Episode 12: Video Special – Growing Africa’s science capability for weather prediction

In this special video episode of The WeatherPod, hosts Alan Thorpe & David Rogers invited into the studio two colleagues – Jerry Lengoasa and Makoto Suwa – to discuss the role played by government, development partners, national meteorological and hydrological services and private sector weather services in reducing these risks.

With a population of more than 1.2 billion, the African continent faces many weather and climate induced challenges including flooding and droughts, permanent changes in water supply, impacts on agriculture and food, on human health, on shelter and whole ecosystems. Greater water scarcity, more infectious diseases, and worsening food insecurity is increasing the vulnerability of a population already at risk.

Jerry has served as the Deputy Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization and twice as the Chief Executive of the South African Weather Service. At the South African Weather Service, he managed the transition of the organisation from being part of a government department to a stand-alone agency supporting both public tasks and commercial services. He studied at the University of Witwatersrand where he completed a master’s degree in public and development management and an MA in synoptic climatology of Southern Africa.

Makoto Suwa is a Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank. He leads and supports a wide range of World Bank activities and projects that aim to strengthen weather, climate, and hydrological services in Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank, Makoto worked for the World Meteorological Organization, at both its headquarters in Geneva and its Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi. He also taught at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and Lycée de Kigali in Rwanda, and briefly worked for the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Office for Climate Change in Tokyo. Makoto holds a Ph.D. in climate science from Princeton University and a master of environmental management degree from Duke University.