The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful addressed the World Meteorological Congress at the International Conference Centre, Geneva (CICG) on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 and stressed the important role of climatology and hydrology to the socioeconomic development and survival of humankind.
She applauded the World Meteorological Organisation’s efforts to assist member countries to transform their national meteorological and hydrological agencies.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful underscored the importance of meteorology to the government of Ghana and highlighted some of the ongoing efforts being undertaken to transform the Ghana Meteorological Agency.
“The legislative framework governing meteorology in Ghana was being reviewed to provide sustainable funding for the agency to enable it to provide optimum services to assist the aviation, maritime, agricultural, tourism, mining and all other sectors of the economy, in addition to capacity-building of staff and infrastructure development of the agency,” she stated.
She acknowledged that no country can do it all alone and welcomed the 2019 WMO Congress’ agenda of encouraging data sharing among member states and called for the need to foster effective public-private partnerships. This, she said, would strengthen early warning systems and resistance to climate change for the benefit of all.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful further held a bilateral meeting with the Director-General of Météo-France, Mr Jean-Marc Lacave on establishing a partnership with GMet to improve service delivery to respond timeously to climate challenges, improve weather forecasting, infrastructure development and strengthen cooperation.
This, she said, could be achieved through a PPP project to modernise the operations of the Ghana Meteorological Agency. The meeting ended with the two countries proposing to cooperate on the development of early warning systems to help mitigate disasters such as droughts and flash floods.
The minister also met Dr Luis W. Uccellini, the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the WMO and discussed capacity-building issues for developing countries, particularly Ghana, using the African Desk of the WMO in the U.S.
She requested the U.S. to make its satellite data available to African countries to help improve weather forecasts for early warning signals since most hurricanes that hit America originate from West Africa.
She further requested the U.S. to also consider establishing a weather forecast station in West Africa, preferably Ghana, to assist their own early warning system and transfer knowledge to build the capacity of African meteorologists, too.