The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry announced last week that the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use (SASSCAL) will function as a Regional Science Service Centre and will be head-quartered in Windhoek.
After construction the Regional Secretariat will face off with the Southern African Customs Union building near Windhoek Botanical Gardens and will be handed over after 4 years to the regional partner countries.
According to the ministry, German funding will start to reduce from 2017 onwards, by 25 % per annum to the project. The five members states: Botswana, Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia will have to continue making financial commitment on an equal basis on an already adopted funding formula.
The German government will pull out as donors by July 2016 handing over responsibility to the partners as it has already placed approximately N$20million (₤1 million) to cover the costs for the building of the Regional Secretariat.
Member of the Governing Board of SASSCAL from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, Dr. Rene Haak said that the decision was made to show full commitment to the common initiative but that ownership also requires that partners take responsibility and make contribution to the development of the institution.
“We promised at the last meeting in January to give to the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management until 2020 additional funds of up to €10 million for research activities under the condition that SASSCAL prepares and submit by end of this year a fully adopted Integrated Science Plan,” Dr.Haak said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has already made a budget allocation of N$22 million to prepare the site for construction. This is in addition to the donated land and the architectural cost.
Meanwhile, each member state will agree in the future on contribution to the activities and also to sustain the running of the Regional Secretariat which will give more visibility to SASSCAL.