Egypt has created a new path for its foreign space policy by developing and championing climate and flood control initiatives in African countries most susceptible to extreme weather conditions.
The Rain and Climate Changes Forecast Centre in Kinshasa, DRC, was funded by Egypt and inaugurated on 16 July 2021 by the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Mohamed Adbel Ati. The Centre’s purpose is to study climate change and protect citizens from sudden climate disasters within the framework of Egypt’s capacity development in integrated management of water resources to other countries in the Nile Basin.
Consequently, apart from funding and deploying a climate monitoring centre in the DRC, Egypt also trained the new staff in DRC to use rain and flood forecasting systems, analyse aerial imagery, operate Geographic Information Systems (GIS), apply hydrologic modelling, and draft technical reports.
According to Abdel Ati, “The centre will capitalise on new information and data collection technology, as it has been equipped with the latest rain forecasting systems. This will enable it to study the effects of climate change on the DRC and to set measures to protect citizens from the sudden risks of climate change.”
The initiative also fosters cooperation between these countries and coordination on realising the SDGs, Zero hunger and climate change. During the inauguration, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the DRC, Eve Masudi, said, “Equipping the forecasting centre is the product of cooperation between Egypt and the DRC. It is an important tool to support the Congolese government in its functions and rational water resources management. In addition, the centre will contribute to forecasting rain and natural disasters, and play a vital role in directing the agricultural sector through a better understanding of the seasons and managing river water.”
Egypt continued this initiative in other countries. In South Sudan, for example, Egypt created a central laboratory for water quality analysis to reduce water pollution, monitor river levels, and forecast and mitigate floods and increased water levels. In the same vein, Egypt is working on dam construction to reduce floods in Tanzania and Uganda.
Presently, Egypt hosts representatives from five African countries for the African Development Satellite initiative, a mission to manufacture satellites to measure climate indications for African countries, reduce threats and control emission rates.