Zimbabwe’s Dr. Makarau Elected Meteorological President For Africa Region
By Wallace Mawire
Dr. Amos Makarau, Director of Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department, has been appointed President of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for Africa Region. He was elected at a WMO Africa Regional Association meeting held in Cape Verde.
“Makarau was elected unanimously and will serve as President for the next four years and will be [assisted] by Mr Daouda Konate of Ivory Coast,” a source, who prefers to stay anonymous due to conflict of interest in relaying the news, disclosed.
It is also reported that Makarau was appointed at a time Africa is feeling the effects of severe weather and adverse effects of climate change and is the most vulnerable continent in terms of weather and climate and should feature strongly in WMO plans.
It is also reported that Dr Makarau automatically becomes a member of the governing body of the World Meteorological Organisation’s Executive Council, which meets in Geneva at the WMO headquarters.
A total of 41 African countries attended the 16th Session of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regional Association (RA I) Africa, including representatives of regional economic groupings as well as African technical institutions.
The meeting discussed what the Association and member states have achieved in the field of meteorology for the past four years and shared success stories within the continent.
The association is considering the WMO strategy plan for the period 2016 – 2019 and see if it is aligned to the RA I strategy.
The outgoing president, Dr. Lamin Bah, Director of Meteorology of the Republic of Guinea and the PR with WMO has been the President of RA I for the past 8 years.
The SADC network of climate journalists (SADC- NCJ) congratulated Dr Makarau on his appointment and reiterates that journalists and meteorologists have a shared common vision for the development of meteorology in Africa.
The overall objective of the SADC- NCJ is to build capacity among journalists to be able to effectively disseminate vital climate and weather information to the public with special emphasis on rural communities as well as increase interactions between climate scientists and the media.
A spokesperson for the SADC-NCJ said that they therefore affirm the support to Dr Amos Makarau and his team going forward to enhance the communication of climate information for the improvement of rural livelihoods in the region.
The Southern Africa Development Community –SADC- Network of Climate Journalists was formed during the seventh Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum – SARCOF 7 held in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2003.
There are fourteen countries that make up the SADC region. The network was formed following several meetings at Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forums (SARCOFs) during which the delegates resolved that there was need to promote partnership between the media and meteorologists in the region, in order to make more effective communication of climate information and products to multi-sectoral users.
“It is imperative to note that Dr. Makarau’s election is an important development for African journalists who are working very hard to convince the African public that something is happening on the ground,” a SADC-NCJ spokesperson said.