Africa is no doubt the fastest growing continent in the world with a population of nearly 1.3 billion, growing at an average annual rate of 2.5% since the last 10 years. The growing population directly implies growing demand for food, energy, safe drinking water and health care. The growing youth population in most African countries has not been met with corresponding job opportunities within the continent to stem the incidences of high youth criminalities and quest for emigration. Infrastructures such as good  road  and public transportation systems, reliable power supply and affordable housing facilities, on which sustainable development can be built have not evolved with the evolving population in many Africa countries hence grossly affecting the living standard of the people.

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Erhard Zeiss is the second colleague from corporate communications who told me how he prepares for the upcoming trip to Accra.

When I talked to him I recognized that Africa has been in his mind for a long time. What he reports to me sounds like the first sentences in an adventure story:

“When I was on Tenerife in September we went up to the Teide, Spain’s highest mountain. From up there you have a wonderful view on the neighbouring islands of La Palma and El Hierro. The tour guide pointed to the horizon: ‘And there’s Africa over there!’, he told us. Just a little more than 200 kilometres away. I have never been closer to the ‘black continent’.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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”.  

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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.

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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.

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