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AMCOMET calls for greater investment in Africa to improve weather, climate and water services

  • AMCOMET calls for greater investment in Africa to improve weather, climate and water services

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World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories. The World Meteorological Organization is the U.N.'s authoritative voice on weather.

The African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) has issued a call for greater investment by national governments and development partners, in weather, climate and water services in order to promote sustainable development, cope with climate change and protect life and property on the continent.

A Declaration issued at the end of the Fourth Session of AMCOMET in Cairo, Egypt, highlighted the need to mobilize the necessary financial and political support to underpin National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in reducing the impacts of extreme weather and climate events such as flooding, drought and heatwaves through strengthening multi-hazard impact based early warning systems and services.

The Cairo Declaration also stresses the need for a public investment-driven approach to ensure a sustainable hydrometeorological infrastructure and to strengthen the service-delivery capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. It highlights the need for sharing and leveraging best practices in impact-based forecasting to support global and regional efforts on disaster risk management for building weather ready, and resilient societies. It also urges Members to implement National Framework for Climate Services to inform climate-smart decision-making.

AMCOMET is co-sponsored by the African Union Commission and the World Meteorological Organization. Its fourth session, hosted by the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, included a joint technical segment with a Regional Technical Conference (RECO) held back-to-back alongside WMO’s quadrennial Regional Association for Africa (RA I). The meetings took place from 18 to 23 February 2019. They were preceded by a WMO-sponsored Women’s Leadership Workshop.

Lieutenant General Younis Al Masry, Minister of Civil Aviation of Egypt, was elected as Chairperson of the AMCOMET Bureau for the next two years, succeeding Gilberto Correia Carvalho Silva, Minister of Agriculture and Environment, Cabo Verde.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice Chair positions went to Chad, Eswatini and Ethiopia respectively while the Rapporteur position went to Cabo Verde.  

Daouda Konaté, Director-General of Cote d’Ivoire Meteorological Service, who is also the Permanent Representative of Cote d’Ivoire with WMO, was elected RA I President for a four-year term. The Chairman of the Board of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, Ahmed Abdel-Aal, was elected Vice-President.

Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General, told the session that WMO is taking great strides through its reform process, “for wider developing country participation in technical commissions and WMO activities to enhance closer ties with the region’s activities.”

The Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, Amb. Josefa Lionel Sacko, emphasized the importance of strong hydrometeorological services in the attainment of the Pan African Agenda 2063 on “the Africa we want; an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena”.  Climate change has been identified as one of the factors threatening to derail the continent’s efforts towards realizing this Agenda

The Cairo Declaration voices concern that the potential benefits from recent scientific and technological development in the sector have not yet fully materialized in many African countries.

It stresses support for actions to strengthen Africa’s capacity to provide more quality weather and climate forecasts by ensuring access to a new generation of satellite products and expressed commitment to the international exchange of required observation data in support of the generation of weather and climate products for Africa and the global WMO community.

It welcomes the creation by the World Bank and WMO of the Alliance for Hydromet Development, and the WMO Country Support Initiative, which will bring together international development and climate finance partners behind a joint commitment for a scaled up and more effective support to Members.

The Declaration urges Member States to support NMHSs in their efforts to acquire greater autonomy through appropriate legislation; and calls for adequate training of to professional staff on leadership and management in order to strengthen the NMHSs Services delivery.

It stresses the need to improve the understanding of gender-specific impacts of weather and climate through the systematic collection and use of gender-disaggregated data and to increase the involvement of women in the development and communication of gender-sensitive weather, hydrological and climate services.

The Declaration further urges Members to take note of the draft WMO Policy Framework for Public-Private Engagement that outlines the benefits for all stakeholders including, principles and potential mechanisms for successful engagement.

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