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WMO to open regional office for Africa in Ethiopian capital

The WMO will open its new regional office for Africa in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, with the aim of strengthening relations with key institutions such as the African Union.

The office will be situated in the new headquarters of Ethiopia’s national meteorological agency, which is to be built over the next few years to meet the demands for reliable weather and climate services for the rapidly growing economy.

Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister, said, “Ethiopia is highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Agriculture is rain-fed and so food security is frequently undermined by droughts such as the one which hit the country in 2015 and 2016.”

“Meteorological services play a vital role in sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” added Seleshi Bekele, minister of water, irrigation and electricity. Bekele said the expansion of Ethiopia’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors depended on reliable weather and climate information and on early warnings against major hazards like drought.

Petteri Taalas, WMO secretary general, said the new regional office would strengthen the WMO’s presence on the continent along with partnerships with key institutions including the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa.

The regional office for Africa and Least Developed Countries is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is responsible for 54 national meteorological and hydrological services in Africa.

The location of the office will enable the WMO to support the strengthening of early warning systems that incorporate climate management into development policies and strategies, which enhances socioeconomic development for the well-being of the people of Africa. WMO also has sub-regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Abuja, Nigeria.

- July 2018

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