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AMMA’s history

The dramatic change from the abundant rainfall in the 1950s and 60s to much drier conditions from the 70s to the 90s over the whole of West Africa was the strongest trend in rainfall on the planet of the 20th century.


Marked inter-annual variations in recent decades have resulted in extremely dry years with devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts. Such a variability has raised important issues related to sustanaibility, land degradation and food and water security on the region. With a large rural population depending on rain fed agriculture, the abrupt decrease of water resources has been devastating to both populations and economies.

It is AMMA’s aim to provide the African decision makers with improved assessments of similar rainfall changes which are likely to occur during the 21st century due to natural fluctuations and as a result of anticipated global climate change. An essential step in that direction is to improve our ability to forecast the weather and climate in the West African region.

Based on a French initiative, AMMA was built by an international scientific group and is currently funded by a large number of agencies, especially from France, UK, US and Africa. It has been the beneficiary of a major financial contribution from the European Community’s Sixth Framework Research Programme.

Building AMMA has been possible thanks to the existence of observation networks in Western Africa (which AMMA has reinforced, optimized and completed in order to meet its objectives) and to the presence of an international scientific community which AMMA brought together, based on common goals.

Chronology of AMMA

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