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The African Union Commission and the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology – (AMCOMET) have developed a strategic plan to support national metrological and hydrological services in Africa. The new strategy is aimed at formalizing and standardizing the approach for African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

Speaking during the validation meeting for the strategic plan template, Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya said it was important to align International policies on Meteorology to national policies so that implementation can be quick for the citizens of the various member states to directly benefit.

The meeting was co-hosted by the AUC, AMCOMET and the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka.

“International framework such as sustainable development goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk reduction, COP-21 decisions, WMO strategic Operational plans, and Istanbul Plan of Action should be aligned to our own national strategies so that we can easily get the benefits of these protocols at grass root level,” Mr Ngwenya said.

He has called upon the delegates to work on implementing the strategies on time adding that the challenges in Africa was that most people tended to spend more time in meetings than implementation.

He called upon the AUC and AMCOMET to work on sourcing new technologies that will easily work for the various meteorology departments in Africa as working without excellent capabilities in human skills and equipment poses challenges in implementing the strategy.

“We need to change the way we communicate not in the context of what we do but in the global agenda and so we need new models that can predict weather accurately in our various meteorological departments and share this information to our various farmers so that they can make informed decisions on which crops to plant what time so that they can increase on their productivity”, he lamented.

Zambia’s deputy minister of Transport and Communication James Kapyanga revealed that the country has launched the Meteorology Policy and is now in the process of developing the Meteorological Act.

He commended AMCOMET for increasing awareness of the value of weather and climate services and that of the national meteorological services in sustainable socio-economic development in the continent.

“In Africa, there are many basic competing needs and that sometimes, prioritizing meteorology is a very challenging issue but I urge you to preserve and continue your efforts for the good of our land”, Honourable Kapyanga said.

Meanwhile the African Union Commission says, Africa’s productive systems and socio-economic development sectors are vulnerable to changes in the state of environmental and natural resources, as well as climate variability and climate change.

Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, H.E. Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, in a speech read for her by an AU Official, Mrs Olushola Olayide, said the agriculture sector, on which most African economies as well as livelihoods rely, is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate variability and Climate Change.