June 18, 2024

Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba

BY ODIANOSEN BELIEVE OSEMUAHU

Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba, a prominent Nigerian scholar, has taken over the headship of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) as Chairman of the Board.

Nwajiuba’s election was announced after a unanimous vote from all 13 West African nations and the Republic of Germany, marking a significant milestone in regional leadership for climate services.

The ceremonial handover took place as outgoing Chairman, Prof. Lucie Quashie of Togo, successfully ended her term and officially passed the baton to Nwajiuba, a renowned agricultural economist, who had served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, in Ebonyi, Nigeria.

According to sources, Prof. Nwajiuba’s unanimous election reflects the confidence and trust placed in his ability to steer WASCAL toward greater achievements.

The new WASCAL chairman, who is well-known for his expertise and wealth of experience, as well as his deep understanding of climate challenges in the region, expressed his gratitude and commitment to advancing WASCAL’s mission of providing crucial climate services for West Africa.

WASCAL is recognised as one of Africa’s premier science-based institutions, specialising in delivering climate services tailored for West Africa.

The institution plays a vital role in climate change adaptation and land use management across the region.

WASCAL currently runs two Graduate Studies Programmes in Nigeria at the Federal University of Technology Minna, and the Federal University of Technology Akure, thus making Nigeria stand out as the only country in West Africa with two fully participating universities in the WASCAL programmes. Other countries in the region have one university each actively engaged in WASCAL initiatives.

In addition, WASCAL collaborates with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). The institution supports various establishments in Nigeria and other countries in West Africa with facilities and equipment on climate science, and alternative energy, including green hydrogen, hydrology, and weather data.

As Chairman, Prof. Nwajiuba is poised to lead WASCAL in addressing the complex challenges posed by climate change in West Africa. His academic background and administrative experience appear to make him well-equipped to foster partnerships, drive research initiatives, and enhance WASCAL’s impact on climate resilience and adaptation.

It is said that the election not only elevates Nigeria’s standing in the international scientific community but also underscores the commitment of West African nations to collectively address climate challenges. Prof. Nwajiuba’s appointment is described as a testament to the region’s confidence in his ability to guide WASCAL towards new heights of excellence.

Through Nwajiuba’s headship of the regional body, West Africa anticipates a new era of strengthened collaboration, innovation, and impactful climate services under his visionary leadership. It is believed to be a positive step towards building a more sustainable and resilient future for the entire West African region.