Why over 40 million Africans may experience extreme poverty by 2030 — Report


About 40 million additional people in sub-Saharan Africa could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change, a new report by Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a political leadership and public governance think-tank in Africa, has revealed.

The report titled “The 2022 Forum Facts & Figures: The Road to COP27: Making Africa’s Case in the Climate Debate” and launched on Wednesday, highlights the need for greater consideration of Africa’s specific position within the global debate on climate change.

“39.7 million additional people in sub-Saharan Africa could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change, more than in any other world region,” the report noted.

Established in 2006, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation is a non-governmental organisation with a focus on the critical importance of political leadership and public governance in Africa.

The Foundation’s 2022 Forum Facts & Figures launched exactly six months ahead of the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP27) to be held in Egypt later this year and just after the conclusion of COP15 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Côte d’Ivoire, provided a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and prospects of the global climate crisis from Africa’s perspective.

The research highlights Africa’s consistent resource potential, and that the continent possesses all the key assets to accelerate the global transition to a green and sustainable economy.

However, the report explained that for this potential to be effectively and efficiently delivered in the best interest of people in Africa, the continent will need to break from the “natural resource curse”, and focus on leveraging financial resources, strengthening governance frameworks and natural resource management.

Key findings

According to the report key findings, Africa is the least responsible world region for climate change, accounting for 3.3 per cent of total global carbon emissions since 1960, but the impact of climate change is already hitting the continent harder.

“In 2020, the whole of Africa’s per capita carbon emissions were ten times lower than North America’s,” the report said.

The report highlights that between 2010 and 2022, the number of people affected by drought amounted to at least 172.3 million, and that the ones affected by floods amounted to at least 43.0 million.

It said the ten most climate vulnerable countries globally are in Africa.

According to the report, Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change due to pre-existing development challenges that exacerbate climate impact and lower resilience.

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The report noted that climate change is forecasted to push an additional 78 million people into chronic hunger by 2050 and that over half of these people are in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Without climate action, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see the displacement and migration of up to 85.7 million people, equivalent to 4.2 per cent of the continent’s population,” the report said.

The research found that 600 million people in Africa currently lack access to electricity and that more than 930 million lack access to clean cooking fuels, making Africa the continent with the lowest rates of energy access globally.

“Most climate vulnerable countries in Africa are showing governance deficits,” the report added.

Reacting to the report, Mo Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, was quoted to have said, “As the least industrialised continent, Africa has contributed the least to the global climate crisis, yet it is suffering the most from its consequences.”

Mr Ibrahim said Africa has the potential to be at the heart of a sustainable future for both the continent and the world.

As we now head towards COP27, to be hosted on the continent, he said it is vital that Africa’s unique position is better understood and taken into account.

“Leaving Africa out of the equation not only hinders efficient climate action, but it also threatens global development and security prospects,” Mr Ibrahim said.

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