African G-WADI

The G-WADI network in Sub-Saharan Africa

G-WADI's Sub-Saharan Africa network, including the Sahel, was established following a 2010 regional workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, and was formalized in Paris in December of that year. Its secretariat is at the AGRHYMET Centre (Centre for Training, Research and Applications of Agrometeorology and Operational Hydrology) in Niamey, Niger. Other African regional centres—such as ICPAC (IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre) and the SADC Climate Service Centre—have been active in the network, in addition to UCAD (Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar), NASA, the G-WADI global secretariat ICIWaRM. Universities such as the University of Arizona, Princeton University and the University of California, Irvine have also been highly engaged.

AGRHYMET has hosted a series of workshops on products and platforms for use in semi-arid regions. For example, several workshops key to the development and application of the African Flood and Drought Monitor were held at AGRHYMET. A 2017 workshop identified additional areas of need for capacity building and training, such as in the PERSIANN family of real-time and historical precipitation products, and regional frequency analysis of precipitation for drought planners and managers. Additional G-WADI SSA workshops have been held in Nairobi, Kenya, Windhoek, Namibia and Harare, Zimbabwe.

A topic of recent interest in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa has been water harvesting, led by the Regional Centre for Capacity Development and Research in Water Harvesting (RCWH). A series of workshops on water harvesting topics has been led by the RCWH, and more information is available at their website.

Membership is open to water professionals with an interest in water resources in semi-arid regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. The structure of the network is composed of a) a Secretariat hosted by a sub-regional institution on a rotational basis for a period of four years and b) an expert group in support to the Secretariat and providing oversight of the activities of the network.  At present, the experts group is composed of, but not limited to, representatives ICPAC, AGRHYMET, SADC, UCAD and UNESCO, and is chaired by Prof. Cheikh Gaye from UCAD. AGRHYMET has agreed to host the Secretariat with the understanding that it is rotational.