Tunis, 2 April 2010 - The African Development Bank will participate in the First Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa scheduled to take place from 12-16 April in Nairobi, Kenya. The Vice-President in charge of Sector Operations, Kamal Elkheshen is expected to lead the AfDB delegation, which will include the Environment and Natural Resources Division Manager, Ken Johm, and the Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Unit Head, Anthony Nyong. The Conference is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Twenty five African ministers have confirmed participation.
The objectives of the Conference are to:
- Facilitate dialogue among African Ministers responsible for meteorology (meteorological services report to different ministries, including agriculture, environment and transport), with a view to achieving an understanding of challenges and opportunities for meteorological services in Africa and the contribution of these services to development and adaptation to climate variability and change;
- Create a high-level mechanism for ministers responsible for meteorology in Africa to discuss policy, strategic matters and implementation plans related to meteorology and climate;
- Identify capacity-enhancement strategies for Meteorological and Hydrological Services to meet the challenges posed by climate variability and change;
- Promote the growth of observation systems to meet the development challenges and close the existing critical gaps;
- Promote the dialogue between users and providers of ‘hydro-met’ data, products and services.
The Conference, which is by invitation only, will consist of an expert segment and a ministerial segment. During the first three days, experts and delegates will discuss in eight sessions the challenges meteorological and hydrological services face and their potential contributions to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, the Strategic Plan of the African Union Commission, and also the drafting of national and regional sustainable development plans. The ministerial segment will consider a Conference Statement, based on recommendations of the preparatory expert segment to maximize the potential of weather and climate information for socio-economic benefits and security, and a declaration.
The Bank, in addition to participating in the various plenary sessions will make a presentation on the added value of climate information for development in Africa, chair the session on “Filling Information Gaps”, and deliver a statement at the High Level Ministerial segment.
The Conference will provide the Bank the opportunity to showcase to the African ministers and invited delegates from other MDBs and UN Organizations, the Bank’s current and proposed activities on climate change and the value the Bank attaches to enhancing the capacities of Africa’s Regional and National Meteorological Services to be able to provide the necessary data to support planned actions on climate change.
The Bank’s support to the ClimDev-Africa program will be showcased, recalling that the AfDB signed a Protocol Agreement on 14 December 2009 in Copenhagen to provide US$ 30 million to the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), to support institutional capacity building in ACMAD, ICPAC, Drought Monitoring Centre in Gaborone, AGRHYMET, in Niger and the Weather For All Program.