The Inaugural conference on Accelerating Agriculture Adaptation in Africa
The Accelerating Agriculture Adaptation in Africa conference emerged as a linchpin in addressing the challenges faced by African communities in the intersection of agriculture and climate change. As the cradle of some of the world’s most agrarian societies, Africa has long been deeply reliant on agriculture, which provides sustenance and livelihoods to millions of its people. However, the continent’s agricultural sector is under siege from the pernicious impacts of climate change. Erratic rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and shifting seasons have plunged farming communities into a state of uncertainty, while pastoralist communities have seen their precious livestock, including camels, cattle, goats, and sheep, fall victim to the ravages of extreme weather events.
Organized by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in collaboration with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and various partners, The inaugural conference on Agricultural Adaptation in Africa, four-day conference sought to galvanize a substantial coalition of MORE THAN 200 From all over Africa stakeholders to accelerate agricultural adaptation. It aimed to bring together government representatives, policymakers, civil society organizations, and other vital players in the pursuit of a sustainable and resilient agricultural sector.
The AACJ project’s support for this conference was instrumental and rooted in a deep understanding of the dire need to address the intersecting challenges of agriculture and climate change in Africa. The project recognized that the future of African agriculture is at a crossroads, with climate change serving as a critical driver of uncertainty and vulnerability. Smallholder farmers, who form the backbone of Africa’s agriculture, are particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, jeopardizing food security and livelihoods.
The vision of the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) project aligns with the urgent goals of the conference. The project envisions a future where African communities are empowered to adapt to the changing climate and build resilience within the agricultural sector. AACJ envisions sustainable practices that not only safeguard the livelihoods of millions of farmers but also ensure food security for the continent’s growing population while preserving its rich natural resources for generations to come.
The significance of this conference cannot be overstated, as it serves as a pivotal platform for unity, knowledge sharing, and the exchange of innovative solutions. It represents a collaborative effort to secure the future of food production and the well-being of African communities. The challenges facing African agriculture are profound and addressing them demands a concerted effort that transcends borders and sectors.
Prof. Anthony Nyong, the Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the Africa Development Bank, articulated the bank’s commitment to implementing four crucial pillars for successful agricultural transformation in Africa. These pillars encompass leveraging climate-smart digital technologies for agriculture and food security, bolstering infrastructure resilience, empowering youth for entrepreneurship and job creation in climate adaptation, and fostering innovative finance initiatives.
The African Development Bank estimates that adaptation and resilience costs for the continent could escalate to $30 billion per year by 2030. This underscores the urgency of the conference’s mission, focusing not only on adaptation but also on thinking beyond the traditional concept of adaptation. It is about reshaping the agricultural sector to thrive in the face of climate challenges.
The inaugural conference on Agricultural Adaptation in Africa is an unprecedented milestone on the continent. Over four days, participants engaged in deep discussions and presentations, delving into topics such as building capacities and contextualizing challenges, examining the policy and funding landscape for accelerating adaptation in agriculture, exploring pathways to low-carbon resilient agricultural systems, and promoting the inclusion of marginalized groups in agriculture within the context of current climate realities.
The AACJ project’s support for this conference underscores its commitment to the vision of a resilient, climate-resilient agricultural sector in Africa. The challenges are daunting, but the determination to address them is unwavering. The conference serves as a testament to the collective will of African communities, governments, and partners to secure a sustainable and prosperous future for agriculture in the face of a changing climate.