Weather Info for All initiative.

Filling the weather information gap throughout Africa

"By bringing together the expertise and resources of different public and private actors, this project may help to save lives and improve the livelihoods of communities in Africa living on the frontlines of climate change."

Kofi Annan

On June 18, 2009, the Global Humanitarian Forum and its President, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, together with its partners, announced a new humanitarian endeavor and innovative public-private partnership scheme:  the “Weather Info for All” Initiative.

“The world’s poorest are also the world’s most vulnerable when it comes to the impact of climate change and the least equipped to deal with its consequences," Forum President Kofi Annan said. "Today you find cell phone towers in almost every part of Africa. We have never been able to establish weather monitoring on that scale, until now.”


Also present at the launch were: Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the WMO, Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Ericsson, Lord Simon Cairns, Chairman of Zain Africa, as well as Margareta Wahlström, UN Assistant Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Read the June18, 2009 Press Release  Available in :

Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the WMO; Kofi Annan, President of GHF; Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Ericsson; Lord Simon Cairns, Chairman of Zain Africa; Walter Fust, CEO of GHF


French (pdf, 170 KB)

Arabe (pdf, 179 KB)

Spanish (pdf, 154 KB)

Swahili (pdf, 143 KB)

Chinese Mandarin (pdf, 363 KB) 

Japanese (pdf, 376 KB)


Climate change has altered weather patterns, making traditional knowledge unreliable.
This is preventing farmers, fishermen, health workers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make informed decisions. Aggravating the problem, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimates that Africa’s weather observation network is eight times below the minimum recommended level.


Acknowledging this situation, the Global Humanitarian Forum initiated the Weather Info for All project together with partners, to provide a pan-African solution for climate change adaptation. Harnessing the opportunities brought by the development of mobile communication in Africa, partners to the Initiative will install up to 5,000 automatic weather stations at new and existing mobile network sites throughout Africa. The initiative will reinforce the capacity of the national meteorological services to generate accurate weather forecasts and early warnings.


The data collected by these stations will be analyzed by national meteorological services and transformed into weather forecasts and early warnings distributed to end-users who need it most – farmers, fishermen, rural, and urban communities via a suitable telecoms bearer, for example, SMS. For further information read the Executive Summary of the Project Outline (pdf, 2.15 MB)



Automatic weather stations use sensors to take measurements of a variety of meteorological parameters. Automatic weather stations deployed for the Initiative conform to WMO specifications. These units are robust and able to withstand various environmental conditions, yet are economical to operate, calibrate and maintain. They are run on state-of-the-art-proprietary software able to handle the reporting of a large network of weather stations and able to detect faulty sensors remotely in real time.
Among other things, automatic weather stations monitor:

  • >   Atmospheric pressure
  • >   Temperature
  • >   Humidity
  • >   Wind Speed and direction
  • >   Precipitation
  • >   Sunshine and radiation

Fairmount Weather Systems Limited is the manufacturer of the automatic weather stations being deployed for the Initiative.


Where we are today…
As of the end of June 2009, the Global Humanitarian Forum and its partners have completed Phase I of the Initiative and installed 19 automatic weather stations in three East African countries: 1 in Kenya, 9 in Tanzania and 9 in Uganda. All 19 automatic weather stations are fully operational and successfully transferring raw weather data to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

Where we are heading to…
Phase II of the Initiative is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009. Up to 489 automatic weather stations will progressively be installed throughout Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with the later addition of Burundi and Rwanda.


“We appreciate ongoing initiatives such as the Global Humanitarian Forum to ensure availability of weather information for all through its WIFA programme.” Statement by his Excellency Dr. Ali, Mohamed Shein, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, World Climate Conference 3


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