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Africa and Climate Change: Can Africa Manage on Its Own?

Africa, ironically the smallest offender in terms of CO2 emissions, is predicted to be the

region that will be the worst affected by global warming and climate change. And, unlike

some other regions with their concerns about the more or less distant future, Africa has

already experienced the detrimental effects of climate change. The Sahel droughts in

1970s and 1980s killed over a million of people in West Africa and resulted in the loss of

valuable grassland, savanna, and other resources crucial for the livelihoods of the people.

Cyclones that hit Mozambique in 2000 displaced 500,000 people and left 950,000 people

dependent on humanitarian assistance. The 2002-2003 drought left an estimated 14

million people in need of food aid. A flood in Uganda in 2007 left 400 thousand people

homeless, diminished food supplies, and displaced the wildlife in the area. Such

occurrences can only be expected to increase, both in frequency and in intensity, as the

world becomes warmer. Will Africa be able to handle climate-related disasters on its own?


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