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African cities must prepare for climate migration

African cities must prepare for climate migration

The continent is in the eye of the climate change storm and must prepare for internal migration.

African climate-linked migration tends to be dominated by European narratives. In reality, most of these migrants move within their own countries and regions. As climate change impacts intensify, migration will increase. African cities, countries and regions need to be more aware of the phenomenon and incorporate it into all levels of planning.

Despite contributing only 7.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions suffering the most from climate change impacts. Climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity, duration and locations of both slow- and sudden-onset impacts. These will pose some of the greatest threats to people, ecosystems and development over the coming decades.

Sudden-onset climate change disasters are large-scale events of extreme weather, including hurricanes, cyclones, storms, wildfires or heavy rainfall leading to landslides or floods. The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events and the areas affected by them are growing as global temperatures rise.

In 2019, 195% more Africans were affected by extreme weather than in 2018. A total of 89 disasters occurred across the continent. Eleven storms affected over 4.5 million people and accounted for 1 300 deaths.

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