IUGB at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco
Professor Saliou Touré, IUGB President, and Professor Ahmed Legrouri, Vice President for Academic Affairs, attended the 22nd Conference of the Parties on the Convention on Climate Change (COP22), which took place in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, on November 7-18, 2016. COP is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The two University officers and two University Presidents from Côte d’Ivoire were invited by Prof. Azeddine El Midaoui, President of the Conference of Moroccan University Presidents (CPU). The two other University Presidents were: Prof. Yao Tano of Nangui Abrogoa University in Abidjan and Prof. Abiba S. Tidou of Jean Lorougnon University in Daloa. The CPU in collaboration with the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology (H2AST), Rabat, Morocco, organized a two-day event on November 14-15 within the framework of the Conference. Prior to the vent, the Ivorian delegation was invited to a courtesy dinner by Prof. Ahmed Nejmeddine, President of Hassan 1st University in Settat (UH1S), Morocco.
The first day was devoted to the Global University President’s Summit. The opening conference was given by the Minister of Research and Innovation in Burkina Faso. The two sessions that followed discussed the following topics:
- -The role of universities in addressing climate change: education, training, research and social responsibility;
- -Setting a climate research agenda for Africa.
Some time was used during the day for visits to the different exhibitions and a poster session. IUGB presented a poster that describes the University activities in environment and sustainable development.
The second day was jointly organized by the CPU, the H2AST and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC). The main theme of the day was “mitigation, adaptation and resilience to climate change in Africa: Role of science, technology and continental cooperation”. The opening session included speeches from the CPU, AH2ST and NASAC presidents followed by two presentations on:
- -Challenges of Africa’s development in the ear of Global warming
- -NASAC report on climate change in Africa: facts and challenges
Several panel discussions followed on the following topics:
- -Networking and scientific collaboration-partnership between African countries for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to climate change
- -The future agriculture in Africa in the context of climate change
- -Young scientists contribution on climate change
Several recommendations were derived from the rich discussions of the two days. The event ended with the Joint Official Declaration of African Academies of Science and Presidents-Rectors of African Universities.
On November 16, President Touré and Prof. Legrouri visited UH1S. The welcome was very cordial and warm with a banderole whishing a warm welcome to the IUGB delegation. The meeting was attended by President Nejmeddine, the two Vice Presidents and the Deans/Directors of all academic units. The two parties identified several areas for collaboration and the two Presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The meeting was also attended by some Ivorian students and two medical doctors undergoing a training at the University. After lunch, the IUGB delegation visited some teaching and research units of the University. They were very impressed with the activities and the production of the University as well as the new Center of Innovation, which is in its final stages of construction.
On November 17, President Touré and Prof. Legrouri visited Hassan II University of Casablanca (UH2C). They were welcomed by President Idriss Mansouri, his Vice President and a laboratory director. The discussion led to the identification of several fields of collaboration and the two Presidents signed an MoU. The discussion followed over dinner kindly offered by the University President.
It is worth mentioning that President Touré and President Azzedine El Midaoui of Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra had previously signed an MoU to start collaboration on areas of mutual interest.
On November 19, the IUGB delegation met with Prof. Nouzha El Yacoubi, Mathematics Professor at Mohammed V University in Rabat (UMV) and Vice President of the African Mathematical Union for North Africa, and Prof. Idris Khalil, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Morocco and Member of the Academy of the Kingdom. The discussion over lunch focused on the organization of the African Congress of Mathematics by the AMU, scheduled to take place in Rabat in 2017. Prof. El Yacoubi also indicated the interest of both her Dean and President to collaborate with IUGB and other Ivorian Universities.