The Impact of Climate Change on Agro-Ecological Based Livelihoods in Africa: A Review

  •  Thulani Dube    
  •  Philani Moyo    
  •  Moreblessings Ncube    
  •  Douglas Nyathi    


Several local studies have been carried out on the impact of climate change on livelihoods and development especially in developing countries. However, there is a general scarcity of literature that makes a comparative appraisal of the impacts of climate change on agro-ecological based livelihoods across the African continent. This paper seeks to address that gap by making a comparative analysis of the effects of climate change on agro-based livelihoods across the African continent, focusing on Eastern, Western, Southern Africa and the Sahel region. A cross continental perspective on this issue is important in informing current global climate change negotiations and response strategies both at global level and national levels. While some studies have been conducted at individual country levels about the projected and recorded impacts of climate change, there remains a dearth of literature that reviews and consolidates these findings to give an overall holistic picture about continental and sub-continental impacts in Africa especially as relating to local agro and ecological based livelihoods. This study finds out that the impact of climate change is invariably negative across the whole of Africa as it leads to failing agricultural yields and a reduction of bio-diversity. The paper recommends an intensification for the support of livelihood diversification strategies in rural development planning. It further recommends policy strategies that particularly targets the poor and vulnerable communities whose livelihoods hinge on agriculture and natural ecosystems as these will suffer the most from the impact of climate change.

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