In its final year of Phase I, two specific events helped to underscore the growing interest in Inkaba yeAfrica, in Europe and beyond, as well as in the wider region of Africa (e.g the SADC countries).
First, the Vienna office of the United Nations acting on a GFZ initiative, offered to assist Inkaba yeAfrica and engage with partners in South Africa’s neighbouring countries. Accordingly, with UN funding, representatives from Botswana, Tanzania and Mozambique successfully participated in the final Inkaba yeAfrica Phase I workshop in South Africa during October 2007. This has laid new international foundations that will be further explored and expanded during Inkaba yeAfrica Phase II.
Secondly, the 2007 and 2009 workshops was held in conjunction with the international conference of the SA Geophysics Association (SAGA). The overwhelming interest by African and overseas conference participants in the results of the Inkaba yeAfrica research provides a strong signal that there is global interest in the science and the scale and complexity of Inkaba yeAfrica, the integration of which sets it apart from most Earth science programmes globally.
Whilst Inkaba yeAfrica aims at understanding fundamental processes of the extreme complexities of Earth Systems, through measuring, monitoring, modeling, and experimenting across a huge range of scales and rates, the Inkaba yeAfrica science teams are also taking on truly grand challenges of Earth Stewardship, through engaging with urgent socio-economic needs to meet the extreme complexities of sustainable development in our present and future world.
It is this latter human perspective that will be addressed even more succinctly by successfully attracting into Inkaba yeAfrica Phase II new well-established communities of experts both in South Africa and Germany that deal with the agriculture, forestry and biodiversity.
Specially tailored development and capacity building projects designed to focus on an accelerated path for students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds are built specifically into some of the Inkaba research proposals.
In addition, more centralised capacity building and outreach programmes in South Africa will be coordinated through the Inkaba yeAfrica office, in collaboration with the AEON initiative.
These new developments are proof that Inkaba yeAfrica has become an innovative and dynamically evolving scientific enterprise with a growing number of stakeholders.