Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation Capacity in Africa

  • 14th May 2018
  • by secretary

Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation Capacity in Africa- Case Studies from six major African Cities and policy implications 

Walter Leal Filho, Abdul-Lateef Balogun, Desalegn Yayeh Ayal, E. Matthew Bethurem, Paschal Mugabe. Volume 86. Journal “Environmental Science and Policy” Pages 29-37. This issue is in progress (August 2018) but contains articles that are final and fully citable.
A team at the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP) recently completed a study on climate change in African cities, which has led to this paper.

This paper addresses this need, and outlines some of the most important climate threats (e.g. increasing temperatures, droughts, sea level rise, sea and river flooding) and synergic non-climate factors, as well as recent progress made in respect of implementing climate change adaptation in African cities. 
Rather than adopt a general description of trends, this research focuses on concrete case studies from six major cities across the central, western, and eastern regions of the African continent (Douala, Lagos City, Dar-es-Salaam, Accra, Addis Ababa and Mombasa). The vulnerability and adaptive capacity status of the studied cities are discussed. Difficulties and challenges encountered in implementing adaptation policies in these areas are also highlighted. Furthermore, some successful examples of climate change adaptation initiatives in the surveyed cities are provided. Finally, the paper outlines some of the policy measures which can be implemented towards strengthening the capacity of African cities to adapt to a changing climate.


  • Vulnerability of human habitats to the effects of climate change in the studied cities rank among the lowest quartile worldwide.
  • The high vulnerability is severely aggravated by the cities’ poor adaptation capabilities.
  • Building good governance is the corner stone of effective and efficient climate change adaptation measures implementation.
  • Strong policies and institutions, national and city-level planning, and responsive governance are key factors to foster climate management in African cities.
  • Climate change adaptation strategies should be incorporated in government policies together with urban development plan, and disaster risk management.