Ernest AfiesimamaMember, Independent Steering Committee (ISC)
What’s your role at AICCRA and the journey that led you here?
I am a member of the Independent Steering Committee (ISC), the governing body of the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA). I will be providing guidance on implementation issues relating to the AICCRA project and support coordination to solve problems that may adversely affect the performance of the Project.
I worked with Nigerian Meteorological Agency for over three decades and was the head of International Relations and Protocols as well as the advisor to the Permanent Representative of Nigeria with World Meteorological Organization (WMO). I am currently the Regional Programme Manager in the WMO Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I have managed projects on climate variability and change and their impacts in different socio-economic sectors over West Africa funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) and enhancement of agricultural productivity over Ethiopia funded by IrishAid. I have led the production of the State of Climate in Africa for the last three years and was a member of various International Scientific Steering Committees and professional bodies.
I hold a first class degree in Atmospheric Physics (Meteorology) and Master of Sciences (Distinction) in Hydrology and Water Resources, and obtained my Ph.D in Climatology (Climate Dynamics) at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I also have a first class degree in Law from The University of Law, United Kingdom. I have contributed to over five (5) books, 35 articles in peer reviewed Journals as well as 50 articles in non-refereed proceedings of national and International conferences and workshops. I was a senior associate scientist of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Physics of Weather and Climate), Trieste, Italy and lead author of Nigeria's Second National Communication on the development of Climate Scenarios in Nigeria.
Tell us why you think AICCRA can help deliver a climate-smart future for Africa?
Climate indicators from science-based knowledge in Africa have shown continued warming temperatures, accelerating sea level rise, and extreme weather and climate events such as floods and droughts and associated devastating impacts in all socio-economic sectors. Changing precipitation patterns are contributing to mounting food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa, compounding the socio-economic crisis. Adaptation to climate change is the primary concern of African countries and adaptation strategies and enhancing climate resilience is an urgent and continuing need for the continent to improve food security. Investments are particularly needed in capacity development and technology transfer, as well as in enhancing countries’ early warning systems to mitigate current challenges to food security.
There is therefore the need to strengthen adaptation and resilience measures and expedite mainstreaming climate adaptation for transformation through climate smart future in agriculture. An integrated process that manages cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.
It is only by rapidly scaling climate-smart agriculture adopted by AICCRA that African farmers can produce sufficient food that supports decent livelihoods and resilient communities in Africa. So, collaborating with AICCRA in partnership and providing climate science information services will help deliver a climate-smart African future driven by science and innovation in agriculture that would enhance food security to last-mile communities in Africa.