African Voices on Climate Change

African Voices on Climate Change captures the views and experiences of a broad cross-section of African society on climate change, with a particular focus on the response to what is called the greatest challenge of our time.

Researchers and policymakers, development practitioners, scientists, civil society and youth lend their voices to the climate change discourse from an African perspective.

African Voices on Climate is a platform to articulate the continent’s scientific and intellectual perspectives on climate change governance, research, science and technology for low-carbon economic growth and development. It brings to life the realities, solutions and innovations of Africans dealing with the daily challenges of climate change.

Mitigation and low-carbon pathways

James Murombedzi, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Climate Change with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) discusses Africa’s capacity to leapfrog carbon-intensive processes through greener technologies. But forgoing the potential development gains from “stranded assets” on Africa’s development – such as investments countries have already made in fossil fuel systems, or existing resources of oil and coal – is a major issue Africa must address.
With the world on track for a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees, Johnson Nkem, Senior Climate Adaptation Expert with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) explains the importance of ambitious INDCs to keep temperatures at levels safe enough to prevent irreversible climate damage. But for Africa, INDCs – currently skewed heavily towards mitigation – must address adaptation in equal measures.

Energy and Natural Resources

Lawrence Mashungu of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate explains how a 300 Megawatt solar project will generate clean, green energy for the region which is experiencing frequent power shortages. Shorter rainy seasons lead to low water levels in the Zambezi River, preventing sufficient generation of hydroelectricity from connected dams.
Ralid Ajabboune, Technical Expert on Energy and Climate with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) discusses the challenges of limited energy access across Africa - and how the mapping of various renewable energy initiatives is helping African decision makers with renewable energy planning.
Linus Mofor, Senior Expert on Energy and Climate with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) explains how private sector investment is needed to unleash Africa’s renewable energy potential including hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy. However, robust policy and regulatory frameworks must be in place to attract these huge amounts of private investment; lessons can be learnt from countries including South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Africa is heavily reliant on natural resources for its growth and economic development. Frank Rutabingwa, Senior Natural Resources Management Expert with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) discusses how Africa is promoting the sustainable management of its natural resources – including forestry, mining and water - in light of the negative impact of climate change on these sectors.

Climate Science, Climate Research and ICTs

Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Climate Science Expert with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) discusses the lack of scientific understanding of climate change drivers across Africa and the various initiatives underway to improve the technical and human capacity needed to improve climate information services.
Elisha Moyo of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe discusses the physical mechanisms driving rainfall systems and seasonal rainfall predictions in Southern Africa. The Brandon Marion Index shows that tropical Indian Ocean waters are warming faster than the subtropical sea surface temperatures resulting in an “anticipated” rainfall deficit over south-eastern African countries. However, while climate
Carolyne Manei from the University of Nairobi, Kenya explains how Kenya’s pastoral communities are integrating indigenous knowledge with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as radio and mobile phones to disseminate climate information and build resilience to climate variability and change.
Joseph Instiful, Senior Climate Science Expert with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) explains the importance of robust climate information for decision making from the local to policy level.
Richard Anyah, Coordinator within the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) programme, hosted at the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) sets out why climate science research must be at the heart of policy and development planning.

Communicating Climate Change

Jacqueline Chenje, Communications Officer with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) sets out the need to understand the issues surrounding climate change in all its different contexts - at the local, national and global level as well as the political level - in order to communicate effectively its broad and far-reaching impacts.

Agriculture

Monica Karangi of the Kenya Institute of Public Policy, Research and Practice discusses means of building community resilience to climate change including agroforestry and agriculture capability mapping to maximise cultivation of available land. These methods have enabled communities to think beyond rain-fed agriculture and, in turn, build resilience to increased rainfall variability – one of the impacts of climate
Joseph Bandana of the University of Ghana explains how organic farming can promote food security and, through efficient management of natural resources, further sustainable development. In some cases, organic farming also enhances livelihoods and can boost farmers’ income.
Evelyn Anyiko of the Centre of Alternative Development, Uganda explains how communities in Northern Uganda are mitigating the impact of droughts and flooding through tree planting and mulching. These practices prevent soil erosion and help to maintain nutrients in the soil, improving harvests.
Yosef Amha, Research Fellow in Agriculture and Climate Change with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) discusses the impacts of climate change on Africa’s agricultural production and the contribution of the sector itself to rising emissions. Climate-smart agriculture, which seeks to advance food security while reducing agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions, is one adaptation approach.

Adaptation

Fassil Kebede of the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute pinpoints a number of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies underway in Ethiopia including reforestation programmes and soil conservation practices.
Dr M.O. Abioja of the Federal University of Agriculture in Nigeria explains how heat stress, exacerbated by climate change, negatively impacts the quantity and quality of egg production in chickens. Dr Abioja’s research found that feeding chickens natural antioxidants such as honey or guava juice, in limited amounts, can improve egg production.
Divine Odame Appiah from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana sets out the need to build capacity of African smallholder farmers for effective adaptation – particularly by increasing their understanding of the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector.