BMBF / Hans-Joachim Rickel: The Federal Research Minister, Anja Karliczek and her Nigerien counterpart, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Yahouza Sadissou (Chairman of the WASCAL Ministerial Council), agreed in Berlin to establish a hydrogen partnership and strategic measures to expand in West Africa. The Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek explains:
The Federal Research Minister, Anja Karliczek and her Nigerien counterpart, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Yahouza Sadissou (Chairman of the WASCAL Ministerial Council), agreed in Berlin to establish a hydrogen partnership and strategic measures to expand in West Africa. The Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek explains:
“Africa is a continent of opportunities. Green hydrogen as the oil of tomorrow is one of the greatest opportunities. I am therefore very pleased that we have laid the foundation stone for a hydrogen partnership today. It holds great opportunities for everyone involved: for West Africa, for Europe and for Germany as a country of innovation. The start has been made: We have launched a potential atlas on green hydrogen in West Africa. Teams of experts have started their work in the 15 ECOWAS countries. We want to publish the potential atlas by the end of the year.
Cooperation with Africa on the mega-issue of green hydrogen will make Germany a focus of the European Union (EU) Council Presidency. We also contribute to the success of the European Green Deal.
Africa is particularly important to my ministry. That is why I presented our new Africa strategy a year and a half ago. It is based on the guiding principle of ‘creating perspectives!’ And puts innovation, qualification of people and proximity to applications at the centre of our cooperation.
In the WASCAL network, we can look back on a longstanding and trusting cooperation with the West African countries. We want to intensify this in the mutual interest. This includes our successful Graduate Studies Programmes (GSPs), which have so far produced around 350 graduates in disciplines such as food security and water management.
In addition, with the new building of the WASCAL Competence Centre in Burkina Faso, we will build a powerful research infrastructure for climate and environmental data. “
The Research Minister Sadissou said: “WASCAL and the BMBF have been working together successfully for almost ten years and have already enabled 200 young scientists to qualify in ten interrelated topics on climate change, to support hydrometeorological observation stations and to provide tailored models and information for politics and local adaptation strategies to work.”
In the international lighthouse project, WASCAL (The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use), BMBF (The Federal Ministry of Education and Research) has been creating with the member countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo since 2010, a joint scientific cooperation structures in the region. The aim is to improve the knowledge base on the topic of “sustainable land management under the influence of land use and climate change”, in order to strengthen the economic and social situation and the resilience of West Africa. The BMBF has assured the continuation of the GSPs and the commitment to hydrogen as an energy source of the future.