Rising temperatures, sea levels, and more extreme weather endanger Africa’s human health and safety, food and water security socio-economic development.
The State of the Climatic in Africa 2019 study, a multi-agency publication managed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), gives an overview of present and future climate trends and their implications for the economy and sensitive agriculture sectors. It outlines approaches for resolving significant gaps and obstacles in climate action in Africa and emphasizes lessons for climate action in Africa .
“Climate change poses increasing threats to human health, food and water security, and socioeconomic development in Africa, according to this report. As a result, we require accurate and up-to-date data for adaptation planning “said Ovais Sarmad, UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary.
Through the development and implementation of National Adaptation Plans, the UN Climate Change Secretariat assists countries in identifying and managing climate risks (NAPs).
WMO’s advances in systematic observations and research play a significant role in giving critical input to these initiatives.
The study was launched on October 26 to underline the urgency of climate action in Africa and the existing state of capacity. The dangers are becoming more serious.
“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable and causing food insecurity, population relocation, and water resource stress.” We’ve seen disastrous floods, an invasion of desert locusts, and the impending threat of drought due to a La Nia event in recent months. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the human and economic toll,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“Science-based climate information is the bedrock of climate change adaptation, as well as a source of sustainable livelihoods and development.” H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commission Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, stated, “The State of Climate Report for Africa has a key role to play in this regard, including informing our activities toward meeting the goals of the Africa Agenda 2063.”
The scarcity of reliable and timely climate information contributes to Africa’s low uptake and usage. The lack of trustworthy and reliable climate information contributes to Africa’s low adoption and utilization of climate information services in development planning and practice. This Africa-focused report will go a long way toward filling that void. Economic Commission for Africa’s participation via the African Climate Policy Centre is intended to highlight the link between climatic change and development and illustrate that moving forward from the Covid-19 pandemic requires a green, sustainable, and climate-resilient development approach informed by the best knowledge available.
Large areas of Africa will warm by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the last two decades of this century. Since 1901, much of Africa has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius, increasing heat waves and hot days.
Precipitation will likely decrease over North Africa and the south-western parts of South Africa by the end of the century (IPCC) according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report details high-impact events that occurred in 2019. Cyclone Tropical Idai was one of the most catastrophic tropical cyclones recorded in the southern hemisphere, killing hundreds and displacing thousands.
There was a severe drought in Southern Africa in 2019, whereas there were floods and landslides in the Greater Horn of Africa. Flooding also hit the Sahel and nearby areas from May to October of this year.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the number of malnourished people in drought-prone Sub-Saharan African countries has increased by 45.6 percent since 2012. (FAO).
Agriculture is Africa’s economic backbone, providing almost all of the continent’s livelihoods. As a result, Africa is a “hot spot” for exposure and vulnerability to the effects of climate variability and change.
According to IPCC forecasts, warming conditions may have a severe impact on agricultural productivity and food security. Due to heat and drought stress, decreased crop productivity has significant negative implications for regional, national, and individual family food security and livelihoods. Major grain crops grown across Africa will be impacted negatively by the middle of the century, albeit with regional heterogeneity and crop variability.
The worst-case ‘s climate scenario predicts a 13% drop in average yield in West and Central Africa, an 11% drop in North Africa, and an 8% drop in East and Southern Africa. Due to their greater adaptability to high-temperature conditions, millet and sorghum have been considered preferable crops, with yield losses of only 5% and 8% by 2050, respectively. Rice and wheat are expected to be the most negatively affected crops, with yield losses of 12% and 21%, respectively, by 2050 according to the UNFCCC .
Temperature increases and variations in rainfall patterns have a significant influence on African population health. High temperature and increased precipitation improve the ecosystems for biting insects and the transmission of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever.
Besides that, previously uninhabitable areas are becoming infested with new diseases. In 2017, Africa was estimated to be responsible for 93 percent of global malaria deaths. Malaria outbreaks are common after periods of weighty rainfall. In addition, rising temperatures in the East African highlands allow malaria-carrying mosquitos to survive at higher altitudes.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the adverse effects of climate change are concentrated in regions with relatively hot climates, which are home to a disproportionately large number of low-income countries.
According to the African Climate Policy Centre, rising global temperatures would significantly impact the GDP of the five African sub regions. This is according to the African Climate Policy Centre. The continent’s overall GDP is expected to fall by 2.25 percent to 12.12 percent under scenarios ranging from a one °C to a 4°C increase in global temperatures relative to pre-industrial levels. West, Central, and East Africa are more affected than Southern and North Africa. Change in climate is a significant challenge for the continent’s development in Africa’s Agenda 2063, completed in 2013.
Since 2015, the Paris Agreement’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have been the primary tool for guiding policy responses to climate change . Fifty-two (52) African countries have presented their initial NDCs and are now revising their NDCs for 2020.
The regions with the most significant capacity gaps for climate services are Africa and Small Island developing states. Africa also has the world’s least developed land-based observation network.
Some significant contributions were made in Africa to driving the global climate agenda. The very high levels of ratification of the Paris Agreement – more than 90% – attest to this. Many countries in Africa have pledged to convert to green energy in a relatively short period. Clean energy and agriculture, for example, are prioritized in more than 70% of African NDCs. This aspiration must be a part of determining the continent’s economic growth priorities.
Promoting socio-economic growth in the agricultural sector is a way to decrease climate-related risks and extreme event impacts across the continent. Value-addition techniques using efficient and clean energy sources are said to reduce poverty two to four times faster than growth in any other sector in this sector, which employs 60 percent of Africa’s population.
Efficient micro-irrigation increases farm-level incomes by five to ten times, improves yields by up to 300 percent, and reduces water usage by up to 90 percent while offsetting carbon emissions with up to 250 kW of clean energy.
The most significant proportion of the world’s poor consist of women, and roughly half of all women work in agriculture – in developing countries, this figure is 60%. In low-income, food-deficit countries, it is 70%. Eliminating poverty in Africa through agricultural expansion benefits women in particular. In certain circumstances, women may not have access to weather and climate services; all persons must access these services to increase their resilience and adaptive ability.
Ken is a Quantitative Trader with experience in investments, quantitative finance, financial modelling and algorithmic trading in Global Investable Markets (GIM). He enjoys using Bayesian Statistics, Time Series and Machine Learning in developing Robust consistent Alphas in Equities Market, FX, ETPs and Derivatives instruments. He enjoys deep dives in understanding High Frequency Trading infrastructures and improving how the African financial markets work. He holds a Bachelor's in Actuarial Science from Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences : An Executive Program in Algorithmic Trading (EPAT) certificate in Algo Trading from QuantInsti : A current MSc student in Financial Engineering at World Quant University.