Climate Research for Development in Africa Programme strategy (2019–2023)
Science-informed and evidence-based policy, planning and practices are essential to ensuring African development is sustainable and more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change. Hence, there is an increasing need for tailored weather and climate services, adaptation strategies, sustained policy support that will reduce Africa’s vulnerability to the vagaries of severe weather and extreme climate events. However, the major challenges facing the African climate research include lack of a critical mass of trained scientists with requisite expertise in understanding and predicting the climate driving mechanisms across time, space scales and inadequacy of observational networks for meteorological, hydrological and related environmental data. Further compounding the problems is a weak communication and computational capacity, as well as inadequate climate database management system. In this regard, the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) in Africa initiative promotes and nurtures a long-term collaborative African climate research agenda and related activities. The research should be driven by user information needs for decision support and strengthened through interdisciplinary co-design that enables the mainstreaming of climate information into policy for contingence planning of climate sensitive socio-economic activities and decision-making processes. The CR4D initiative is envisaged to support the up scaling of existing and new initiatives, fostering international collaboration and joint planning between projects and other initiatives. However, this ambitious research initiative requires close collaboration within the Africa climate research community, across existing projects, and forging linkages with new regional and international partners. The CR4D Oversight Board believes that the CR4D 5-years strategy will contribute to socio-economic development and poverty eradication efforts of Africa by conducting user-inspired climate science research that translates into appropriate and actionable information for policy and sustainable development planning.