Growing risks: What are the potential impacts of climate change on African countries?

The phenomenon of climate change is one of the phenomena of a global nature from the perspective of geographical spread and the accompanying effects, although Africa is not one of the parties most bearing the responsibility for producing this phenomenon; As it is responsible for about (2-3%) of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is considered one of the parties most affected by the negative effects and repercussions of this phenomenon at various levels; This has a direct impact on the reality of the national state and the continental aspirations targeted in Africa’s Agenda 2063. Africa has a promising opportunity to crystallize its position and demands towards this phenomenon, especially in light of Egypt’s hosting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change COP-27It is scheduled to be held in “Sharm El-Sheikh” next November.

function pointers

There are a number of indicators indicating the worsening conditions related to climate change in Africa during the recent period, as follows:

1- The steady increase in temperature: Africa continued to record an increase in temperatures (rate of warming); With an estimated average growth of (+0.3) degrees Celsius per decade between 1991 and 2021, which is faster than the rate of warming that occurred between 1961 and 1990; Where it reached (+0.2) degrees Celsius per decade, and 2021 came as the third year in terms of the high temperature recorded for Africa historically, and all sub-regions in Africa recorded an increase in temperature trend during the period (1991-2021) compared to the period (1901-20). 1930), noting that the North African region recorded the highest rates of temperature increase compared to other regions in an unusual manner; It reached about (0.41) degrees Celsius for each decade during the period (1991-2021), which is double the rate recorded during the period (1961-1990), which amounted to about (0.19%) per decade.

2- Increasing sea level rise: The rate of sea level rise along African coasts is higher than the global average, particularly along the Red Sea and the southwestern Indian Ocean; Where it approaches (4) mm per year, followed by the coasts of Tanzania and Mozambique, and the east coast of South Africa; The rate exceeds (3.9) mm per year, and the rate of sea level rise along the western coasts of South Africa and Namibia is much higher than the global average; Where it reaches about (3.9) mm per year, and the rate exceeds (3.6) mm per year along the Atlantic coasts of northwest Africa and the Gulf of Guinea region from Gabon to Angola and Somalia, while the coasts of West Africa witnessed a rate of sea level rise soon from the global average; This is at a rate of (3.3) mm per year, and the relative rise in sea level is likely to continue in the future; This may contribute to an increase in the frequency and intensity of coastal flooding in low-lying cities and along most sandy coasts, and an increase in the salinity of groundwater.

3- Disturbances in the rate of rainfall: It is one of the indicators of the climate crisis in Africa; During the year 2021, the continent witnessed conditions of instability regarding the rate of rainfall, which came below normal in most parts of North Africa, especially in the coastal areas of Morocco, Tunisia and northwestern Libya. In West Africa, we find that the start of the rainy season was delayed; Where most of the rain fell during the months of July and August, as well as in the southern African region, we find that there is a noticeable deficit in the average rainfall of more than (160) mm across eastern Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and central Mozambique along the coast of South Africa. In the East African region, Ethiopia, Uganda, parts of southern Sudan, southern Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania recorded drier than normal conditions.

(Read more)  Why have the German Chancellor's challenges increased?

4- Change in water level in the Great Lakes: This is directly related to the phenomenon of climate change in Africa; In Lake Victoria, which is the largest freshwater lake on the continent, and extends over areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, we find that about (80%) of the lake is refilled from direct rain, and only (20%) from the drainage basin. The water mainly reflects precipitation patterns. The lake has seen large variations in water level with sharp rises in rainfall during the years (1997–1998) and (2019–2021); This is in contrast to a decrease during the period (1998-2006).

The total area of ​​Lake Chad, which is located near the Sahara Desert and on the borders with Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger, decreased from (25,000) km 2 in the 1960s to (1,350) km 2 at the beginning of the first decade of the new millennium, which has remained stable until the present. This can be explained in light of the combined effect of climate change on the one hand and the severe pressure on the water resources of the lake by man on the other. This has resulted in a decrease in the area of ​​arable land and grazing sites, a decrease in fish production and a loss of biodiversity.

Mixed Effects

There are many and varied repercussions associated with the phenomenon of climate change in Africa, whether actual or latent, which in their entirety have an impact on the reality and course of the development of sustainable development in Africa, as contained in the framework of the “Africa Agenda 2063”,; And this in a way that threatens internal stability in African countries. The most important of these repercussions are as follows:

1- Growing waves of population displacementIt is one of the most prominent impacts associated with the phenomenon of climate change in Africa; Floods, chronic droughts, sea-level rise and extreme weather events are major factors affecting displacement patterns within and across international borders. These climatic conditions severely affect those living in the most fragile and conflict-affected areas. Refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa are on the front lines of vulnerability to climate emergencies; In 2021, about 14.1 million people were internally displaced in sub-Saharan Africa; This is by (11.5) million people due to conflict and violence, and about (2.5) million people due to disasters, many of whom live in climatic areas with high temperatures; They usually lack the resources to adapt to existing environmental conditions in a way that can make them increasingly unstable.

It is also estimated that high water stress affects about 250 million people in Africa, and is expected to lead to the displacement of up to 700 million people by 2030. Climate-induced migration is likely to increase population density and create Overcrowded areas, contributing to the growth of informal settlements. Taken together, these factors heighten the risks of ethnic tensions and conflicts, possibly exacerbating pre-existing tensions between societies that depend on scarce resources, deepening existing inequalities, particularly gender inequality, as well as further entrenching poverty, which is extremely harmful. achieving the sustainable development goals in Africa.

