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”.

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Did you know that about one billion people mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia live without electricity? This is according to the latest World Bank estimates. Currently, about 640 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity.
By 2040, it is estimated that Africa will require 700gigawatts of power to meet its demand. This is seven times more than what is currently installed.

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As a journalist, I am used to asking questions, getting answers and writing about other people, events and occurrences. Rarely do I speak about myself and my work. It happened that for about six years while I was working as a radio technician and creative producer, I was used to being behind the scenes and making sure everything runs smoothly. So today, I am taking the challenge to tell you a little bit about myself.

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The audience falls silent, the curtain is drawn, and there she is, on the stage, in the spotlight: Forschungszentrum proudly presents Sophia Mbugua, the winner of our journalistic scholarship! At the End of April we had 42 interesting applications – and believe me, it was real hard work finding the best candidate for the job. In the end it was Sophia who was one step ahead.

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A great thing about projects is, that they bring people with different professional knowledge together to work for the same objective. A great example is “The Pan-African Soil Challenge”, which connects colleagues from science, communication and HR. The team members are glad to give you a deeper insight in their work environment at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

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From our guest blogger Klaus Görgen. In mid April, the long-awaited dedicated PASCAL computer equipment arrived at IBG-3: one very powerful workstation, which will serve as our “mini supercomputer substitute”, plus 15, as well powerful, notebooks for the course participants. Tough only a single machine, the workstation will be mimicking a (very) small high performance computing cluster, where usually a number of so-called compute nodes are connected via a dedicated low-latency, high-bandwidth communication network plus special networking software.

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Anne Rother on the latest developments concerning the Journalistic Scholarship.

As I reported earlier this year, we were not quite sure whether our idea to offer a journalistic scholarship would work out. Meanwhile we have received about 25 interesting applications and we are optimistic that there is more to come. That’s good news. Thanks to our supporters out there, the call obviously has found its way to the people we would like to address.

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I have just returned from Oman, where I accompanied Geoverbund ABC/J’s student’s excursion. Actually, it was now planned to put the registration form for PASCAL online. However, I could not do everything necessary for it before my departure. So it’s always good to have an official deadline that you share with colleagues and an unofficial “very-very-last-it-has-definitely-to-be-done-by-this-date” one.

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As we already pointed out, PASCAL is following the aim of supporting Africa in implementing the latest geo-scientific methods to make food production sustainable and secure. Besides this part of the project, we also want to give all participants of the HPC training and the hackathon as well as everyone else who is interested the opportunity of getting to know Germany as a place for excellent science. Therefore we offer an accompanying programme from November 27-29, 2018 and my main task within this project is to support the planning and organization of this programme.

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