African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology urges increased investment

Friday, May 17, 2024 - 14:05

The African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) met virtually on 16 May 2024. It discussed strategies to strengthen delivery of weather, water, climate services and early warnings to all users, from decision-makers to local communities, to serve society. Increased investment is vital to achieve this.

AMCOMET sessions, held every two years, provide a unique ministerial forum to provide policy and political guidance to enhance the contribution of National and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to sustainable socio-economic development and regional cooperation.

“Africa faces a great threat: climate change, which has devastating effects. Experts indicate that our continent is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world. Droughts, floods and other extreme weather events are now more frequent and more intense on the continent; the recent case of floods in Kenya is a perfect illustration,” said H.E. Mr Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe, Minister of Transport, Republic of Cameroon, and outgoing  AMCOMET Chair.

“It is more than ever time to ensure the regular and systematic provision of multi-hazard early warnings, with a view to rapid action. And this cannot be achieved without developing the capacities of national meteorological and hydrological services who are the authoritative voices on weather, water and climate related issues,” he said.

The ministerial session deliberated on progress in the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation,as well as the resource mobilization plan, of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (2021-2030) approved by African Heads of States. This is pivotal to ensuring that NMHSs can fully play their pivotal role in the development agendas.

“Africa should gather positive energy, look inwards, and redouble its efforts to enhance climate change resilience of economies and communities. We must build adaptive capacities and strengthen the entire value chain of weather and climate information services, and Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems. We also need to modernize our hydro-meteorological systems; strengthen meteorological observation networks; enhance meteorological and early warning investments; and make our institutions effective,” said Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment.

There are many challenges.

“The current level of investment in weather, water and climate services in the continent is generally inadequate. There are glaring gaps in the basic observing network. Many NMHSs in Africa are not able to absorb the various opportunities for capacity building and skills enhancement offered by the WMO community. This in turn undermines the real-time exchange of weather observations that underpins the provision of accurate and fit-for-purpose forecasts and warnings. There are insufficient staff resources,” said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Ko Barrett.

“Ministers may be aware that unless these structural gaps are fixed, the relevance and effectiveness of NMHSs under their supervision will not be optimal,” she said.

The AMCOMET session elected a new bureau, with Sam Cheptoris (MP) Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda, as Chair.

There is thus need to strengthen the capacity of National Meteorological

Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide early warning information to save lives and property,” said Beatrice Atim Anywar, Minister of State for Environment, in a statement on behalf of the Chair

AMCOMET Session-16 May 2024

For further information, please contact:

Dr Kosmos E. Akande-Alasoka
Public Information Officer
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Regional Office for Africa (RAF)
Lideta Sub City, Yared Street Addis Ababa, 

Ethiopia Mobile:+251944363280