At the end of August it was time. Now it would become clear whether the first interim goal of the PASCAL project would be achieved. This goal was to make the project and the scientific expertise behind it known to the African scientific community. To tell people what Jülich research, and that of its partners, stands for and what we are planning when, how, where and, above all, WHY.
Did you know that 95 percent of our food is directly or indirectly produced on the soils? Yes, it is. This is according to estimates by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Soil is a living ecosystem storing more carbon than the atmosphere and the planet’s biomass combined. This is according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It’s been four weeks of anticipation, but finally, I am at Forschungszentrum Jülich a massive and multi-disciplinary research Centre within a small town.
It is located at the heart of Stetternich Forest in Jülich – a medium sized town with approximately 33,000 inhabitants – in the district of Düren, federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia west of Germany.
We have a new blogger in our team. Dr. Solomon Agbo joined Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2015 as a Postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and worked on monolithic integration of energy harvesters with storage batteries at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-5). Since June he works in the International relations unit where he is responsible for cooperations with Africa. Here comes his first blog post about “Research and Future of Africa”.
It’s on a Monday morning at about 11 am; we arrive in Hamburg – German’s port city from Berlin. The weather is dull, uninviting and promises to be catastrophically cold. It’s bad news since I have my swimming suits packed in my suitcase.
There is a beach where less than a week ago locals were swimming. The last one-week has been rainy, windy and extremely cold making it difficult to understand summer in Berlin. Am wondering if it’s going to shine and stay so anytime soon.
When German housewives or househusbands expect visitors, they wash the curtains, vacuum and bake a cake. Well, it’s quite similar with the colleagues of Corporate Communications when a guest from Kenya is due to arrive very soon.
It’s one thing learning a language in class and another speaking it with a native outside the classroom. Mixed reactions with some encouraging you to speak more while give you facial expressions exclaiming, “that was so wrongly pronounced.” But all in all, the last one-week has been a sehr gut “very” good experience.
Six of the World’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. The continent has been growing at an average of 5 percent per annum for over a decade, despite the global financial and economic crisis. This makes Africa confident that it can achieve its ambitious development dream, dubbed Agenda-2063 within 50 or even fewer years according to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU).
The first question I asked Nicole Reuter – the warm, smiling host from Germany’s International Journalist Program (IJP) – waiting to receive me at the historic Berlin Tegel Airport was “Aaah was I not supposed to go through customs first?” she smiled and said “Ooh yes, you did so at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol”.