The DAAD Nairobi will be hosting the very first Dinner Talk this year! This time around, the Dinner Talk will no longer be virtual, but IN-PERSON!

Prof. Christian Borgemeister (University of Bonn, Germany) and Prof. Dan Olago (University of Nairobi, Kenya) will present a talk centered on nature-based solutions to environmental and climatic challenges: Linking science, policy, and practice. The event will take place on Wednesday, 15th June 2022, from 6:00 pm EAT, at the University of Nairobi.

In the light of climate change and the loss of biodiversity, Africa’s sustainable development is tremendously challenged. In particular, the vast African savanna systems have largely been converted into managed landscapes, including agricultural and settlement areas. Savannas are very rich in biodiversity and provide indispensable ecosystem services. At the same time, savannas are the “breadbasket” of the continent providing 70% of Africa’s cropland, 66% of cereal production and 80% of livestock farming.

One of the greatest future challenges in savanna areas will be to adapt to the ever- changing environmental conditions, to conserve their biodiversity, maintain ecosystem functionality and ecosystem service provision, and concurrently provide food for the local population. In this regard, the African Climate and Environment Center – Future African Savannas (AFAS) was funded by DAAD to build the critical mass and expertise to tackle these challenges, leveraging on working in the unique SPPI (Science Policy Practice Interface) space, adopting an inter- and transdisciplinary education and research approach with strong digital teaching, learning and research components, capacity development for the implementation of concepts and technologies as drivers of transformative change for the conservation and sustainable use of the savanna ecosystem following the Nature-based Solutions (NbS) approach. Indigenous and local knowledge combined with innovative new approaches based on research represent a great potential for sustainable development and achieving the SDGs in the region.

We will discuss this and more at the Dinner Talk!

About the speakers:

Daniel Olago is Associate Professor of Geology, Chairman of the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences, and Research Director, Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi. He has BSc. and MSc. degrees in Geology from the University of Nairobi and a D.Phil. degree in Physical Geography from the University of Oxford (Kenya Rhodes Scholar for 1990). His research interests are broadly in Quaternary and environmental geoscience, water resources and climate change. Prof. Olago has been involved in multi-disciplinary research, training and capacity building activities on global environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years. He has also contributed, as lead author, to the 4th and 6th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports. Olago is also a fellow of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences, the Geological Society of Kenya, the African Academy of Sciences, and The World Academy of Sciences.

Christian Borgemeister is the Director of the Center for Development Research ( and Professor for Ecology and Natural Resources Management at the University of Bonn, Germany. He was appointed in 2013 at ZEF and since 2014 is also serving as Managing Director of the Center. Prior he was the Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology (icipe –, a Nairobi, Kenya headquartered pan-African R&D Centre. Christian Borgemeister is a trained entomologist and has lived and worked for >20 years in West and East Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. He is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, the Royal Entomological Society, the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Member of the Council of the International Congress of Entomology and since May 2020 Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA – Borgemeister has been the recipient of the 2011 International Plant Protection Award of Distinction of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS), and the 2015 Distinguished Scientist Award of ESA’s International Branch He has authored and co-authored > 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, with > 7,000 citations and an h-index of 46, has co-authored a book on biological control in Africa, and has written > 10 chapters for different scientific books.

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