New ZEF-led program trains experts in West Africa

January 22, 2018.  



Federal Foreign Office and DAAD promote sustainable rural transformation with 1.8 million euros

ZEF has initiated and will run the new "West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation" to strengthen research and education in development planning, agricultural economics and aspects of renewable energy and irrigated agriculture in Africa. The Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (ZEF) works together with university locations in Ghana and Niger. The project is funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the German Exchange Service (DAAD) for four years with 1.8 million euros. The program aims to contribute to sustainable development and political stability in West Africa and train experts.


"We are very pleased and proud to have the opportunity to continue our commitment to education and training in development-related issues in West Africa," says Dr. Wolfram Laube, Project Coordinator and Senior Researcher at ZEF. Since 2008, the Center for Development Research, in cooperation with the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana, has been running and furthering the DAAD-funded Ghanaian-German Center for Development Research. "The regional networks and the expertise that we have built up with, among others, the Ghanaian-German Center now benefit the new program," adds Laube.


The new program aims to improve the research and teaching capacity and infrastructure of African partner institutions. It supports staff development through courses, conference visits and postdoctoral fellowships. Together, the partners develop curricula at the host universities in Niger and Ghana. The master's programs in development planning and agricultural economics at the University of Development Studies in Wa and Tamale (Ghana) are strengthened and a new interdisciplinary doctoral program for sustainable rural transformation is created. 


At the University of Abdou Moumouni in Niger, a new Master’s program for sustainable rural transformation is being established, combining technical aspects of renewable energy production and irrigated agriculture with socio-economic and development management perspectives. The project in Niger will build a combined solar and irrigation system for research and demonstration purposes.


The master's program at the University of Abdou Moumouni in Niamey, Niger, benefits from the long-year experience and cooperation with the <link http: external-link-new-window internal link in current>WASCAL project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The University in Niger has hosted the <link http: graduate-programmes climate-change-and-energy external-link-new-window internal link in current>Graduate Program on Climate Change and Energy, one of the ten WASCAL Graduate School Programs in West Africa, since 2013. 


Scholarships for West African students The West African Center for Sustainable Rural Transformation will provide scholarships to international PhD and Master’s students. Application is possible from March 2018. The exchange of students, especially between English and French speaking countries in West Africa, interdisciplinary courses as well as transnational summer schools and doctoral courses are features of the project approach. 


The center is run in collaboration between ZEF, the University of Abdou Moumouni (Niamey, Niger), the University for Development Studies (Wa and Tamale, Ghana) and the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (University of Ghana, Legon). Current locations include the University of Abdou Moumouni (Faculty of Science and Technology) in Niger and the University of Development Studies in Ghana (Faculty of Planning and Land Management and Faculty of Agribusiness). Education and training as well as academic networking are managed by ZEF and the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana.


Read the press release (in German launched) by the University of Bonn on January 22, 2018 <link https: neues external-link-new-window internal link in current>here

Press coverage at <link https: header media-center zef-in-the-press news-single-view article external-link-new-window internal link in current>ZEF in the Press



Wolfram Laube

Dr. Wolfram Laube