The Global Ocean Observing System’s Regional Alliance for Africa (GOOS-Africa) in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Sub-Commission for Africa (IOC-AFRICA), both focussed on ocean observation system in Africa and the adjacent islands, conducted a webinar on June 8, 2021 (World Ocean Day) to reflect on current operational oceanography status in Africa and identify further key actions to be undertaken.
The event was joined by a large group of attendees from academia, industry and government, representing all African member states, and PLOCAN by kind invitation from Prof. Kouadio Affian, director of CURAT – University of Cocody-Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and current chairman of GOOS-Africa, providing a speech on its ocean-observing capabilities, current activities and collaborative frameworks with African countries, where nowadays highlights Morocco, Cabo Verde and South Africa.
The main objective of this webinar was to enable African researchers, experts in ocean sciences, end-users and stakeholders with needs on services and products related to the ocean, to share good practices in operational oceanography performed in Africa, as well as identify potential synergies and collaborative frameworks.
The choice of operational oceanography is based on the fact that it’s a powerful tool for ocean research and services, in particular, with the establishment of ocean analysis and forecasting capabilities that work in real time or time deferred for the production of multiple information, based on various networks, including: (i) satellite measurements (satellite observations); (ii) in-situ measurements (networks of sensors, buoys etc.); (iii) digital models and; (iv) data assimilation methods, etc.
The event is aligned with the Implementation Plan for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development adopted by IOC-UNESCO, and subsequently, by the IOC Executive Council. This Plan recognizes the important role of regional stakeholder groups in identifying regional priorities and developing initiatives that will address these priorities, not being GOOS Africa in collaboration with IOC-AFRICA an exception.