WASCAL, AICCRA and RUFORUM build capacities towards developing university curricula in climate-smart agriculture and climate information services

AICCRA, in collaboration with RUFORUM and WASCAL, conducted a three-day capacity-building workshop to create awareness, train lecturers, and share climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and climate information services (CIS) modules. This initiative aims to integrate specialized modules into university programs and enhance access to CSA and CIS tools and knowledge across West Africa.

The Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA), in partnership with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), has ended a three-day capacity building of trainers on building a university curriculum with a specialized focus on Climate Information Systems (CIS) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).

The objective of the workshop was to have feedback from the lecturers on each module and incorporate that input to improve the different modules.  The training material then made available to the lecturers composed of WASCAL Alumni, and lecturers in some Universities in Ghana.

Participants were provided with comprehensive training programme to raise awareness, train educators, and equip them with meticulously developed training materials across four thematic modules: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Crop Production: disaster Risk Management in Crop Production, Livestock, and Aquaculture; Renewable Energy, Water Resources, and Agriculture; and modules developed specifically for this project (CSA and CIS).

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These modules are envisioned to significantly contribute to AICCRA’s broader mission of creating accessible training resources through RUFORUM’s online platform.

In his welcome address, Prof. Wilson Agyare, Director of WASCAL Graduate Studies Programme in Climate Change and Adapted Land Use at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) emphasized the critical need to address climate change which has become a pervasive issue affecting agriculture, which is the backbone of the African workforce. Prof. Agyare underscored the significance of timely information in enabling farmers to adapt to climate-related challenges, such as rising temperatures and erratic rainfall.

Delivering his speech, Prof. Brice Sinsin, the WASCAL Scientific Advisory Committee Chairman, emphasized the role of scientists in transmitting valuable knowledge to the next generation. He stressed the importance of integrating the new curricula into Graduate Studies Programmes (GSPs) and the need to focus on key issues related to agricultural productivity in West Africa.

Prof. Daouda Kone, Director of Capacity Building at WASCAL, provided an insightful presentation on the orientation and validation of the programme’s agenda, highlighting the programme’s expectations.

In her keynote address, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, expressed her delight at the role of KNUST in ensuring the success of the new curriculum.

Prof. Dickson expressed optimism that the joint efforts of WASCAL, RUFORUM, and AICCRA, aimed at integrating the four thematic modules into university curricula across West Africa, will empower universities and educators to make substantial contributions in these vital areas.

The conference was attended by lecturers from RUFORUM, AICCRA, KNUST, the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), and WASCAL alumni.

The AICCRA Project is building upon the successful legacy of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) in Africa. It places a strong emphasis on the pivotal role of CSA technologies and CIS, with the overarching aim of enhancing the capacity of six African countries. This innovative initiative underscores the critical importance of improving access to Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Climate Information Services (CIS) tools and knowledge for a diverse range of stakeholders.