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WASCAL Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
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Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey
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Master's Research Programs

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

MRP-CCE

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West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use

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B.P: 10662 FAST Niamey

  

USD WA CAMPPUS, BAMAHU, TAMALE- GHANA; 1st - 30th June 2019

Trasdiciplinarity for Sustainable Rural, Transformation in West Africa


The West African School for Sustainable Rural Transformation took place in WA campus of the University for Development Studies from 3rd of June to 29th June. It brought together students form three post graduate programs that are under the sponsorship of the DAAD. This month long program was aimed at opening network opportunities for young scholars to learn the experiences and viewpoints of different people from different backgrounds. The program was a mix of both academic and social events. The students were drawn from the MPhil program in Development Management in WA Campus, MPhil Agriculture Economics from Nyankpala campus and Integrated Master Program in Sustainable Rural Transformation from Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey, Niger. The tutors and lecturers were also a mix of experts from diverse fields and from the different institutions. To give students a practical overview of how rural transformation is carried out, resource persons from the NGO field and personnel from the district assembly planning departments presented their works

Various themes were explored for the purpose of instilling in students the desire to champion rural transformation within the West African context. The first week of the program featured the theme: Introduction to Sustainable Development and Rural Development. Several courses were taught that centered on the various dimensions and practices of sustainable development/transformation. This week also witnessed a resources person from an NGO called CIKOD (Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development). The facilitator gave insights into the operations of the organization. CIKOD is engaged in the areas of food sovereignty, endogenous institutional support, eco WASH and agro ecology. The organization also deals in other crosscutting themes such as gender and generational inequality, governance and advocacy and knowledge management. Students appreciated the interactive nature of the course and the presentations.

The second week of the summer program opened with the theme: Sociopolitical Dimensions and Rural Development. This week focused on culture, governance and indigenous knowledge. Courses taken was aimed at widening the knowledge base of students in the local governance system and decentralization process. Strategic planning and sustainable development issues dominated the discussions throughout the week. The interesting moments was the presentations on the decentralized district assembly planning process that was presented by officials of the WA Mumicipal Assembly. Students were taken through the Ghana decentralization process and the lessons that informed that path of development. Other West African countries decentralization processes were compared and contrasted. In order to release stress and make the summer school a lively experience, students were taken to the Royal Cosy Hills Hotel in a town called Jirapa. This ensured that students had a relaxed minds and bodies to go through the rest of the days.

The third week was dedicated to Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Transformation and Development. Students were lectured on various course ranging from Resource Economics and Rural Development, Agriculture Commercialization and Value Chain and proposal writing and presentation skills. Development field experience was once again exposed to students. The program manager for ActionAid Ghana in the Upper West Region took students through the programs and the interventions that have yielded a lot of benefits in the local communities. Some o the interventions of ActionAid in the Region are the Community Grain Banking, Female Extension Volunteers, Donkey Traction and the small ruminants project.

The final week of the summer school was the launch of the WAC-SRT center at the WA campus. The course that were taken in the week was Climate change response, mitigation and adaptation. Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies were espoused by students and how the SDGs can contribute to mitigating against the adverse effects of climate change. Vulnerability of West Africa in the face of climate change was deliberated and adaptation measures suggested. The launch of the Centre UDS in WA Ghana as the second WAC-SRT center after Niger was graced by high profile dignitaries. Present at the function were the Vice chancellor of UDS, chairman of the university governing council, the project lead at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey, the Dean of the faculty of planning and land management and the project lead at UDS Ghana. Other personalities that graced the occasion were the WAC-SRT project lead at the ZEF Germany and also the director of the DAAD information center in Accra Ghana.

At the end of the event, the Upper West Regional Minister together with other dignitaries, commissioned the WSC-SRT building.

In a nutshell, the maiden edition of the summer school for the west African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation was a huge success as there was the breaking of boundaries between francophone and anglophone west Africa, and a deepened partnership between UAM, UDS and partners.