The VLab Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Morocco was established in Casablanca in 2012 and covers Francophone countries of West and North Africa. The following is the little story of this new CoE.

Given the training needs in the region, the challenges were high and many. It was not only a matter of organising training activities, but also meeting the needs of National Meteorological Services in the region while avoiding redundancy of training already done by the VLab Centre of Excellence in Niamey, which covers a similar area.

Participants of the Morocco CoE Workshop in Casablanca (2011).

Participants of the Morocco CoE Workshop in Casablanca (2011).

With this goal in mind, Casablanca’s CoE proposed the organising of training on “advanced remote sensing applications in the priority areas of meteorology” rather than remote sensing basics. At that time, the questions that were still in our minds were “What are these priority areas and what would be the most appropriate methodological approaches to follow?”

To answer these, many online surveys were carried out using a panel of more than 80 users of Casablanca CoE. The surveys enabled us to highlight the urgent needs, priority sectors, barriers for online training in the regions and the optimal approach to carry out successful online training. These surveys also assisted us to start building a community of users.

This approach has helped to develop an action plan consistent with the needs of its users and to establish successful online training that have been meeting the needs of its users since then. Examples of online training organised by Casablanca’s CoE include the Aviation Week event (2013) with more than 200 participants and Regional Focus Groups (RFG) that covered thematic areas such as Marine Forecasting (2014), Numerical Weather Prediction (2013) and Modelling of low clouds and low visibility (2013).

Online training in Marine Forecasting (2014).

Online training in Marine Forecasting (2014).

The implementation of this action plan has been possible due to the work of in-house experts and the collaboration with experts from other VLab CoEs in Barbados, Australia and Niamey, and the technical and logistical support of VLab network and Eumetsat. Collaboration within the growing VLab community is key to the success of our CoE activities and we endeavour to keep it strong.



Contacting Centre of Excellence Morocco:

Head of CoE:  Tareq SOUBAI – Direction de la Météorologie Nationale

Main point of contact: Tareq SOUBAI –  Direction de la Météorologie Nationale