The inaugural cohort of some 21 African post-doctoral researchers under the aegis of Climate Research for Development (CR4D) presented their pioneering findings, in Nairobi, Kenya, signalling a bold path for the new decade and dawn.
The researchers who were selected from 11 countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe unveiled their 18-month long findings in a three-day workshop jointly organised by the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Africa Academy of Science (AAS).
“By investing in research for development we are trying to find African solutions. Not only for the problems which are plaguing our continent but for those which are global,” said Jean-Paul Adam, the director of the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) technology, climate change and natural resources division.
Improving weather and climate early warning systems, seasonal forecasts tools, models and datasets, alongside drought indices for supporting mitigation and adaptation, as well as the critical question of gender inequality in climate policies were among the core research areas that featured.
“An overhaul of climate policy making is required to integrate gender equality that prioritises access, participation and inclusion of women and girls in the climate change discourse as gender inequalities continue to exacerbate climate change vulnerabilities,” said Keiso Matashane Marite of the ECA who moderated the climate change and gender session.
“The limited engagement of women in climate information services and related climate change dialogues poses serious challenges in sufficiently adapting to and mitigating against climate change impacts and there is need for aggressive policy interventions.”
Other areas of inquiry included resilience for African islands and coastal zones, disaster risk reduction, nutrition, settlement infrastructure ecosystem, health, water access, food security, marginalised communities, pollution and low-carbon economic pathways.
Veteran expert meteorologists gave a thumbs up to the immersive nature of the research findings for breaking new ground in their studies that had kicked off in late 2019.
“The researchers have achieved excellent milestones in climate research in Africa; foundational research, research for application in key sectors of the economy and research touching on policy,” said Dr Joseph Mukabana, the Senior Scientific Officer in charge of capacity development and research in Africa at the WMO.
According to Yosef Amha who coordinates the CR4D initiative, the public launch of the research cohort, marks a momentous occasion not just for Africa’s climate knowledge progress but also for the world in general.
The CR4D initiative was first mooted eight years ago to redress Africa’s critical climate knowledge gaps.
“Climate research in Africa is fragmented and not demand-driven. As such, it is not responsive to the user requirements, and also needs to be firmly situated within the contexts of Agenda 2063, Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement,” Dr Murombedzi added
Learn More: UNECA