Africa is affected by many climatic challenges which serve as a hindrance to its development mission, and the available inadequate hydro-meteorological services are not able to support resilient growth across different sectors in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
In order to make the available hydro-meteorological services which are mainly (80%) under-funded, have weak capacity and deteriorated infrastructure, the continent needs strategic partnerships to help find viable solutions to these challenges.
The unveiling of the Africa Hydromet Program- a collaboration between African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank Group, and the World Meteorological Organization, in June 2015 was founded under the ideology of offering an Africa-driven collaborative platform for development partners to strengthen the capacity of African countries to improve weather, climate and hydrological services and produce timely, accurate forecasts, contributing to climate resilience, economic development and disaster risk management.
How will this collaboration improve Africa’s climate situation?
According to AfDB, the program is aimed at helping to strengthen national hydro-meteorological systems; modernize regional centers, and facilitate regional system integration and global knowledge exchange.
In a January meeting, representatives from the two entities, AfDB, and World Bank, met to discuss how best to operationalize programs activities which focus on investment, technical assistance and capacity-building, possible synergies and available sources of financing.
To streamline their approach, the two organizations agreed that a comprehensive strategy and master plan tailored to individual country contexts would guide the process in the future. Currently, some Hydromet projects are under implementation, preparation, and consideration.
The importance of Hydromet services in agriculture production, food security, water resource management, air and road safety and disaster management, cannot be underestimated. Thus, the mission further highlighted the potential of mainstreaming substantial Hydromet components in regular agriculture and water projects.
“Given the scope of the challenge, the Africa Hydromet Program will require a joint effort to mobilize sufficient resources to maximize its transformational impact,” said ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) Coordinator Justus Kabyemera. “Once the formal agreement has been finalized, a resource mobilization strategy will be developed.”
According to AfDB, the estimated cost to improve hydro-meteorological services in Africa is $1 billion with a minimum of $100 million to 150 million per year needed to modernize regional systems.
The Africa Hydromet Program has four unique features. It leverages partnerships and fosters inter-agency coordination; is aligned with the Global Framework for Climate Services and the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology; champions better hydromet services as a public good for resilient development and poverty reduction; and encourages sustainability by blending scaled-up investment financing from development partners with corresponding operational financing from host governments.
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