The Southern African Science Services Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) recently held its team-building exercise amidst calls to celebrate the many successes the organisation has achieved.
The regional organisation boasts a number of achievements since it was established including funding the first and only Green Hydrogen Village in Africa, publishing the Atlas of Green Hydrogen Generation potential in 12 SADC countries, crafting the Namibia Green Hydrogen Strategy, and establishing the Youth for Green Hydrogen Scholarship programme.
Additionally, SASSCAL 2.0 was successfully launched this year after which, 54 contracts from all 13 projects within the Member States have been signed. As if that was not enough, SASSCAL is implementing the SASSCAL Graduate Studies Programme in Integrated Water Resource Management (SGPS-IWRM) Specialised Centre of Excellence aimed at producing PhD graduates with specialised skills to help manage the region’s water resources. The study programme is hosted by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Currently, 13 PhD students are enrolled in the SGSP-IWRM Programme.
Also, with the blessing of the African Union Commission, SASSCAL forms part of the GMES Phase 1 and Phase 2, WeMAST Geoportal phase 1 and 2 from which many new products and services are derived. Recently,
SASSCAL announced the second phase of the Youth for Hydrogen Scholarships. Already, 73 students are studying towards Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen qualifications, thanks to the bursaries awarded by SASSCAL.
SASSCALS’s WeatherNet remains one of the most reliable sources of daily weather and climate data. The number of products, the quality and its users increase every year.
SASSCAL Executive Director, Dr Jane Olwoch urged the staff to celebrate these achievements noting that the organisation has made its mark in the science and research sectors. “We neither appreciate nor celebrate our achievements enough. Today, I am celebrating. SASSCAL is making its mark,” she said in a speech during the team building exercise.
The colourful event, which brought together SASSCAL employees from the Regional Secretariat in Windhoek and the National Nodes of Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, took place at Swakopmund from 6 – 10 November 2023.
The event took the form of numerous activities such as an internal organisational strategy session, indoor and outdoor team-building activities, as well as a visit by some staff and management to the famed Daures Green Hydrogen village. The project, based in Namibia’s Erongo Region is one of the Green Hydrogen pilot projects being implemented between the Namibian and German Governments and coordinated by SASSCAL under the Joint Communique of Intent (JCOI) agreement signed between the two countries in 2021.
At the end of the event, SASSCAL awarded 16 employees who served the organisation for 5 years or longer with Long Service certificates, during which Dr Olwoch reminded the employees about the many achievements SASSCAL has made. “Why are we not celebrating the extra nights, weekends and dedication we put in for this to happen and it is happening again this year for next year,” she said.
The achievements do not just cover the programmes and projects but also the manner in which the staff are dedicated to conducting the affairs of the institution. The Council of Ministers has time and again commended the institution for the quality of its work and has pledged their continued support.
Dr Olwoch also appreciated the staff from the different departments for the hours of work they invest in the organisation. She mentioned the finance and administration staff in all countries who work tirelessly to support all technical units, the IT, Human Resource and Administration for their dedication to SASSCAL. SASSCAL’s website beams with news, and the institution’s social media pages are alive with current and thought-out topics, thanks to the communications team, she mentioned. “This success belongs to you, to us,” she added.
The Executive Director reminded the staff that SASSCAL was able to achieve such because of the support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which funds the Climate Research Programme, the Green Hydrogen and SGSP-IWRM, the African Union Commission for their financial contribution towards the WEMAST Programme under GMES and Africa and the financial support and political will from the Member States.
Finally, Dr Olwoch stated “All we have to do today and from now on is talk to yourself about your successes; be sure you are recognising your own accomplishments, no matter how small they may be”.