Rwanda to host the 12th European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) User Forum in Africa

Hosting the EUMETSAT User Forum is a bi-annual event done on rotational basis within the African Union countries that operate the Satellite receiver systems. The 10th and 11th User Forums were held in Ethiopia and Republic of South Africa, respectively.

Rwanda expressed the interest to host in 2011 and it is now that we have been offered the opportunity to host the 12th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa, from 12th to 16th September 2016 preceded by the High Level Event on the eve of the Forum at Lemigo Hotel.

Preliminary discussions took place between the EUMETSAT delegation and the Rwanda Meteorology Agency Officials, resulting into a Memorandum of Understanding that defines and agrees on the respective roles and obligations for the organization of the 12th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa.

Rwanda Meteorology Services have benefited from plenty of weather forecasting and climate information through a satellite receiver station provided by the European Organization for the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites since 2005. The EUMETSAT in collaboration with the African Union installed satellite receiver stations in almost all African countries apart from Morocco which for long had quit the African Union.

Objectives of the High Level Event and the 12th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa

Currently Rwanda is affiliated to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) under the auspices of being an EAC Member State, whereas Rwanda is actually a member of the ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States).

The objectives of the proposed High Level Event is for national and regional authorities, with the participation of the international community (AUC, WMO, EUMETSAT, EU and the International Banks), to re affirm their willingness to strengthen the regional capacities in the area of climate change monitoring and climate services production, in a cooperative and concerted way, and by doing so to:

•    encourage regional and national stakeholders in allocating necessary resources for the implementation and operation of the Regional Climate Centre;
•    encourage regional collaboration and networking between existing national and regional entities, on thematic and technical aspects, such as sharing data and expertise; and
•    encourage international partners in contributing to the implementation and operation of the Regional Climate Centre, through financial and/or technical support.

It is proposed that this High Level Event would be hosted under the auspices of Rwanda Government and the ECCAS, and would take place on Sunday 11th of September late afternoon, on the eve of the 12th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa in Kigali.

The event is slated to gather the following dignitaries:

•    The Rwandese authorities at Governmental level
•    The Secretary General of the Economic Community of Central African States(ECCAS)
•    The representative of the ECCAS presidency (Gabon)
•    Representatives of ECCAS Member States, in charge of Climate Change and Disaster Risk    Reduction;
•    Relevant representatives of African Union Commission and other Regional Economic Communities;
•    Relevant representatives of international bodies, including EC, ACP Secretariat, World Meteorological Organization(WMO), EUMETSAT, and AfDB;
•    The Head of other regional organization active in the area of Environmental Monitoring; among others

During the event, the participants would adopt a ‘’Kigali Declaration’’ in support to regional cooperation in the area of climate monitoring and climate services.

Rwanda Meteorological Agency would stand to benefit from the establishment of ECCAS while at the same time continues to participate and benefit from ICPAC programs for weather and climate monitoring.

Click here to know more about the Forum

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