literature review and a well-outlined analytical framework, as well as pertinent research methodology.
A statement of limitations and policy relevance of the study.
A letter of reference from the thesis supervisor, and a letter of institutional support from the Head of Department.
A detailed budget including evidence of any additional financial support that may be necessary to complete the program.
Curriculum vitae.

Processing of Application for PhD Thesis Research Award

Upon the receipt of the proposal and the supporting documentation, it is sent to two external reviewers in the relevant programs of the WASCAL Graduate Studies Program, who comment on the adequacy of the proposal. In the event that the reviewers suggest corrections to be made and give positive feedback, the comments are sent to the students to incorporate and then resubmit the revised proposal for a final review. Once the proposal is cleared by at least two reviewers, it is presented together with the comments from the external reviewers to the Thesis Grant Sub-Committee of the Graduate Studies Program, who will go through the recommendations of the reviewers and make recommendation to the Capacity Building Department of WASCAL to approve for thesis funding. It is after this that research grants can be awarded.
Application Deadlines for 2015/2016 Academic Session

The PhD and MSc Thesis Research Awards applications deadline is January 30, February 29, 2016.
Proposal and supporting documents for thesis grant should be sent to:
The Director of Capacity Building,
WASCAL Accra Office, CSIR Office Complex,
Agostino Neto Road, Airport Residential Area, PMB CT 504, Cantonments-Accra.
Email: intern.w(at)wascal.org; weto.s(at)wascal.org

Announcement: Application Process for Doctoral and Master’s Fellowships at the Graduate Studies Program Started

Note: The call for application has been extended to January 22, 2016. Read more

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Center designed to help tackle severe challenges posed by climate change 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. Through the Graduate Studies Program WASCAL’s Capacity Building Program helps educate the next generation of scientists to attain an intimate knowledge of different climate related issues in order to help the region develop suitable management strategies.

The WASCAL Graduate Studies Program supports four Master’s and six Doctoral Programs implemented at ten lead Universities across West African countries. WASCAL provides full scholarships to the Doctoral and Master’s students in all the ten lead Universities with comprehensive training and research support. Doctoral students may spend up to six months at a host institution in Germany. The language of instruction is English. English and French language training programs are provided for all graduate students. Graduate students have access to the research facilities set up through WASCAL funding and located at various watersheds in West Africa. German partner universities collaborate with the Doctoral and Master’s Programs in the areas of curriculum development, visiting professorships and co-supervision of graduate students.

The WASCAL Graduate Studies Program offers its students:

High quality research and education on climate change and its impact on human environmental systems.
Up to six months at a host institution in Germany (Doctoral Programs only!)
Interdisciplinary working approach
International lecturers and supervisors
English language classes
Scholarship and research budget, including a personal laptop computer

Doctoral Programs

West African Climate System
Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form and the recommendation letter

Climate Change and Water Resources
Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change Economics
Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Senegal
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Biodiversity
Université Felix Houphouet Boigny (formerly Université de Cocody‐Abidjan), Côte d‘Ivoire
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Land Use
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana
Apply now: Download call for applications and referee form and application form

Climate Change and Agriculture
L’Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée, (IPR-IFRA), Mali and University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Time Frame

The time frame of the doctoral programs is three and a half years. During the first three months, students take English and/or French language classes and common courses at the language centers. During the next 6 months student participate in lectures at their Graduate Research Program and prepare their proposals. After their proposals have been approved by their supervisors, the students conduct their field research for 12 to 24 months. For the remaining period of time, students will write up their thesis and are offered to spend up to six months at a German host institution.

Requirements

Candidates applying for a Doctoral Program must have a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline in addition to a BSc degree (second class upper division).
Citizenship in one of the WASCAL member country (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Sénegal, Togo)
Five credits including Mathematics and English Language that are also equivalent to Francophone university grading system
Gender-balanced selection decision
Applicant should show proficiency in English Language.
Meet additional requirement of the lead university

Master’s Programs

Climate Change and Human Security
University of Lomé, Togo
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Education
University of The Gambia (UTG), The Gambia
Apply now: Download application form

Climate Change and Energy
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM), Niger
Apply now: Download call for applications and application form

Climate Change and Adapted Land Use
Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
Apply now: Download application form

Time Frame

The time frame for the Master’s programs is two years. During the first year students participate in the course program of their Graduate Research Program and work on their research outline. Research will be conducted during the second year within a period of six to nine months. Students finish the program with writing up their thesis during the last three to six month.

