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eTransform Africa Report on ICT for Climate Change Adaptation

A Comprehensive Roadmap for Policy-Making, Research, and Practice

The World Bank is partnering with the African Development Bank on a flagship study of how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the African continent. The study's latest report, on using ICTs for Climate Change Adaptation, has just been released on the project website.

The reports shed light on how ICTs can advance key sectors of Africa’s economy. Other sectors and themes covered by eTransform Africa include agriculture, education, financial services, health, the local ICT sector, public services, and trade and regional integration.

The new Climate Change Adaptation report, prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, draws from contributions of experts on climate change and its impact on Africa and maps out key challenges and opportunities for sustainable ICT deployment in the climate change front.

Critically, the report focuses on adaptation (adjustments to the consequences of climate change), as opposed to mitigation (decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere). The report shows that, even if excessive greenhouse gas emissions were to end immediately, global warming would continue for decades to come. Therefore, limiting the discussion to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation only addresses part of the problem of climate change.

The report also stresses Africa’s special vulnerability to climate change: temperatures on the continent are likely to increase at a faster pace compared to the global average, the dominant economic sectors (such as agriculture) are more sensitive to climate change, and by and large human development is relatively low, so that many communities lack the resources to adapt.

Based on its analysis, the report draws a range of concrete possible interventions. Examples include policy approaches that enable information sharing, like Kenya’s open data policy, or crowdsourcing of climate data through mobile phones. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers all find valuable insights on the most critical items on the African climate change adaptation agenda.

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