3 January 2013

Tanzania: TMA, UDSM for Weather Forecast Course

THE Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) will introduce an undergraduate degree in weather forecasting in the 2013/14 academic year to increase the number of weather forecast experts in the country.

TMA Director General, Dr Agnes Kijazi, said in Dar es Salaam the agency has already submitted curricula on the course to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for accreditation.

"So far, we have the Kigoma College which provides the agency with experts at diploma level education on weather forecasting hence forcing us to send our staff abroad for further studies," noted Dr Kijazi while opening a media workshop on weather forecasting.

She pointed out that international laws require any country with the intention to introduce the course to submit its curricula to WMO for official approval. Dr Kijazi also said the agency was carrying out a fiveyear plan which aims at improving weather forecast services, saying the programme would facilitate the agency with increasing the number of forecast stations in the country.

She said Tanzania was the only country in the East African Community (EAC) and one of the three countries from Southern African Development Community (SADC) to attain the certificate of International Organization Standardization (ISO) for standard services.

However, Dr Kijazi said the agency was facing a number of challenges including the lack of its own structure to house its headquarters hence hindering its operations. "We can not install our weather forecast equipments permanently since the agency has rented facilities to house its headquarters," she said.

She mentioned other challenges as climate change because the phenomenon requires thorough research before disseminating information on weather forecasts.

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