The African Development Bank Group has launched onÂ an African climate institutions support project which will run from 2010-2012. The project is estimated at US$37 million and is part of ongoing efforts by the Bank to confront the problem of climate change.
The project will support the first component of the ClimDevAfrica program, which is to enhance the capacity of African climate centers to generate and make widely available relevant climate-related information to end-users.
The centers are: the African Centre for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), the Agro-meteorology and Hydrology Regional Centre (AGRHYMET), IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), the Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC) and the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF)
â€œThis project is a demonstration of the Bankâ€™s unwavering commitment to support African countries in reducing the adverse impacts of climate change while simultaneously accelerating low-carbon intensive economic growth in the continentâ€ stated AfDB Vice-President Kamal Elkheshen at the launching ceremony.
The efforts have, in particular, been marked by the adoption of policies and strategies on climate change risks, the promotion of clean energy, carbon financing, project climate proofing, and biodiversity protection through the Congo Basin Forest Fund which the AfDB is hosting.
In addition to the five regional climate centers, other beneficiaries include African climate scientists, practitioners in health, water, agriculture and other climate sensitive sectors who would require climate information for their operations, and an estimated population of 480 million people in 25 countries who directly depend on climate sensitive sectors in Africa.
The climate information will be disseminated to these end-users through existing networks, NGOs/CVOs, the print and electronic media including community radio stations broadcasting in local languages.
Expected outputs from the project include trained and knowledgeable African climate scientists; climate related tools and data such as early warning systems, climate information systems, downscaled climate models and scenarios, and overall skills improvement on the use of climate information in development planning.
â€œThis would significantly improve the accuracy of information related to weather forecasting and monitoringâ€ noted David Rogers, of the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF), a beneficiary of the support project.
â€œClimate change alters weather patterns and this impact heavily on the worldâ€™s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Without accurate weather forecasts farmers are unable to make informed decisions, such as when to seed and harvest their cropsâ€ Mr Rogers added.