ACPC urges Africa to mainstream climate information services into development

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 26 October 2017 (ECA) – Africa’s core economic sectors are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change, says James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge of the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Climate Policy Center (ACPC).

Speaking at the beginning of a two-day Training of Trainers workshop in Addis Ababa, Mr. Murombedzi said it is crucial for the continent to mainstream climate information services into development policy, plans and processes.

He added unless Africa develops a strong, scientific understanding of the impacts of the changing weather and climate patterns on its vital sectors and how this will change in the future, the continent’s sustainable development agenda was at risk.

“With effective climate information services, our climate-sensitive sectors will be able to cope better with increased variability, bringing greater agricultural and other productivity while building resilience and improving livelihoods across the continent,” said Mr. Murombedzi.

He underscored that accurate and accessible climate information, for example rainfall and wind information, helps farmers decide not only when to plant and harvest, but when to dry their crops, and when to look out for pests and disease outbreaks that can ruin yields.

“Working with information in this way, farmers increase their chances of boosting productivity and avoiding post-harvest losses,” Mr. Murombedzi said, adding that meeting these needs was the focus of this emerging field called Climate Information and Services (CI/S), which aims to bridge the gap between climate science, policy and practice for adaptation decision-making and disaster resilience. 

The ACPC boss was addressing 26 instructors from African parliaments, media training institutions, civil society organizations, youth and regional training institutes attending the ToT on mainstreaming climate information services into development policy, plans and processes.

The training of trainers workshop, a collaborative initiative between  ECA, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the African Institute of Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) under the framework of the Weather Information and Climate Services (WISER) initiative, aims to build a critical mass of trainers who will assist in building capacity of legislators, decision-makers, private sector, investors,  various climate practitioners at national sub-national and local levels to understand the role of CI/S  in adaptation planning, sectoral development, managing disaster risks and planning for future risks especially when designing infrastructure development.

Over the last year, the ACPC, in collaboration with UNITAR, developed an open-access Climate Information and Services online training module as an output from the WISER initiative.  The module aims at building: (i) awareness among various development actors of the value and centrality of Climate Information (CI) and Climate Information Services (CIS) to the planning process; and (ii) their capacities to integrate CI and CIS into development planning, policies and programmes.  

The ACPC is hosting the Training of Trainers to roll-out the e-tutorial into selected key institutions on the continent.

Participants include representatives from the parliaments of Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; the East Africa Legislative Assembly, representing Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and from four regional media training Institutes; ESSTIC of the University of Yaounde II in Cameroun; the CESTI of the University of Dakar; Institut Superieur de l’Information et de la Communication of Morocco; and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

Addis Ababa and Mekele Universities of Ethiopia were also represented as was the Ethiopia Management Institute, Walta Information Centre. The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA); the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSYAN); IDEP; and UNITAR as well.

This ToT will be followed by a national roll-out workshops across the African continent with the goal of reaching 2,000 beneficiaries by 2020.

The ToT targets trainers from African Parliaments,  professionals from the media, CSO training Institutes and the youth. The Tot will help participants to learn how to turn the delivery of the CIS e-learning material into participatory learning experiences, how to improve the design of flexible learner-centered activities, as well as ownership of knowledge on climate information (CI) and climate information services (CIS) and the mainstreaming of CI and CIS  into development and macroeconomic planning.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826