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Report: Africa’s climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information


African decision-makers need reliable, accessible, and trustworthy information about the continent’s climate, and how this climate might change in future, if they are to plan appropriately to meet the region’s development challenges. The Future Climate for Africa report, Africa’s climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information, is designed as a guide for scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners on the continent.

The research in this report, written by leading experts in their fields, presents an overview of climate trends across central, eastern, western, and southern Africa, and is distilled into a series of factsheets that are tailored for specific sub-regions and countries. Some of these capture the current state of knowledge, while others explore the ‘burning scientific questions’ that still need to be answered. Africa’s climate is an interim product of the Future Climate for Africa programme, which seeks to identify the gaps in knowledge, and fill those with robust, evidence-based information. The Future Climate for Africa programme includes leading researchers and institutions from across Africa, in collaboration with peers and peer institutions in Europe and the UK. The work is funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Development professionals will be able to use the report as a touchstone in their everyday work, and as a starting point for considering climate risk. The contents of this report will also be useful for students and researchers seeking an introduction to African climate science, and to intermediaries such as climate knowledge brokers, who can tailor the volume’s peerreviewed analysis to their broader awareness-raising, education and training efforts.

The report consists of 15 factsheets that are grouped into three sections:

  • Regional Overviews focus on regionally relevant questions for east, west, central and southern Africa.

  • Burning Questions focus on the key issues relating to the ability of the current science to accurately provide climate change projections and communicate future climate change in Africa.

  • Country Factsheets provide information on the climate and the possible impacts for Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal, and Zambia.

They also consider how climate information is used in Tanzania and Malawi, and how accessible the information is to the communities that need it. While readers may find the full set of contributions in this collected volume, each factsheet is also designed to be read and used separately in each of the targeted countries and regions.