Africa Climate Leadership Program, is a program designed, and implemented with the intention of building leadership capacity of African climate change leaders. Through the program, we are nurturing research fellows to become better at understanding different components of research and disseminating findings through different channels. Climate innovators, who bring out different innovations into the space, protect their innovations as they encourage adoption of the innovations. Policy fellows, who identify policy gaps, and come up with solutions that influence policy within the continent and globally.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) documents evidence for wide ranging impacts from climate change on freshwater resources, food, fibre, forest products, coastal systems, low lying areas, industry, settlements, society and human health. The impacts will vary regionally, with more adverse impacts expected in low latitude and Polar Regions. It is likely that climate change can slow progress toward sustainable development and impede achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through direct adverse impacts and erosion of the capacity to adapt. Poor communities are especially vulnerable due to limited adaptive capacities and high dependence on climate sensitive resources, with the result that climate change will likely delay poverty reduction efforts.

Africa is identified by the IPCC as one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate variability and climate change due to multiple stresses and low adaptive capacity. Projected impacts in Africa include increased water stress that would negatively impact livelihoods and access to water; reduced agricultural yields, growing season length, and reduced area suitable for crop agriculture, which would adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition; decreased freshwater fisheries; and impacts of sea level rise on large populations in coastal areas. Particularly vulnerable are semi-arid and arid areas of Africa.

However, several obstacles are impeding effective action in developing countries. Important obstacles include low levels of awareness of the scale at which climate change and its risks manifests, lack of understanding of the findings of the IPCC and other sources of scientific information, lack of location and sector specific knowledge that is needed to guide more effective decisions, poor sharing of information in forms that are relevant and useful to decision-makers and stakeholders, and the uncertainties and distrust of information from sources external to the region.

Leadership Capacity in this Program




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Between 2008 and 2015, IDRC has supported two climate-related award programmes run from the University of Nairobi (K) and University of Dar es Salaam. These are the Innovative Application of ICTs in Addressing Water-related Impacts of Climate Change (ICTWCC) programme and The African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP) programme respectively whose objectives were to undertake research and other activities to improve the quality and scope of knowledge available on climate change adaptation and preparedness in Africa, Asia and LACSA regions. The AfrCLP programme aims to build on these past investments by IDRC to achieve sustainability and impact at scale.

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Address Regional Needs

It is well known that there are several groups representing global climate science programs, such as the IPCC. Understandably, but unfortunately, the formation and implementation of most science programs has been dominated by researchers from the developed world, who typically constitute 80% of the participants involved. Further, most of the global climate change science programs do not necessarily address regional needs and are not fully implemented at the national and regional levels.

Develop Local Climate Change Leaders

The second reason for the leadership program is thus to address this leadership capacity gap by developing local climate change leaders who can shape understanding of the extent and severity of climate-related stressors on African economies and ecosystems, and propose solutions on how countries can build resilience to these impacts.

Facilitate Greater Participation

The third reason for the climate change leadership program is to facilitate greater participation of the science communities of the targeted regions in the international assessments of the IPCC, to the mutual benefit of the IPCC and the science communities for climate action Africa. The research to be conducted will provide valuable knowledge inputs to future IPCC assessments and the participating researchers will enhance their abilities for making valuable contributions to IPCC assessments. This will be a highly visible means of IDRC’s support for the work of the IPCC.

Broaden Support

The final intention of the leadership program is to broaden support for the integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation with national strategies for sustainable development and poverty reduction. The program will address climate change adaptation research, policy challenges and practical climate solutions. This will enable adaptation and mitigation decision-making that is based on the best available scientific knowledge and tried and tested solutions. It will do so by identifying climate change leaders; conducting training seminars for all the selected fellows; using research and practical evidence to inform active and ongoing policy formulation, reviewing or implementing processes within policy fellows’ work environment (where there is an existing “policy window of opportunity”) and providing appropriate advice in an action research mode;implementing practical climate solutions in an action research mode; carrying out advanced climate research; designing and implementing regional knowledge sharing and strengthening strategies; and convening national and regional science-policy-practice dialogues. These activities will be implemented by existing regional pool of expertise, which will be strengthened by their participation to serve as more active and effective interfaces between science and policy in their respective regions for climate change decision support

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Our program is home to 30 high performing leaders, you can view them here. We have hosted inception training and Midterm training that you can find here and here respectively. To have a look at some of the resources shared by the team and trainers, click here. To get a grasp of our achievements so far, click here and our fellow publications, and outputs click here.

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AfriCLP gave birth to a similar program tailored and targeted to Francophone climate leadership capacity program for women – the West African Climate Leadership Program (WAfriCLP). The fellowship program is designed to respond to the need for strengthening women’s capacities in climate change research, innovation and policy in Francophone West Africa. The overall objective of the program is to develop the climate change leadership capacity of eighteen (18) early to mid-career women researchers, innovators and policy analysts/advisors in Francophone West Africa to advance and apply knowledge for climate change adaptation and resilience. AfriCLP has  partnered with the Centre of Excellence for Climate Change at the University of Felix Houphouet-Boigny (WASCAL/CCBAD), Côte d'Ivoire to implement the program. For more details, please visit

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The Team

Prof. Timothy Waema

Professor of Information Systems in the School of Computing and Informatics in the University of Nairobi

Dr. Elikana Kalumanga

Wildlife Ecologist at University of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Resource Assessment

Dr. Madaka Tumbo

Associate Director and Lecturer at the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA), University of Dar es Salaam

Laban MacOpiyo, PhD

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Mercy Njue

Founder Botlab Botlab theme areas: AI, BI, ML

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