DPR WACS WASCAL
Coordinated by Professor Paul Vlek, the former Executive Director of WASCAL on behalf of the German government, FUTA was invited to discuss and participate in an international competitive process for the selection of hosting Universities for the weather and climate related Graduate Research Programmes in West Africa. The then Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) represented the University and Nigeria at the forum. The competition was very keen. At the end, FUTA was favoured to host the programme in West African Climate Science. Thus, on August 10, 2010, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, was formally selected as the Lead University for the Doctoral Research Program (DRP) in West African Climate System (WACS).
The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) is a German initiative and a West African international organization with focus on academic and multidisciplinary research, building graduate-level scientific capacity and serving policy makers in West Africa with science-based advice on adaptation to climate change impacts and land use management. It cooperates with many agencies and universities in the West African region, providing a knowledge platform of excellence for its partners. WASCAL is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), multilateral and bilateral partners and its 11 West African member countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia and Togo.
The host department in FUTA, the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science is recognised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as the University component of the Regional Meteorological Training Centre in Nigeria. The department is renowned in the country and the entire West Africa for its track records in manpower development of experts in weather and climate related disciplines. Over the years, the department has trained professional meteorologists for Meteorological Agencies in Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, etc. It has also trained scientists and experts in other climate related fields.
Specifically, DRP-WACS, FUTA provide the following services:
- Manpower development and enhancement of skills for stakeholders to combat and manage the climate system.
- Development of climate services, as well as adaptation programmes including the prediction of extreme weather and climate conditions; impacts of climate change and variability on coastal areas, urbanization, agroforestry, energy demand, hydrology and water resources; rainfall onset and cessation over West Africa.
- Provision of public awareness programmes on climate change, as well as policy advisory services to government and non-governmental agencies.
- Other essential services for policy and decision making in allied climate critical sectors
On 23 January 2012, DRP – WACS, FUTA started formally with 10 students, one student from each from WASCAL-affiliated countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and the Gambia).
To be an international Centre of excellence in training, research, and service delivery in Meteorology, Climate Science and related fields.
To produce well trained scientists needed to provide viable solutions to weather and climate related challenges globally and particularly in the West African sub-region.
AREA OF SPECIALIZATION
DRP-WACS students are expected to carry out original research projects and to specialize in the following areas:
- Numerical Weather Prediction and Forecasting
- Climate Change Applications
- Agricultural Meteorology
- Satellite Meteorology, Instrumentation, Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Meteorology
- Coastal Risk Management
- Urban Climatology and Air Quality
- Biometeorology (Health)
- Water Resources Systems
- Renewable Energy
- Synoptic Meteorology
- Environmental Pollution, etc.
BENEFICIARIES SO FAR FUTA (2012-2021)
Over forty West African students have benefited from the full scholarship which includes accommodation, tuition, travel, and cost of research. These graduates have been providing improved prediction, adaptation, and management of the climate system over West Africa and beyond. Twenty-Nine (29) graduated while eleven(11) are currently running the program spanning from 2019 to 2022.
THE PROGRAMME IMPACT
- The Programme has successfully trained and empowered individuals across West Africa who are now consultants to organizations like World Meteorological Organization, World Bank, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Graduates have been given quite productive, attracted grants to their individual organizations.
- Graduate have been significant contributions to the scientific and economic advancements of their institutions and countries.
- Beneficiaries of the scholarship schemes have become leaders in their respective domains, making their contributions, changing the world positively and bringing goowdil to WASCAL and visibility to BMBF.
- Providing improved prediction, adaptation and management of the climate system over West Africa.