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The reality of climate change and Africa’s development agenda

Publication date:
P. Lalthapersad-Pillay
Type of publication:

Although most of Africa will feel the adversity that climate change will engender, certain African countries are at greater risk than others. This paper looks at the impact of climate change in developing countries and in Africa as a whole, with an analysis of why certain African countries will be worse off from the after-effects of climate change.
Findings are:

agricultural productivity, food security and climate variability are intertwined; poor households will have to struggle to cope with climate variability
Africa is directly reliant on climate-sensitive natural resource for income generation, and the anticipated losses in its GDPs will be primarily due to falling economic activity in agriculture
climate change is likely to abolish the gains made in the area of development in Africa as resources are reallocated to finance adaptation measures 
climate change is likely to induce migration from rural areas to cities, which may generates greater encroachment on the environment 
climate change will trigger health complications, such as the spread of malaria, especially among the poor and in developing countries

The document concludes that the challenge for developing countries now is to foster development policies that build adaptation measures into them so that climate change is tackled from a multi-pronged approach. Furthermore, developing countries, especially those that are deemed the poorest and the most exposed, must be helped to adapt to the changing climate.