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FCFA Participates in the 1st Africa Hydromet Forum




September 18, 2017


The first Africa Hydromet Forum took place in Addis Ababa from 12th-15th September and was cohosted by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the African Union Commission. The event was organised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), World Bank Group and the African Development Bank amongst other partners to discuss the future design of weather, water and climate (hydromet) services and opportunities to enhance the services in Africa. The forum provided a platform for exchange of learning for the national and regional met services and partners by sharing lessons and best practices from existing programs. The discussions highlighted the poor state of hydromet services in Africa, with 80% of countries having inadequate capacity to deliver useful climate services; and the increasing demand for hydromet services to build resilience in communities and economies. A range of solutions are required to address hyromet service challenges in Africa, including; substantial investments, targeted capacity building, rigorous and comprehensive methods to show the value of hydromet services, infrastructure modernisation, institutional strengthening and user-oriented service delivery.. Also identified was the need for increased engagement with the private sector, not only on technology but other areas in the hydromet services value chain from observation to last-mile delivery of the services. FCFA hosted a side event to provide an overview of the program with reference to the main African climate science issues being addressed, the progress on model evaluation and user-defined metrics development. The side event also addressed the in-situ interventions via pilot demonstration projects to enhance uptake of the new climate science to inform policy, planning and practice. Dave Britton from the UK Met Office presented the African climate science issues being addressed by FCFA including highlights of initials results. Zablone Owiti from the CCKE presented the approaches employed by the program to promote uptake of the new climate science through regional pilot projects on co-learning and co-producing sector-specific climate information products and tools for medium- to long-term climate risk management decisions. Rosalind West from DfID wrapped up the presentations with a call for partnerships to ensure the uptake of FCFA research outputs by climate service providers, policy makers and other stakeholders to guarantee the legacy of the program outcomes. Rosalind highlighted potential collaborations that would help bridge the divide between academic research and operational service delivery and uptake of new data, tools and approaches coming out of the FCFA program. These included partnering to explore African priority agenda for climate research following the African Climate Conference (ACC) of 2013 via a follow up African Climate Conference, implementation of AMCOMET integrated strategy, GFCS Implementation Plan in areas of overlap such as capacity development and research modeling and prediction; and coordination with other partners to ensure wider uptake of research outputs. FCFA also participated in the IPCC panel discussion titled “Leapfrogging towards solution-focused climate information for the global sustainable development priorities”. The discussions explored opportunities and challenges associated with outputs from the IPCC Sixth Assessment cycle and gaining an understanding of the avenues for enhancing contribution of Africa in the IPCC findings and products. In the panel discussion, Dr. Nkulumo Zinyengere from the CCKE addressed the capacity aspects on how FCFA program is enhancing the contribution of African scientists to climate science and increasing the number of African expert reviewers in the IPCC Assessment Reporting process through initiatives such as the planned e-learning course targeted at African experts. In the discussions, the climate scientists were urged to work with other disciplines as adaptation is more of a social problem. It was also noted that the process of becoming authors and reviewers of IPCC draft assessment reports was not clear to the audience – while this was explained at the event, it is an issue that should be covered in the proposed e-learning course. Written by Zablone Owiti