The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)’s regional association I (RA1) management group convened in Addis Ababa from July 19th to 21st, 2023, to discuss crucial matters concerning Meteorology and Hydrology in Africa, including the Early Warning for All (EW4ALL) initiative.
During the meeting, the group carefully assessed the outcomes of the 18th Session of the regional association (RA I-18, Phase III) and the 2023 regional conference (RECO 2023). Additionally, they reviewed the 19th Congress (Cg-19) and 77th Executive Council (EC-77) of WMO to determine their implementation in the region.
The management group received updates from the chairs and co-chairs of the committees in the regional association regarding their work plans, activities and expected deliverables for the 2023-2027 sessions, in alignment with the respective resolutions.
In his opening statement to the group, the president of RA I and director-general (DG) of the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute (EMI), Mr. Fetene Teshome underscored that the group had set strategic priorities as defined in the decision of RA I Strategic Plan for 2024–2027. He emphasised that these priorities aimed to address the evident challenges by integrating them into the national strategic plan.
The WMO director of the member services and development department, Mr. Filipe Lucio urged the management group to ensure the region’s priorities receive adequate attention. He also encouraged them to advise on appropriate arrangements to enhance the work of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs). The RA I regional implementation plan, according to him, would be submitted to the secretary-general, encompassing significant regional priority areas related to congress and executive council resolutions/decisions, including proposed actions or milestones, activity descriptions, outputs/deliverables and possible cost implications for the period 2024–2027.
Director of the WMO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Agnes Kijazi warmly welcomed the members of the group to the meeting. She emphasised that Africa, as a region, comprises 54 countries, with 33 of them being least-developed countries (LDCs), 16 land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and 6 small island developing states (SIDS). These countries face various human and infrastructural challenges and the regional office serves as the frontline of the organisation, facilitating two-way communication between members and the secretariat.
The RA I management group outlined its priorities for Infrastructure, including enhancing the surface-based, upper-air, hydrological and marine observational networks at the national level to comply with Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) requirements. At the regional level, issues concerning Regional Basic Observing Network – RBON, Regional WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) centres (RWCs), regional climate centres (RCCs) and regional instrument calibration centres (RICs) were highlighted.
The group emphasised the necessity of improving members’ capacity in the production, delivery and access to tailor-made products and services, with specific attention to enhancing services in the aviation and marine sectors for cost recovery purposes.
The management group also committed to prioritising the migration from METEOSAT second to third generation and enhancing members’ capacity in receiving data and products from METEOSAT third generation. Additionally, they emphasised the transformation of NMHSs into autonomous entities, including cost recovery and diversity in resource generation, along with their digital transformation and implementation of LDC and SIDS programmes in Africa to support their transition to developing countries.