The West African training programme is held in French and lasts about 10 months during which 30 decision-makers traditionnally from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger learn about Climate Change, Mitigation and Adaptation focussing particularly on water resources and agriculture. During the training programme, the participants work on individual adaptation projects carried out in their home countries. They are guided by SMHI’s and local experts and course leaders. They also have the chance to discuss their thoughts and ideas with each others during the seminars that take place in Sweden and West African countries.
For its 2021 edition, the programme welcomes participants from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, Tchad and Togo. And this time, it will particularly focus on flood forecast, alert and management.
On behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), SMHI has conducted 6 international training programmes on “Climate Change - Mitigation and Adaptation” in West Africa between 2015 and 2020. Over 200 professionals have participated in the programme from across the region, with diverse backgrounds ranging from governmental, private, academic and research institutions to civil society.
"Participants are strongly committed to introduce change in their countries and organisations. They show great interest for climate and environmental issues.", 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 the West African groups. It always generates many interesting discussions and exchanges of knowledge during the course", he continues.
Testimonials of programme participants
Traditionnally, for three weeks in May, SMHI headquater in Norrköping hosts the programme participants.
Daouda Yahaya, one of the programme participants, is a national expert for the Global Framework on Climate Services in Niger.
"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.
At home, Elisabeth Sinkondo Didiro is a technical assistant at an authority that is responsible for hydraulic infrastructure in Burkina Faso.
"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 investigate their capacity for climate adaptation and suggest a better organisation so as to increase resistance to climate change", she explains.
"The three weeks in Sweden have been incredibly rewarding - the meetings, exchange of knowledge and, not least, human warmth", she says.