Africa A Spot

Africa

EUMETSAT provides comprehensive support to developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Africa A Spot
Africa A Spot

Changing rainfall patterns are predicted to have a negative impact on agriculture, and food and water security, while extreme weather events such as severe storms, droughts and floods are expected to increase in frequency and intensity.

Last Updated

13 November 2020

Published on

02 April 2020

In addition, sea level rise, combined with storm surges and breaking waves, is predicted to threaten coastal areas, potentially causing major population shifts.

EUMETSAT made the support of Africa a strategic objective, combining its efforts with the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

A number of projects and initiatives have already taken place to help the African meteorological community meet its national and regional requirements in terms of severe weather warnings, water and agriculture management, and mitigation of the effects of natural hazards and climate change.

EUMETSAT’s cooperation with Africa is part of its strategic objective to “expand the user base for EUMETSAT data, products and services in EUMETSAT Member States and among WMO Members”. It reflects a long-term commitment, that facilitate sustainability of the investment made at user level to exploit the data and generate regional or national weather and climate services in support to various socio-economic sectors.

Contribution to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES)

The European Union and African states adopted JAES, which outlines a long-term, shared vision for the future of Africa-EU relations while defining priorities, notably related to climate, environment, and space.

Space and Climate have always been considered within the strategic partnerships that were agreed upon during the various EU-Africa Summits.

EUMETSAT activities in Africa are contributing, in particular, to the following items:

· Fostering the use of space-based technologies and information, such as the Copernicus programme, to better inform decision makers (e.g. through the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)–Africa programme);

· Enhancing adaptive capacity to the adverse impacts of climate change, and increasing resilience to environmental desertification, health threats and humanitarian crises by addressing drivers of vulnerability;

· Building on important initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

How we contribute

EUMETSAT activities contribute to WMO objectives in Africa and are specifically highlighted in the EUMETSAT strategy: “The objective shall be to help the meteorological communities in Africa get easier access to EUMETSAT data, products and services and to make best use of available and planned satellite services in order to help individual countries and regions to meet their respective needs”.

EUMETSAT supports the implementation of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), which was adopted during the Second Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology in October 2012, Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe, and endorsed by the 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit, in Addis Abeba January 2013. The Strategy highlights that Africa shall “engage with international partners on the design of numerical weather prediction and satellite-derived products to better address African requirements”.

Conscious of the role of satellites in the monitoring of weather and climate, Ministers welcomed the Abidjan Declaration (see below) during the Fourth Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology in February 2019. The Declaration aims to strengthen African capacity by ensuring access to a new generation of satellite products and support the creation of an African facility for the development and operation of African-tailored meteorological satellite products.

The Ministers also requested the African Union Commission ( AUC), the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to establish a Joint Working Group, comprising experts representing different geographical regions. The aim being to support the implementation of the Abidjan Declaration and the mobilisation of the related resources in line with the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology and the African Space Policy and Strategy. The group was formally established in October 2019.

Preparing Africa for the next generation of meteorological satellites

During the next decade, EUMETSAT will transition to Meteosat Third Generation (MTG). MTG, scheduled for launch in 2022, will ensure data continuity from the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites and provide more frequent and accurate observations of weather and climate over the African continent.

MTG will also provide significant improvements of space-based monitoring of the weather and climate over Africa for the next two decades, which makes it a necessity to increase and strengthen the existing capabilities in Africa, at regional and national levels, to ensure access and exploitation of the MTG data.

In planning for future initiatives in Africa with the EU, EUMETSAT will consider the impact of high volumes of data generated by new EUMETSAT and Copernicus missions, taking into account the user priorities established through the WMO RA-I Data Expert Group ( RAIDEG ).

Further reading

JAES

The JAES outlines a long-term, shared vision for the future of Africa-EU relations while defining priorities, notably related to climate, environment, and space.

More information about the strategy can be found here .

A copy of the strategy is also available here .

Abidjan Declaration

The Abidjan Declaration, signed in September 2018, illustrates the strengthening of capacities in Africa and preparing access to and exploiting data from the MTG satellites.

It also encourages the creation of an African Meteorological Satellite Applications Facility (AMSAF), aimed at generating African-tailored products that meet specific regional needs.

A copy of the Declaration is available here.

From strategy to action

Over the past 25 years, multiple activities have been established to support EUMETSAT’s strategic objectives towards Africa, and these are continuing to make a key contribution within the framework of the WMO and Joint EU-Africa strategies.

These activities are implemented by EUMETSAT directly or through various projects and initiatives, and include:

  • Satellite data coverage of Africa ensured with an appropriate data policy
  • Real-time data access to African users via EUMETCast / GEONETCast
  • Strengthening capacity to exploit satellite data through training
  • Ensuring close links with African users (Biennial User Forum in Africa, EUMETSAT Help Desk)
  • Supporting projects and initiatives in Africa (PUMA, AMESD, MESA, SAWIDRA, GMES and Africa, intra-ACP Climate Services and related applications)

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