THE Department of Meteorology and Climate Science (MCS) and the WASCAL Graduate Research Studies programme, in the West African Climate System (GSP-WACS) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, has won a research grant from the United Kingdom (UK) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (SWIFT).
Over the four-year programme, the experts from FUTA who won the grant; Professor Kenny Ogunjobi (Director, WASCAL), Dr Elijah Adefisan, Professor Emmanuel Okogbue (Head of Department of Meteorology and Climate Science Department) Professor Jerome Omotosho and Dr Vincent Ajayi will join a the team of 25 UK and 45 African atmospheric scientists, social scientists and operational forecasters. They will undertake fundamental scientific research into the physics of tropical weather systems, evaluation and presentation of complex model and satellite data, and communications and exploitation of forecasts.
By significantly improving the research capacity in Nigeria in particular, the project will benefit diverse sectors such as aviation, agriculture, energy, water resources and emergency response.
The project will also ensure that results can be translated beyond the partner countries and into the wider developing world.
The African SWIFT consortium will be led by the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and builds upon existing partnerships between forecasting centres and universities in four African partner countries – bringing together five UK partners (NCAS, University of Leeds, University of Reading, CEH and UK Met Office) and 10 African partners (Senegal – ANACIM and UCAD; Ghana – GMet and KNUST; Nigeria – FUTA and Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet; Kenya – KMet, ICPAC and University of Nairobi; and ACMAD) and the World Meteorological Organization, as an advisory partner.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, has congratulated the team that won the grant on behalf of the university, saying that it further underscores FUTA’s pacesetting efforts in technological advancement of Nigeria and its ability to hold its own in the comity of global universities.
He said the participation of FUTA in this unique international African SWIFT project would strongly support its capacity as a major training hub for Meteorology and Climate Science and as the university component of the WMO Regional Meteorological training centre for West Africa.