On 30 June 2017, the SASSCAL Regional Secretariat hosted the first SASSCAL Information Sharing Session in honor of the European Climate Diplomacy Week. The event was directed jointly by the SASSCAL Executive Director, Dr Jane Olwoch, and the SASSCAL National Director of Zambia, Indie Dinala.
The invited guests included the Head of Cooperation from the German Embassy, Mr Christian Grün, the Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Mr Abraham Nehemia, the High Commissioners, Her Excellency Mrs Modise, from Botswana, and Ms Libongani from Zambia, as well as the Deputy Head, His Excellency Ander Ruiz de Gopegui Aramburu, from Spain and His Excellency Mr. Paulos from Portugal. Representatives from the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Namibian Scientific Society, Hanns Seidel Foundation, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wideraufbau) representatives and the NSA (Namibian Statistics Agency) and NCRST (National Commission on Research, Science and Technology) were also in attendance.
Dr Olwoch opened the proceedings by stressing the challenges faced by the region in view of growing population pressure and climate projections, predicting a drier and hotter sub-Saharan Africa. The opening statement of the Executive Director of SASSCAL was followed by statements from Mr Nehemia and Mr Grün, stressing the importance of SASSCAL in the wake of regional developments and impending climatic effects on the region.
The SASSCAL National Director of Botswana, Dr Casper Bonyongo and the SASSCAL National Director of Namibia, Mr Peter Erb, gave the attendees an overview of the SASSCAL achievements, products and services produced over the past years.
A panel discussion co-chaired by Dr Olwoch, between Mr Nehemia and Mr Grün, on the Paris Climate Change Agreement Implementation, provoked interesting and thought-provoking discussions in the audience, in particular on the role that sub-Saharan countries can play to contribute to the goals set by the Agreement.