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GLOBE Africa Regional Consortium Meeting and Training in South Africa

The GLOBE Africa Regional Meeting was held 23—27 April 2007 in Riversdale, South Africa. The meeting provided an opportunity for GLOBE Country Coordinators, scientists, government officials and GLOBE Alumni to come together to promote program integration and strengthen relations throughout the region. Representatives from GLOBE countries Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda presented country status reports, discussed challenges, and developed strategies to improve and expand national and regional implementation. Representatives from all 17 countries signed the constitution agreeing to support the GLOBE Africa Consortium. Along with representatives from GLOBE Africa countries, Mr. Henry F. Mbeza attended the meeting representing Malawi. Discussions are currently underway with the Government of Malawi regarding joining GLOBE.

In addition to Country Status Reports, several participants presented on related GLOBE topics. Dr. Diola Bagayoko, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Adjunct Professor of Science and Mathematics Education at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the United States, presented "Inventing a Better Future for Africa with GLOBE," which built a strong case for the role and effectiveness of GLOBE in the development of science and technology capacity in Africa. Dr. Bagayoko is part of the team leading an effort to foster collaborative research activities involving U.S. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with GLOBE schools in the U.S. and Africa. The goal of this effort is to promote GLOBE-related research opportunities for faculty at HBCUs and to support closing identified gaps in STEM proficiencies in schools serving diverse populations.

Other speakers included Dr. Rafarasoa Lala from Antananarivo University in Madagascar, Dr. Jacob Seconna from Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa and two GLOBE Alumnifrom Cameroon, Ms. Adele Um Bilong and Mr. Tamsu Marcelin. Many thanks to the organizers, in particular Mr. Mark Brettenny, GLOBE Africa Alternate Chair, and Mrs. Margaret Besong, GLOBE Africa Chair.

Twenty-six teachers participated in the GLOBE Africa Training Workshop which focused on theSeasons and Biomes Project and on important questions about climate change and biome impact. The workshop engaged teachers in the Atmosphere, Hydrology, Land Cover, Phenology, and Soils protocols. Ten Master Trainers and two Assistant Master Trainers from nine countries led the workshop. Mrs. Rogeline Brettany, Dr. Leslie Gordon, and Mr. George Nditafon presented a new inquiry process model for use in the development of student-generated questions. Teachers, trainers, and country coordinators concluded the meeting by working together in groups to identify and plan networking activities to ensure greater collaboration within the region.

19 July 2007