In mid-June 2018 African SWIFT partners met in Nairobi for a series of strategy discussions with the newly appointed African SWIFT Advisory Board. The meeting was hosted by the Kenyan Meteorological Department. Discussions centred on the new research from the SWIFT work package teams, and plans for the workshops and training events scheduled for the coming years. These events include a number of weather forecasting testbeds, which are intensive, real-time forecasting exercises at which forecasters come together with researchers for a limited time period to perform operational forecasting. To further advance the training of meteorologists in the region SWIFT will also run a number of training workshops, and two international summer schools in West Africa, in collaboration with early career researcher networks.
Whilst in Nairobi SWIFT convened an open discussion with early career scientists from across the region which focused on the challenges faced by this group. SWIFT will aim to build into its programme a couple of the potentially powerful solutions to these challenges put forward in the discussion. The building of productive, working collaborations with stakeholders is one of SWIFT’s key aims, and will ensure the programme has lasting impact across both West and East Africa.