The 5th Ordinary Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET-5) appoints New Bureau Office Bearers.

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 11:40

The 5th African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET-5) Session took place virtually on 17 March 202. It was preceded by the technical segment on 16 March.

The Session elected its new Bureau. The Chair is the Cameroon Minister of Transport; Jean Ernest Masséna Ngalle Bibehe. The First Vice-Chair is the Sudan Minister of Irrigation and Water Resource; Prof. Yasir Abbas M. Ali. The Second Vice-Chair is the Niger Republic Minister of Transport Mr Sadou Seydou while the Third Vice-Chair is the Mozambique Minister of Transport and Communications; Mr Janfar ABDULAI. The Arab Republic of Egypt, as the previous chair, becomes the Rapporteur and will be represented by the Minister of Civil Aviation, H.E. Mohamed Manar Anba. This Bureau will be in office for the next two years.

In addition to electing new office bearers, the Ministers adopted the revised Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (AMCOMET) Strategy (Weather and Climate Services). The revised Strategy highlighted the new emerging issues such as gender, data and infrastructures, research, innovation, development and training as well as public-private engagement. The Strategy had earlier been reviewed and validated by the Member States in five virtual regional meetings organized and hosted by the African Union from 23-27 November 2020.

There had been significant progress since the fourth session of AMCOMET. Apart from the revision of the Strategy, there was the implementation of the Abidjan Declaration on the Next Generation Satellite Products for Weather and Climate Services in Africa including establishing a joint working group to operationalize the Abidjan Declaration. This Joint Working Group is expected to facilitate the Africa preparedness to MTG and ensure a smooth transition to MTG and establishing an African Meteorological Satellite Application Facility (AMSAF).

The outcomes of AMCOMET-5 were summarized in the AMCOMET-5 Declaration. Issues related to resource mobilization to implement the Strategy were also discussed resulting in the decision to establish the ClimDev Special Fund (CDSF) AMCOMET Facility Fund. The ministers also welcomed the establishment of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) that was established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in collaboration with international organizations, under the umbrella of Alliance for Hydromet Development. The partners include development banks, including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank.

There is a strong call on partners for good coordination in the implementation of the revised African Strategy on Meteorology to avoid duplication of efforts and maximise on the human, financial and time resources. Last but not least, the issue of the Minamata Convention on the banning, transportation and use of mercury as it came into force in December 2020. The ministers were called to support and replace their Mercury-based instruments. 

The AMCOMET Secretariat highlighted other events and activities it participated during the inter-sessional period. Amongst these was the Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (AFRSD) in February 2020 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. A side event was organized by UNECA on “Harnessing Climate services for sustainable development. AMCOMET made a presentation and called upon members states to give more recognition to hydrometeorological services noting that natural disasters are on the increase in Africa and they were becoming more frequent and severe. A webinar was also jointly organized by WMO and AUC on the impacts of COVID-19 on national and hydrological services in Africa. It was noted that many of these services were interrupted and needed support by the governments as there were deemed essential services.

The Meeting was informed of the forthcoming webinar on 31 March 2021 on preparations for the Third METEOSAT Generation of Satellites and what countries need to do prior to the launch and operation.