Skip to main content

Connecting the dots in my CIRCLE research.

On 28th of January, 2015 I left Tamale in the Northern region of Ghana, where I work and live with my family to the Centre for Climate Change Studies (CCCS), University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania. This was my first time travelling to the East. Early in the morning I was greeted in Kiswahili, a language I skipped years ago when I had admission to read Political Science and Kiswahili at the University of Ghana.

This was the beginning of the 11 months journey into my research career away from home. It has been one of the best, working in Ghana and Tanzania.  Coming back to Ghana for data collection in March, I worked with research assistants from the University for Development Studies (My home institution), Savanna Agricultural Institute (SARI), and the Mole National Park, Ghana. I had the opportunity to work with a number of people from the office of the CCCS, the Geography department, Botany department and even crossing over to the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the Kitulangalo forest in Morogoro, Tanzania. Most of these personalities were experts and professors in their own field, some directly related to my field of research others not directly. I had to work with some research assistants in the field data collection, with plant ecologist and technicians to help identify tree species in the Guinea Savanna and the Miombo woodlands of Ghana and Tanzania respectively. I needed to work with laboratory technicians from the SARI, Ghana and Forestry and Nature Conservation, SUA, Tanzania for soil sampling and preparation of the soils for laboratory analysis, seed bank germination. In the Kitulangalo forest I worked with a forest technician who assisted with the identification of tree species in Kiswahili before it was translated into the scientific names. I am glad that the process of soil preparation and analysis was used as practical training for three female students from the Tanzania Technical Institute.
During the period under review, I had the opportunity to make presentations of my research in a workshop organized by CCCS with the other CIRCLE fellows and PhD students and two international conferences organized by the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and the Association of Fire Ecology (AFE), in Manchester, UK and San Antonio Texas, US respectively. I was privileged to receive partial travel support from the UNU-LRT, Iceland for the SER conference and also the second recipient of the Mike Da Luz Student Travel Award for a research that has Potential of Contributing to the Wildland Fire Community. The award was given by the AFE on the basis that there is much use of fire in the savannas of Africa which has enormous impact on ecosystems and climate change but with very little research on fire. This is a great motivation and encouragement to me to continue conducting research in fire and ecosystems management. I received the Award through the efforts of my mentor at my home institution.

I am in the process of submitting two manuscripts for my study. The research is also being upgraded for my PhD studies at Rhodes University, South Africa for which I just been selected for a fellowship support from the Organization for Women Scientist in Developing and Least Developed Countries (OSWD).
Through it all, I have learnt that networks are very important. At every stage of a scientific research one needs the support of individuals, groups, communities and institutions. This can only be achieved through building good relationships and effective communication. There are processes you can never skip but you definitely have to work with people and institutions to achieve them.  In these networks, you learn from the knowledge and experiences of experts and you have to also share and impart knowledge because you are the expert of your research. You can hardly do it alone. There is always a need for networking and collaboration.

The year has been a very long one with a lot of activities and travelling.  I am now back home here in Tamale, Ghana. I am very grateful to CIRCLE for the funding and research exposure which has enhanced my visibility as a researcher and my research. This has fulfilled the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the fellowship and my career development.

By

Esther Ekua Amoako

Esther's home institution is the University For Development Studies and her host institution for the CIRCLE visiting fellowship has been the University of Dar es Salaam.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CIRCLE Institutional Case Study: MOUAU

By Prof. Phillippa Ojimelukwe, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU)

When I saw the advertisement for the CIRCLE programme, I had little confidence that we would succeed in becoming a Home institution. I was uncertain we would be able to compete favourably with other well-established institutions; I also thought that the funders would be sceptical of lesser known institutions. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and the CIRCLE programme has been a revolutionary experience for Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria. We have benefitted both from the fellowship programme (with four fellows selected from MOUA) and the Institutional Strengthening Programme (ISP).  

The ISP has been transformative for our institution. We started with a detailed analysis of our institutional gaps and weaknesses. We aligned this with our university’s mandate - to lead the frontiers of research in agriculture for national development in a sustainable manner and to train high…

Research Uptake Discourse on Women, Entrepreneurship Development and Climate Change

By Dr Catherine Akinbami, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria


In order to have a holistic approach, the economic, social and environmental issues which are interdependent aspects of a society must be considered within a unified framework so as to promote human welfare, especially in the rural areas. The consideration of the social dimension of climate change is important in order to ensure that human rights are not compromised as climate change impacts the fundamental security, lives, health and livelihoods of people, especially the most vulnerable. Also, greater consideration of the social dimension can enhance the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation as well as the policies needed to drive them. 

On the 20th of April, stakeholders gathered at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria for a Policy Discourse on women, entrepreneurship development and climate change. The stakeholders comprised of policy makers from ministries (such as Women Affairs, Envi…

Kenyan Policy Makers Dialogue on Gender and Social Inclusion in the Climate-Smart Agriculture Strategy: Linking International and National Policy

By Catherine Mungai and Caroline Bosire
Kenya has made great headway in developing policies and strategies to respond to climate change across different sectors; most notably in agriculture. The agricultural sector is the driving force of Kenya’s economy and is also one of the sectors most sensitive to the impacts of climate change. The agricultural sector has been identified as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, therefore necessitating the identification of measures through which the sector can mitigate climate change. Introduced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is one such approach which aims to sustainably improve agricultural productivity, increase farmers’ resilience, reduce and/or remove greenhouse gas emissions, and support the achievement of food-security and development goals. To this end, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya has developed a CSA Strategy which will guide the …