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African Researchers To Benefit From CIRCLE To Tackle Climate Change

37 researchers from nine African countries including Ghana are going to benefit from a programme to generate knowledge to help combat continental climate change.

Climate changeClimate changeThe countries, under the auspices of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and with support from other partners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

These selected 37 to be Visiting Fellows of the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellowship programme, are lecturers and researchers under its third cohorts programme.

They would be spending a year in another university or research organisation in Africa, conducting research on the impact of climate change, under the supervision of a senior academic officials.

The research would focus on one or more of the five areas relating to agriculture, energy, health and livelihoods, water and policy.

“Most parts of Africa are already experiencing the impact of climate change. And it is important for the continent to research ways of reducing the impact, if we are to effectively adapt and develop the requisite skills base on generating the needed knowledge to inform decision making and actions” said Professor Benjamin Gyampoh, the CIRCLE Programme Manager.

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“CIRCLE is geared to training researchers to produce quality research to inform policy and contribute knowledge for countries and communities to mitigate and adapt the impact of climate change”, he added.

According to the United Nation Environment Programme,
between 75 and 250 million people in Africa are projected to be exposed to increased water stress and yields from rain-fed agriculture by the year 2020 and could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some countries as a result of climate change.

The beneficiaries of CVFs, who commenced their fellowship in January 2017, are to be in Nairobi-Kenya, at the AAS secretariat for an Induction Workshop in February.

CIRCLE has successfully supported Fellows to publish their research ensuring there is a growing body of knowledge the continent could base one to develop climate change strategies and interventions since it’s Launche in 2014.

The programme has also achieved a 50:50 gender balance in the recruitment of Fellows, ensuring that female scientists have equal access to opportunities to grow their careers and contribute to developing the continent.

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The researchers are exploring projects that ranges from how climate change will impact different genders, aged, diet and food security of rural communities and how small scale farmers perceive and are adapting to it and many more.

Mavis Akuffobea of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) Ghana, who is undertaking her one-year CIRCLE Visiting Fellowship at the University of Daresalam, Tanzania said;
“I am thrilled to be selected as a CIRCLE Visiting Fellow and am looking forward to maximising this opportunity to undertake research that will help the continent and its people to be better able to adapt to the global environmental changes and improve their livelihoods”.

According to Ms.Deborah-Fay Ndlovu, the Communication Manager of AAS, Five Ghanaians are part of this group.

Source: Newsghana.com.gh/Sammy Adjei

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