West African course participants visited Norrköping

For three weeks in May, SMHI in Norrköping hosted some thirty decision-makers from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. They were participating in “Climate Change”, a six-month climate training programme that focuses particularly on water resources and agriculture.

Daouda Yahaya
Daouda Yahaya spent three rewarding weeks in Sweden.

- During these three weeks, the biggest impression on me has been the way Sweden takes climate change seriously and the work done here at SMHI, says Daouda Yahaya.

He works as a national expert for the Global Framework on Climate Services in Niger and is one of 29 participants attending the 3-week course in Norrköping.

On behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), SMHI is conducting the international training programme called “Climate Change - Mitigation and Adaptation” for different parts of Africa. A total of nine programmes for 250 decision-makers are being carried out during the period 2015-2020.

Each programme lasts for six months and is provided both in Sweden and on the spot in Africa. The programme covers everything from the latest climate research to how society can be adapted and crises prevented. It focuses particularly on water resources and agriculture.

Great interest in bringing about change

- There was strong commitment in the group to bring about change in their countries and organisations. The interest in climate and environmental issues that exists in Sweden is impressive. During the course, we have discussed Rwanda which is an example that is closer to home for our course participants, says Tharcisse Ndayizigiye, course leader at SMHI.

- The blend of people from different sectors and at different levels in organisations is a unique feature of this group from West Africa which has generated many interesting discussions and exchanges of knowledge during the course, he continues.

During the training programme, the participants work on individual adaptation projects which are carried out in their home countries. They are guided by SMHI’s experts and course leaders and also have the chance to discuss their thoughts and ideas with each other during the course.

Elisabeth Sinkondo Didiro.

- The focus of my project is to evaluate how vulnerable to climate change the communities that use the Zourmakita dam are, says Elisabeth Sinkondo Didiro.

- I am going to investigate their capacity for climate adaptation and suggest a better organisation so as to increase resistance to climate change, she explains.

At home, she works as a technical assistant at an authority that is responsible for hydraulic infrastructure in Burkina Faso. It is soon time to go home again.

- These three weeks in Sweden have been incredibly rewarding - the meetings, exchange of knowledge and, not least, human warmth, she says.