(Read more)  How will China seek to benefit from Taliban after the fall of Kabul ?

2- Decreased levels of food security: This is one aspect of the impact associated with climate change in Africa; The rising temperatures have contributed to the decline in agricultural productivity growth in Africa by about 34% since 1961; This is more than any other region in the world; In the East African region, for example, we note that there is a significant increase in food prices in a way that impedes the ability to provide and access food, which has contributed to the presence of more than (58) million people living in conditions of acute food insecurity; This is a result of the effects of failed cumulative rainy seasons in the region, in addition to the escalation of waves of endemic conflicts in the region and the associated displacement of people, and the restrictions associated with the Corona pandemic, as well as the effects associated with the Russian-Ukrainian war since late February.

This trend is expected to continue in the future; increasing the risks of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in Africa; As it is likely that global warming will reach (1.5) degrees Celsius, accompanied by a decrease of (9%) of the maize crop in West Africa, and (20%-60%) of the wheat crop in the southern and northern African regions, and more than about ( 12%) of the marine catch in many West African countries. Climate change will also have serious impacts on jobs and labor productivity in the agricultural sector; In sub-Saharan Africa, in which about (55%-62%) of the labor force is employed in agriculture, we find that the capacity to work in agriculture is expected to decrease by (30-50%) compared to the time period (1986-1995); And that with an increase in the level of global warming by (3) degrees Celsius.

3- Threatening the stability of water resources: It is one of the aspects affected by the phenomenon of climate change in Africa; It leads to instability and high fluctuations in water levels in lakes, and affects river drainage and groundwater recharge rates; In West Africa, the long-term decrease in river flow is due to increased temperature, drought and increased water demand, and of course this has serious implications for water-dependent sectors; This includes hydropower production, agriculture, health and access to potable water.

The limited availability of water resources is also a major source of conflict in Africa; As Africa continues to face numerous capacity gaps in high-quality and reliable water-related climate services; As only about (27%) of African countries – which represents about (22) countries – provide water-related climatic services, such as drought forecasting or warning services, and reinforces the difficulty of the existing reality in this regard that there are still about (418) One million people lack the basic level of drinking water services, and about (779) million people lack sanitation services. In addition, about (27) African countries have insufficient capacity to implement the elements of integrated management of water resources effectively; This is according to the State of the Climate in Africa 2021 report.

4- increase Risks to cities and coastal settlements: which constitutes one of the impacts associated with climate change in Africa; Where high population growth and rapid urbanization in Africa has increased the vulnerability of citizens and infrastructure to climate risks; As it is expected that about (108-116) million people in Africa will be exposed to sea level rise by 2030, which in turn will lead to an increase in the frequency of coastal floods, coastal erosion and soil salinity due to seawater intrusion, which constitutes an increase in the rate of risks to settlements. Africa’s coastal economies and ecosystems; The damage associated with sea-level rise in sub-Saharan Africa could reach about (2-4%) of GDP by 2050.

(Read more)  The Strategy of the Social Revolution

5- Escalating political and security turmoil: The issue of climate change in Africa is inseparable from political and security turmoil; Because the repercussions resulting from climate change produce new societal demands that put pressure on the ruling regimes and demand a quick response, and many reports reveal that the phenomena of climate change, such as desertification and drought, are catalysts for the outbreak of local conflicts between farmers and herders over resources and lands suitable for grazing, which is the matter. Which leads to more security and political fragility in African countries.

Suggested ways

The future vision poses the necessity of adopting a number of proposed ways to activate Africa’s response to the phenomenon of climate change in a way that reduces the size of the negative effects and repercussions associated with it, the most prominent of which are the following:

1- Strengthening the implementation of the multi-hazard early warning systemMHEWS): It is an important mechanism for collecting and analyzing information on the various risks and threats associated with climate change in Africa, and working to filter the best possible and potential paths to deal with them efficiently.

2- Accelerate the establishment and activation of national frameworks for climate services.NFC): This will contribute to enhancing the involvement of the various stakeholders and will work on developing and distributing climate services to support government policies and strategies to deal with climate change.

3- Adopting a pragmatic approach to climate adaptation in Africa: It includes strengthening the capacity of African countries with regard to climate analysis and the provision of climate services through relevant national institutions, identifying and selecting priorities for climate action, and formulating and implementing national climate policies, including the most climate-sensitive goals of the Sustainable Development Goals.

4- Availability of financial support from the international community: It is necessary to enhance the capacity of African countries to fully implement their assigned contributions at the national level, and this support can be achieved through several sources, perhaps including capacity building, technology transfer, grants and soft loans.

In conclusion, it can be said that facing the repercussions associated with climate change in Africa requires moving in three parallel tracks: the first is the national track by adopting the relevant national plans and policies, whether by adapting to climate changes or mitigating the risks and threats inherent in them, while the second lies in adopting arrangements And the common African policies based on inter-coordination to respond to this phenomenon, whether under the umbrella of the African Union or sub-regional groupings, while the third is to support the various international frameworks concerned with combating climate change and strengthening coordination with various international parties in this regard.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

to publish your articles and have the chance to be read by over 300,000 readers, contact us via our email: [email protected]

Articles: 12900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.