African Climate Policy Centre/ UNECA

AICCRA at the 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-XI)

In the run-up to the landmark Africa Climate Summit (ACS) and the UNFCCC’s African Climate Week, the CCDA-X1 conference was held from 1-3 September as a technical pre-summit segment featuring expert group discussions to address the themes of the summit. AICCRA’s East and Southern Africa team participated in both the plenary session focused on Early Warning Systems and in a side event focused on climate research needs and funding gaps in Africa.

The 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-XI) was convened in September 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya on the eve of the landmark inaugural Africa Climate Summit. 

CCDA-XI was convened by:

  • The Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Forestry
  • The African Union
  • African Development Bank

With the support of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA). 

CCDA-XI was a technical pre-summit segment of the Africa Climate Summit, under the overarching theme titled 'African Solidarity for Global Climate Action'. 

The overall objective of CCDA–XI was to produce detailed, analytical, data-driven, and evidence-based recommendations on the various themes of ACS and Africa Climate Week, which include ‘Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Risk’ and ‘Agriculture, Nature-based Solutions and the Blue Economy’ among others.

Reports from the conference will contribute to the outcome statements for African Heads of State towards and beyond the UNFCCC COP28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

AICCRA's East and Southern Africa Regional Leader Dawit Solomon took part as a plenary speakers lineup on ‘State of Climate Information to Drive Early Warning Systems for Development’ along with partners from the African Development Bank and South African Environmental Observation Network and others, emphasizing inclusivity and strengthening the continent’s disaster risk knowledge.

Dawit Solomon, AICCRA East and Southern Africa Regional Leader, gives remarks during a panel discussion.

“When we look at how [early warning] plays a role in our agricultural, food and nutrition security, we need to look at how are we doing when it comes to access of early warning systems for all,” Dawit said.

“We need to make sure that the forecasts are accessible and are contextualized while also ensuring the uptake and use of early warning systems for preparedness and early action to tackle the climate crisis. Our disaster risk knowledge in terms of data collection needs to be strengthened through detection, observation, monitoring, analysis and forecasting.''

Dawit also highlighted how preparedness and early response capabilities at the national and community levels are key to ensuring preparedness and early action.

In an effort to help build early warning and action capacity on the continent, the State of Climate in Africa report focused on three areas: loss and damage, early warning systems for all, and climate information services that are aligned with both National Adaptation Plans and Nationally Determined Contributions. 

Event flyer: Climate Research Needs and Funding Gaps in Africa

AICCRA co-convened a plenary session on ‘Climate Research Needs and Funding Gaps in Africa’ in collaboration with, among others:

  • The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa
  • The World Meteorological Organization – Regional Office for Africa (WMO-RoA)
  • IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC)
  • South African Environmental Observation Network
  • Global Climate Fund
  • African Union Commission

The discussion focused on Climate Research for Development (CR4D), an African-led platform made up of top African climate scientists, policymakers, climate service providers, and practitioners who engage on the state of African climate science and existing gaps in climate knowledge, and is a joint initiative between:

  • African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)

AICCRA supports CR4D in it's four priority areas:

  • Promoting co-designing of multi-disciplinary research
  • Filling climate data gaps
  • Enhancing Africa’s scientific and institutional capacities and networks
  • Fostering effective collaboration and interactions among climate science, services, policy, and practice communities.
The session was led by Dr. Yosef Amha, Senior Researcher at ACPC and AICCRA-ESA and moderated by the former director of WMO-RoA, Dr. Joseph Mukabana.

Since its inception in June 2015, the CR4D has managed to conduct four research projects on ‘Foundational Climate Science’, 14 research projects on ‘Impact, Information and Translation’ and three projects on Policy, Development and Decision Communities.

It has managed to publish several journal articles on the above knowledge frontiers.

Given the scale and severity of observed climate change impacts and future climate risks in Africa, the continent merits the greatest attention in global climate research.

The session discussed the need for increased funding for Africa-based research and proposed the way forward, as funding plays a key role in directing research priorities and the continent’s responses to climate change.

As part of the commitment to turn these conversations into dialogue and contribution to the declaration presented at the African Climate Summit 2023, the 11th CCDA-XI delivered an outcome statement at the end of the three-day gathering in Nairobi.

AICCRA’s contribution to the outcome statement of the 11th CCDA-XI focuses on the following key themes:

  • Co-designing and co-developing demand-driven climate change research that addresses the challenges of African countries is critical to developing climate-resilient agri-food systems. Hence, the session calls for Africa’s continental, regional, and national institutions to work hand-in-hand with their international research partners, such as AICCRA, in knowledge generation, capacity building, and facilitation of scaling of climate information services, early warning systems for early action and climate-smart agriculture innovations and technologies.
  • Jointly mobilize financial resources to co-produce multi-discipline climate research, build the capacity of young African scientists and forge strong partnerships to address the existing knowledge and data gaps in the continent.
  • Development partners and multilateral development banks (such as the African Development Bank) should invest in climate information services (CIS) at the national and regional levels, contributing to early warning and early action systems, better adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies. This should be done in partnership with the CGIAR and its Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project, as well as the private sector. 
  • More multidisciplinary research is needed in Africa to fill knowledge gaps, enhancing Africa’s scientific capacities and fostering collaboration among climate science, services, policy, and practice communities by recognizing the importance of climate research in achieving effective climate action.
  • Education and training systems in Africa must be responsive to climate change. In that respect, AICCRA is working with national universities across East, Central and Southern Africa and continent stakeholders, including centers of excellence such as the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), to mainstream climate education in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
  • AICCRA is ready to engage, collaborate and work with regional initiatives including the Africa Adaptation Initiative, the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Platform, the Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility, C4RD, and the Climate Action Window of the African Development Fund.
  • The science-policy-practice interface must be enhanced to promote data and information gathering, product development, and advisory services on climate change.

Event partners


Brook Tesfaye Makonnen - Communications and Knowledge Management Lead for AICCRA in Ethiopia & East and Southern Africa