The world has been battling with the negative impacts of climate change and extreme weather, including droughts, floods, and rising sea levels. As a result, global and regional bodies in charge of meteorology, weather, and climate matters have been studying the weather patterns and the impacts of climate change on the continent and developing strategies to mitigate its effects.

Admittedly, in Africa, advances have been made in this regard, but the challenges that confront the stakeholders of the weather and meteorological ecosystem in Africa are quite gargantuan – poor broadband connection, lack of computing resources, and lack of capacity are just a few of the banes.

WACREN is taking steps to roll out a multifaceted climate and weather programme aimed at supporting African organisations and researchers to enhance their global contribution to meteorological and climate research and collaboration for global knowledge and local action. In a panel session , various stakeholders within the climate ecosystem had an insightful conversation on the need for a collaborative effort between RENs and the native climate and meteorological organisations and researchers to chart the way forward to contribute to tackling climate and climate-related issues in the region.

The Programme is hinged on strategic collaborations with global, continental, regional and national bodies.

WACREN, through NRENs, is looking into extending connectivity to some local governmental and regional meteorological organisations and researchers to facilitate the access and sharing of large volumes of data and insights from climate and weather sensors, high-resolution satellite images and other sources across borders. This is critical for conducting complex analyses and simulations that require significant computational resources. Also, this will lead to more accurate and comprehensive climate models and weather predictions. Recently, WASCAL became a member of WACREN, meaning it can now access the various services and tools availed by the latter for all its members.

WACREN is collaborating with ACMAD for the latter to access high-speed internet to support coordination, harmonization and cooperation for optimal use of available data and high-performance processing centres across Africa.

WACREN has advanced in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) to build the capacity needed for the development, monitoring, and usage of LoRaWAN-based IoT weather stations across the WACREN region and beyond. A prototype weather station was installed and used to obtain weather data for the monitoring of weather patterns within a four-kilometre radius in Accra. The Ghanaian Academic and Research Network (GARNET) hosts the LoRaWAN gateways that provide connectivity for the weather stations in Ghana. WACREN is hopeful to invest more focus in the production of these low-power, long-range, and low-cost weather stations in NREN-connected climate research institutions across the region.

WACREN is also working with NRENs to provide data storage and management services that allow researchers to store and share large datasets securely. This is important for ensuring the integrity and availability of data used by the meteorological organisations and researchers across the African region.