By Dr. Sifiso Ntombela, Chief Economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)
Between the 18 and 22 March 2019, actors from the public, private and civil society gathered in Accra, a city characterized by tropical savanna climate, to take stock of actions implemented by African states in fulfilling their respective Paris Agreement commitments. With support from the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network through the GCRF-AFRICAP Programme, I was among the experts working on climate mitigating policies in South Africa, who attended the conference. Unfortunately, while we were engaged in Ghana, the cyclone Idai attacked Southern Africa affecting 3 million (762 died) people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
Climate change is one of the main risks for African development due to high economic dependency on agriculture and the fact that 64 percent of the African population lives in rural areas. The 3 million people affected by cyclone Idai illustrates the high vulnerability of Africans towards changing climate. Climate change also impacts crops and animal production in the continent, thus reducing Africa’s capability to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, such as eradicating hunger and halving poverty in the continent by 2030.