Climate Change Challenges in Africa: WASCAL and SASSCAL Sate of the Art and New perspectives

Dr Jane Olwoch
Prof Rene Haak

Dr Jane Olwoch

Jane Olwoch holds a BSc (Botany /Zoology) from Makerere University (Uganda), an MSc (Biology) from the Medical University of Southern Africa (SA) and a PhD (Zoology- Climate change) from the University of Pretoria (SA) and an MBA from the Business School, Netherlands.

Dr. Olwoch is the Executive Director of the Southern African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL).  Before joining SASSCAL, she was the Managing Director of Earth Observation at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA, responsible for leading regional and international partnerships with other space agencies and Earth observation institutions in data access and sharing, application development and sensor portfolio management.

She served as a member of the National Committee of Spatial Data, a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of SASSCAL and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Geo-Information Science at the University of Pretoria.  she is a Lead Author of Chapter 11, IPCC Human Health, of the working group 2 to IPCC, fifth Assessment Report (2010-2014).  From 2014-2017, She was a vice Chair and later the Chair of the Working Group on Capacity Development and Data Democracy of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).  She is a recipient of the prestigious TUKS Alumni Award in 2014.

Prof René Haak

Prof. Dr.-Ing. René Haak joined the  German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2005. Today he is the head of the division “Global Change”. He was previously the Head of the Business and Economics Section and Deputy Director at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo ( ) which he joined in 1999. Between 2011 and 2014 he was the head of the science and technology section at the German Embassy in Beijing. He gave lectures at the Technical University of Brandenburg (Germany), at the European University Viadrina (Germany) and at the Hosei University (Japan), the Nishogagusha University Chiba (Japan), Tsinghua University (China) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA). He has a PhD degree in Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) and a degree in business administration from the Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin). Research experiences include the Fraunhofer Institute for Production and Design Technology (IPK) and the Institute for Machine Tools and Manufacturing (IWF) of the Technical University of Berlin.

Main Speaker: Prof René  Haak, Head of Global Change, Federal Ministry  of Education and Research, Germany

Facilitators: Dr Jane M Olwoch, SASSCAL Executive Director and Peter Shisani, National Director: SASSCAL SA

Climate change is regarded as the long term change in global or regional climate patterns. The world is facing climate change challenges that need close cooperations amongst countries, policy makers and scientific communities to solve them. Scientific-based knowledge on the local and regional impact of climate change is a prerequisite to inform decision makers and thus, allow for development and implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. The recent climate change effects were severe causing extremes droughts and floods at regional scale, affected the livelihoods and disrupted economic activities in the Southern Africa.

The Southern Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Germany, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. It supports climate change research and infrastructural development to monitor and better understand the impacts of climate change on natural resources and economic development in the region.

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Center designed to help tackle this challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sénegal, Togo) and Germany.