To date, regional institutional actions have been more project focused rather than strategic as part of delivering climate services in the West African region. A strategic partnership between the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) and the Centre Regional de Formation et d'Application en Agrométéorologie et Hydrologie Opérationnelle (AGRHYMET) is seeking to change this. In August 2017, ACMAD and AGRHYMET reaffirmed their readiness and commitment to support capacity building in climate services in the sub-region to reduce the impacts of climate on lives and livelihood by signing an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Niamey, Niger.
As part of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) Sahel Resilience Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ACMAD and AGRHYMET are mobilising this strategic collaboration to disseminate climate related data and products to support National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in delivering climate services in the region. This cooperation is timely, with the region facing the adverse effects of climate variability and change. Moreover, this cooperation will support adaptation to climate change impacts, especially for those who are at highest risk.
ACMAD and AGHRYMET are aiming to develop a clearer understanding of their roles to better support NMHSs and enable capacity and resource transfers. A taskforce has also been pulled together with ACMAD, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), GFCS and recipient countries to enable AGRHYMET to become a full-fledged Regional Climate Centre (RCC) serving the needs of West African NMHSs and other climate sensitive sectors. An RCC is considered a centre of excellence that can generate and deliver more regionally-focused high-resolution data and products as well as training and capacity building to national meteorological services.
In January 2017, a meeting was held to further recognize the added value of institutional synergies between ACMAD and AGRHYMET. After the meeting, an MoU between ACMAD and AGRHYMET was developed, aimed at improving production and dissemination of climate information for social and economic development in West Africa.
ACMAD is a WMO-designated RCCs responsible for the continent of Africa. AGHRYMET hopes to become a functioning RCC by 2020, responding to NMHSs and country users, including farmers and pastoralists, in West Africa. The table below outlines some of the roles and responsibilities under the mandate of the two institutions.
Role: RCC-Network with plan to become full RCC-ECOWAS by 2020
|Mandate over the 54 countries||Mandate over Sahel and West African countries|
|Support to run Regional Climate Outlook Forums(RCOFs)||Run the RCOF for Sahel and West Africa|
|Coordination with the African Union, African Union Commission and other relevant pan-African bodies (e.g. Pan-African parliament)||Coordination with Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS)|
|Capacity support to RCCs for them to play full role as RCC (capacity transfer, schedule and plan)||Direct support to countries/NMHSs Products for users (e.g. farmers/pastoralists)|
|Maintenance of Pan-African hydromet database, and baseline count of observation networks in Africa||Maintenance of regional hydromet database , and baseline count of observation networks in West Africa|
|CLIMSOFT software||CLIDATA, CLIMSOFT and HYDROMET software|
|Continental Weather and Climate Modeling Impact modeling||Regional modeling for weather, climate, water and impact|
|User-tailored services at the continental scale||User-tailored services in the Sahel and West Africa|
By Fatema Rajabali