Widespread laughter, pure joy and exuberance dominated the building of the Projektträger Jülich on Monday morning. This was due to the reunion of the 59 students from the 15 West African ECOWAS states. After the end of the winter semester, they all met again for the first time in Germany. For some, it is the first big trip, a journey to another continent, a foreign country and a new cultural environment.
The past two days in Lomé, Togo, were impressive, emotional, hopeful and simply wonderful. The West African state was the second of three stops during the delegation trip of German scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University. Not only was an addendum drawn with the Université de Lomé, it also provided an impressive demonstration of the motivation and achievements of the 15 students from Track 4 “Biofuels and Bioenergy”.
The nice thing about traveling is that you have the opportunity to get to know other countries and people. All parts of the world have different traditions and customs. It is important to be open to these habits and to get to know the culture and history of a country. On Sunday, the delegation therefore went to Gorée Island, a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of African men, women and children who had been sold into slavery.
Usually, a journey begins long before the plane, train or car is boarded to arrive at the destination. And this is also the case with the large delegation trip that will take colleagues from Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Rostock to West Africa. The objective is to visit the partners in Senegal, Togo and Ghana and to open up additional cooperation opportunities.