HKS Climate Change in Africa: Exploring Citizen Experiences and Perspectives

Harvard Kennedy School Center for International Development's "Road to GEM23" climate and development series precedes and helps launch the May 2023 Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM23), "Growing in a Green World". This spring, CID strives to elevate and learn from voices from the countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and feature important learnings from the leaders who will be active participants at GEM23. On Friday, February 10 at 12pm ET, CID presents Joseph Asunka, CEO of Afrobarometer, who will discuss 'Climate change in Africa: Exploring citizen experiences and perspectives'

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Climate change is wreaking havoc across Africa. Severe droughts are striking the Sahel and parts of West Africa; East African glaciers are melting; Cyclone Idai in 2019 and deadly floods in KwaZulu Natal have devastated southern Africa. How are ordinary Africans experiencing these extreme weather conditions? What do they want (and expect) their governments and other development actors to do about climate change? Do they think they have a role to play in addressing the effects of climate change? 

Afrobarometer, a pan-African survey research organisation, has been collecting, analysing, and disseminating data on the views and experiences of ordinary Africans with regard to governance, democracy, the economy, and society since 1999. The latest rounds of the survey have included questions on climate change. In general, about half of Africans have heard of climate change. Among this group, most say it is making life more difficult, and they want their governments to take immediate action, even at considerable cost to the economy and jobs. But Africans also see the fight against climate change as a shared responsibility among governments, the international and business communities, and themselves. 

This is a virtual only event open to the public. Registration is required.