October 1, 2012
10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa
The 10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa has been opened by H.E. Alemayenu Tegenu, Minister of Water and Energy of Ethiopia.
The forum, which is taking place at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) conference centre in Addis Ababa on 1-5 October 2012, is being organised in collaboration with the Ethiopian National Meteorology Agency, UNECA and the African Union Commission.
The purpose of the EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa is to reinforce the well-established dialogue between EUMETSAT and the African user community in order to facilitate the use of EUMETSAT satellite data throughout the continent. The forum also provides the opportunity to identify actions and initiatives that could be taken by EUMETSAT and its partners to meet the requirements of its African users.
Attending the meeting are more than 180 participants from more than 60 countries, including 53 in Africa, representing National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, African regional institutional bodies, government agencies and regional scientific and technical institutions.
This 10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa marks two decades of the exploitation of meteorological satellite data in Africa.
In these two decades, the number of African users has grown from a few in the 1990s to hundreds across the continent today. In the same period, Earth observation applications have grown from weather forecasting to include a wide range of environmental and climate monitoring applications supporting risk reduction, food security, water management, health, energy and marine resources.
This growth accelerated in 2000 thanks to projects funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) and implemented under the aegis of the African Union Commission. Since 2000, the EDF has invested about €70 million in Earth observation applications in Africa, complementing continuous efforts by EUMETSAT and various other partners.
A special anniversary session will be held on the first day of the forum, offering an opportunity to reflect on the past 20 years of Earth observation data in Africa and look ahead to propose a vision for the next 20 years.
On 3 October 2012, a 'Climate Day', jointly organised with UNECA’s African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), will present African capacities to respond to decision-makers’ climate information requirements. This Climate Day echoes the declaration supporting the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services in Africa that the African Union Commission, the African Regional Communities and the ACP Secretariat endorsed on 30 September 2012.