Requirements

Candidates applying for Master’s Program must have a minimum BSc degree (second class upper division) in a discipline relevant to the respective program.
Citizenship in one of the WASCAL member country (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Sénegal, Togo)
Five credits including Mathematics and English Language that are also equivalent to Francophone university grading system
Gender-balanced selection decision
Applicant should show proficiency in English Language.
Meet additional requirement of the lead university

Application Process

Note: The call for application has been extended to January 22, 2016. Read more

The application process is handled jointly by WASCAL and the individual Graduate Programs. Applications can be submitted online to any of the Graduate Studies Program for the 2015/2015 season until January 8, 2016. The details of the application process can be found at the respective programs pages (see linkes above). Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for interviews by January 15, 2016.

More information on the Graduate Studies Program and on open applications can be found here or at the respective universities websites.

Award for paper: Field Facts for Crop Insurance Design

The paper “Field Facts for Crop Insurance Design: Empirical Evidence from Southern Burkina Faso” written by Dr. William M. FONTA, Dr. Safiétou SANFO, Dr. Boubacar IBRAHIM, and Dr. Boubacar BARRY was selected by Making Finance Work 4 Africa (MFW4A) to receive one of two awards to be given at the African Microfinance Week. The award is donated with EUR 6.000.

A certificate from the Africa Development Bank will be presented during the 1st Plenary Session of the African Microfinance Week “Accelerating innovative rural and agricultural finance in Africa”, that will take place on Tuesday 30 June from 11.30 am to 1 pm. Dr. Boubacar Barry will accept the award on behalf of the whole team of authors.

Can commercial cellphone providers help to gather high quality rainfall information?

The knowledge of spatio-temporal distribution of precipitation is of crucial importance for the scientific understanding of the regional hydrological cycle and for sustainable water management. High quality rainfall information is the prerequisite for e.g. decision making in agriculture, the operation of hydroelectric power production and also urban flash flood warning. Installation- and maintenance costs in combination with limited financial abilities make it more and more difficult for national meteorological and hydrological services to provide precipitation information in requested high spatial and temporal resolution on a country wide scale, particularly in West Africa.

It is the microwave links operated by commercial cellphone providers that may allow now for highly valuable complementary precipitation information: the attenuation occurring between emitted and received power at the link antennas highly correlates with precipitation intensity along the link-paths. Advantage is that the technical infrastructure, i.e. the MW-link network, is already in operation and maintained by the companies. While data retrieval techniques and respective algorithm development has proceeded in Europe and the Near East in the last years, great potential is particularly seen in the general data scarce region of West Africa. WASCAL has now co-sponsored and organized a 4-day workshop in Ouagadougou on this technique, jointly with experts from the University of Ouagadougou, Germany (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and University of Augsburg), France (IRD and GET), The Netherlands (University of Wageningen and KNMI), Israel (Tel Aviv University), and Switzerland (EAWAG), forming jointly the Raincell Africa initiative.

87 students, scientists and met service representatives from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and the US followed the scientific presentations of the international experts and a 2 day training course offered by the experts from KIT, University of Wageningen and KNMI. Topics included the physics of microwave attenuation, the detection of wet and dry periods under a noisy received signal level, and the explicit rain rate estimation. Further focus was set on the effect of wet antennas and the spatial interpolation of individual link information. Algorithms were based on two public domain and open source programming languages, namely Python and R. It is particularly the use of these free open source software environments that can foster a wide distribution and application of the tools at West African universities, research institutes, met services or climate service centers like WASCAL. First MW-link attenuation data were already made available from TELECEL to the University of Ouagadougou. Representatives of the participating cellphone company TELMOB/ONATEL started now to elaborate further steps jointly with WASCAL and the University of Ouagadougou to realize an automatic and even countrywide data access, -analysis and -use.

Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann and Dr. Boubacar Barry, WASCAL, organizing committee of the Raincell Africa Workshop.