Climate Change impacts on Food Security in Africa: A Review

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The Library and Publications Committee, University of Ilorin, Ilorin - Nigeria


Across the continent of Africa, the landscape is changing. The snowy caps of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Elgon are melting. The shorelines of Lakes Chad, Tanganyika and Victoria are receding. Lake chad is one-twentieth of the size it was 35 years ago. Droughts and floods, out-of-season rain and dry spells are affecting the welfare of millions of people. The suspected root of the problem, climate change is a reality for the people of Africa. These and many other changes have led to unreliable farming seasons and low water supplies - a dire problem for a continent almost entirely dependent on rain for its agriculture. It is in response to the above that this paper has focused on the review of climate change impacts in Africa, particularly on food security and associated resources. Africa's policy makers must accept that, far from being a long - distant threat, climate change is a phenomenon that is already happening, and despite the fact that Africa has contributed little to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere, it is already affecting Africans particularly in the area of food security. Consequently, the West has a moral responsibility to Africa and other developing countries to make resources available to adapt to the predicted impact of climate change. Some developed countries have shown a strong commitment to tackling the problems of climate change and development in Africa through the implementation of several adaptation programmes. But while such efforts may contribute to reducing Africa's vulnerability to climate changes, the best adaptation is still mitigation. Giving out aid to support Africa's adaptation to climate change does not remove developed countries moral obligations to cut down greenhouse emissions. No amount of aid can shield Africa from the adverse impact of climate change. While African governments can integrate climate concerns into developmental policies, the West must also curb greenhouse gas emission or Africa will not be able to achieve sustainable development.



Climate change; Adaptation; Impacts; Food security; Africa


Ajibade, L.T., Olorunfemi, J.F. & Orire, I.O. (2012): Climate Change Impacts on Food Security in Africa: A Review. In: Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Africa. Oloyede, I.O. (Ed) Proceedings of the 2nd University of Cape Coast and University of Ilorin, Joint International Conference, 348 - 361. Published by Unilorin Press Ltd.