African nations were warned Tuesday of the dangers climate change poses to their attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union’s Agenda 2063 by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
NEPAD Program Director Estheine Fotabong said climate change represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the Africa continent.
“It is a major threat to the attainment of Sustainable developments and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063. The bulk of agricultural system in Africa is highly climate weather dependent with more than 95 percent of farmed lands grows crops relying on rain-fed agriculture,” Fotabong said at the Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance Forum.
Africa has been the hardest hit due to the impact of climate change. Hunger has ravaged the Horn of Africa and El Nino continues to put strive on many nations in the east.
Most African countries are faced with food insecurity including those in the Sahel region. Agricultural production has been low due to degraded soils, drought, floods and lack of effective water management.
Africa leaders have recognized the importance of agriculture and climate change by endorsing the NEPAD program on agriculture and climate change with a vision to have at least 25 million smallholders’ households practicing climate-smart agriculture by 2025.
Experts say Africa needs transformative adaptation to climate change. Most governments in Africa are making efforts to highlight the impact of climate change on agriculture but Fotabong warned that despite these efforts gaps and disconnect still exist between climate change impacts and adaptations.
Principal Secretary, state department for fisheries and blue economy in Kenya, Professor Micheni Japhet Ntiba underscored the threats posed by climate change noting that African government need support to tackle the emerging threats, which threaten human survival in the continent.
The international community has committed itself to partner with African states in the fight against climate change and food insecurity but local groups like the East African Farmers Association blamed poor policies on climate change and land management by African governments and called for accountability in government managing poor farmers’ lands.
This week, a communique is expected from delegates from across Africa at the Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
(Reporting and Writing by Sainey MK Marenah in Nairobi, Kenya; Editing by Sam Phatey)