GCRF African-SWIFT is a £7.8m programme of research and capability building, led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), and funded by UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund. The project aims to deliver a step change in African weather forecasting capability from hourly to seasonal timescales, and build research capability to continue forecasting improvements in Africa for the foreseeable future.
The GCRF African-SWIFT team works with forecast users across sectors from aviation to agriculture, energy, water and emergency response to understand how to tailor the provision and delivery of weather forecasts and to ensure improved response to high-impact events (e.g. onset of rains, heat-waves, dry spells, strong winds); rapid emergency response to extreme events, such as urban flooding and prolonged droughts; and increased resilience, through integration of weather prediction into strategies for response to climate change.
The GCRF African-SWIFT consortium builds upon existing partnerships between forecasting centres and universities in four African partner countries – Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya – bringing together 5 UK partners (NCAS, University of Leeds, University of Reading, CEH, UK Met Office), 10 African Partners (ACMAD, ICPAC, ANACIM, UCAD, GMet, KNUST, NiMet, FUTA, KMD, and University of Nairobi) and the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as an advisory partner.
GCRF African-SWIFT aims to:
- Build capacity within African forecasting agencies and improve communication links to forecast users
- Improve tropical forecasting ability on hourly and seasonal timescales
- Assist African partners to develop capacity for sustained training of weather forecasters
- Translate results to the wider developing world
- Benefit African populations, public and private sector organisations