Building Climate Resilience in Africa with Innovative U.S. Weather Technologies

USTDA is building sub-Saharan Africa’s climate resilience by introducing new, American-made weather service capabilities and early warning systems that protect lives and preserve agricultural sectors vulnerable to the impacts of major climate events.

In 2015, USTDA hosted a reverse trade mission to the United States that connected decision makers from 16 sub-Saharan African countries with U.S. firms in the weather services sector. The visit included national meteorological and hydrological services agencies and other funding beneficiaries of the United Nations Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility. USTDA’s delegation witnessed first-hand the world-leading climate information technology services and best practices that American companies have to offer.

The visit contributed to multiple contracts for U.S. firms that are helping modernize weather forecasting systems and advance climate resilience in sub-Saharan Africa. Maryland-based Earth Networks won contracts with UNDP programs in Liberia, Uganda, and Sierra Leone to supply lightning detection equipment and early warning services. This technology provides the region with timely and accurate forecasting, protecting rain-fed agriculture and ensuring food security.

Ari Davidov, Director of International Development at Earth Networks, observed that this visit afforded his company a real opportunity to shape the perspectives of decision makers in Africa and help vulnerable populations. “With the support of USTDA, Earth Networks built successful public-private partnerships that now bring much-needed critical weather information, forecasting, and alerts to one of the world’s most severe weather-prone regions, thereby saving lives and protecting livelihoods.”

USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency Todd Abrajano agreed. “This activity is another example of USTDA’s decades-long experience building partnerships that deliver quality, resilient infrastructure for our overseas partners. Our efforts have definitively strengthened sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity to adapt to severe weather and major climate events using U.S. technology.”

September 30, 2020

Photograph courtesy of Earth Networks