France and Germany are joining forces to improve climate risk prevention in Africa. More than 60% of the continent’s population has no climate warning system. To make good this shortfall, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research are organising Climate services for risk reduction in Africa 2023 (CS4RRA). The initiative consists of a series of four webinars, scheduled to take place in Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal from September to November 2023.
Lomé, the capital of Togo, will host an international webinar on 28 September 2023. This will be the first in a series of four webinars on improving early warning systems and adaptation measures for disaster risk reduction in Africa. Supported by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Climate Services for Risk Reduction in Africa 2023 (CS4RRA) initiative is taking place on four dates, in four locations and on four themes.
The webinar on « Improving the early warning system and disaster risk adaptation measures » will be held on 28 September 2023 at the University of Lomé. The one on « Excessive water management » is scheduled for October 2023 at the Université Felix Houphouet Boigny (UFHB) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The other two webinars, on « Climate-smart agriculture and sustainable landscapes » and « Climate impacts and resilience in current and future scenarios », will be held in November 2023 at the Kwame-Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, and the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, respectively.
Implemented by France’s Institut de la Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in partnership with the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), these meetings, led by a cohort of African and European experts, aim to build climate resilience in Africa by raising awareness of climate knowledge, identifying key services for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
Low coverage of climate warning systems
Africa only accounts for around 2-3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but it suffers the consequences disproportionately. This situation is made more difficult by the continent’s poor coverage of climate warning systems.
The « State of the Climate in Africa 2021 » report published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) indicates that 60% of Africa’s population is not covered by early warning systems for extreme weather events and climate change.
According to the same report, droughts and floods are the most worrying climate risks in Africa. Over the past fifty years, drought-related hazards have claimed the lives of more than half a million people and caused economic losses in excess of 70 billion dollars in the region. Over the same period, Africa has suffered more than 1,000 flood-related disasters, resulting in more than 20,000 deaths. The WMO estimates that by 2050, the consequences of climate change could cost African countries 50 billion dollars a year.