TANZANIA through the newly elected Third Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Dr Agnes Kijazi, has been appointed to chair the panel on capacity building development among member states of the global organization.
Dr Kijazi, who is also the Director General of Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), made the revelation in Dar es Salaam yesterday during a meeting with employees of the weather authority after her return from the WMO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday.
"The panel on capacity building development will focus on empowering member states to have skilled meteorological experts as well as adequate and modern equipment," Dr Kijazi, who was elected on the global position on June 13, this year, told the TMA employees.
The country's top meteorologist has been serving in the Executive Council of WMO for the past seven years. Her appointment as Third Vice-President of WMO for a four-year term was supported by almost all member states of the organization from developing countries.
"The government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation in addition to Tanzania's permanent high commission in Geneva did a remarkable job in supporting my bid at WMO," she pointed.
Adding; "It was not an easy task to secure the position, my election was not only an honor for myself and TMA, but Tanzania as a whole. It also proves how Tanzania commands respects in the international arena, given her historic diplomatic relations."
Dr Kijazi pointed further that Tanzania was appointed to chair the panel on capacity building development due to her support in empowering African countries in boosting the capacity of meteorological agencies in the continent.
The TMA boss said WMO is undergoing a number of reforms, among which it decided to reduce the number of technical commissions from eight to just two commissions in a bid to improve efficiency among member states.
"Through the reforms, WMO will have only two commissions where one will be charged with meteorological services while the other will focus on equipment for weather services.
All these are aimed at boosting efficiency", she explained.
According to Dr Kijazi, her new mandate will require her to support developing countries to develop their capacities and at the same time encouraging developed countries to provide skills and equipment to the former.
Earlier at the meeting, the Chairperson of Tanzania Government and Health Employee (TUGHE), Ms Aurelia Mwakalukwa, assured Dr Kijazi that employees of the weather authority will accord her maximum cooperation in her new responsibilities at WMO.
"We are very glad for your new position at WMO, and we pledge to offer you material and moral support in discharging your new duties. You have set an example for women and other workers at TMA, that everything is possible," she stated.
Tanzania's delegation at the 71st WMO congress between June 3 and 14, this year, in Geneva was led by Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Engineer Atashasta Nditiye.
During the elections on June 13, the congress elected Mr Gerhard Adrian from Germany as the President of WMO for a four-year term in office.
Mr Adrian is President of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Service), a position he has held since 2010.
Celeste Saulo, Director of the Argentinian National Meteorological Service (SMN), was elected First Vice-President, while Albert Martis, Director, Meteorological Department of Curaçao, was elected Second Vice-President. Petteri Taalas of Finland was re-appointed WMO Secretary- General for a further four year-term.
He has been WMO Secretary-General since 2016, and is a United Nations Climate Principal.