Rwanda launched SOFF Investment phase

On June 5th, the World Environment Day, Rwanda celebrated a significant milestone in closing the basic weather and climate data gap: the start of the SOFF Investment Phase.

USD 3.5 million for enhancing Rwanda’s meteorological capabilities

Rwanda has received USD 3.5 million in grant finance for the second out of three SOFF phases. These funds will rehabilitate three surface stations and install the country’s first upper–air (radiosonde) station, enhancing Rwanda’s meteorological capabilities. After successfully completing the first phase, Readiness (see outputs here), Rwanda is closer to achieving compliance with the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON). GBON is a set of global standards for meteorological observations, agreed by 193 Members of the World Meteorological Organization. Despite it being mandatory from 2023, less than 10% of the required data are available from Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Upon reaching and completing the third phase, Compliance, Rwanda will meet its GBON requirement for collecting and sharing basic weather and climate data.

International partners and SOFF build capacity

With the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Implementing Entity and technical assistance from the Finnish Meteorological Institute as a Peer Advisor, the SOFF investment will support Rwanda in strengthening national data collection and international data exchange. Additionally, it will enhance the Rwanda Meteorological Agency’s capacity to operate and maintain its GBON-compliant. SOFF support is building national human and institutional capacity.

Collaboration to cover the whole value chain for resilience

In addition to SOFF support, Rwanda is part of the Water at the Heart of Climate Action initiative, supported by the Government of the Netherlands. This program strengthens water and climate resilience in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Rwanda. Through this initiative, SOFF is working in partnership with WMO, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and the Red Cross Red Crescent movement, including the Rwandan Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Netherlands Red Cross, and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Rwanda is geographically important for improved observations in the region

The WMO’s global GBON gap analysis in June 2023 indicated the need to improve one surface station. However, due to the country’s location in a severely under-observed and conflict-afflicted area, Rwanda was approved for additional SOFF support. This means rehabilitating three surface stations rather than just one. The country’s data collected and shared from the highly heterogeneous topography with several microclimates will contribute to improved numerical weather prediction as a global public good.

Our Partners

Complementary investments by partners in Rwanda*
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)

*As of November 2023, see Decision 6.3 by the SOFF Steering Committee

Water at the Heart of Climate Action initiative
  • Government of Netherlands
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • SOFF
  • Red Cross Red Crescent movement
    • Rwandan Red Cross
    • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
    • Netherlands Red Cross
    • Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Aimable Gahigi (left in photo), Director General of Rwanda Meteorological Agency and Permanent Representative with WMO launching the SOFF Investment Phase in Rwanda.
Water at the Heart of Climate Action Regional Learning Assembly 2024 in Kigali, Rwanda


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