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News release

Afrobarometer inaugural presence at COP28 amplifies African voices on climate change and spurs climate action collaboration

12 Dec 2023
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News release

Afrobarometer delivered African citizens’ demand for urgent climate action to the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) last week, underscoring the commitment of the continent’s leading survey research organisation to integrating African perspectives into the global climate discourse.

Speaking to key climate change stakeholders gathered in Dubai, Afrobarometer Director of Communications Nafissatou Diouf and Communications and Knowledge Manager Josephine Sanny shared recent survey findings showing widespread concern and support for climate action across Africa.

“Our presence at COP28 marks a significant milestone for Afrobarometer as we amplify the genuine perspectives of African citizens in the worldwide conversation about climate change,” Diouf said. “The findings of our Round 9 surveys highlight the pressing need for inclusive and cooperative actions to tackle the climate change challenges.”

The Devex Climate+ Summit convened influential change-makers and thought leaders in panels and workshops to delve into the intricate relationship between climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Headline speakers included Alok Sharma, president of COP26 and climate and finance fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation; Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More; Gernot Laganda, the World Food Programme’s director of climate and disaster risk reduction; Zitouni Ould-Dada, deputy director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment; and Ismahene Elouafi, executive director of CGIAR.

Afrobarometer recently concluded Round 9 surveys reveal that among Africans who have heard of climate change, most say it is making life worse and requires urgent action. But almost half of Africans are unfamiliar with the concept of climate change – even though many have personally observed detrimental changes in weather patterns. And only about three in 10 are fully “climate change literate,” combining awareness of climate change with basic knowledge about its causes and negative effects.

“African citizens, as revealed by Afrobarometer’s surveys, view fighting climate change as a shared responsibility,” Sanny said. “Our presence at the Devex Climate+ Forum provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of collaborative efforts involving governments, the private sector, and various stakeholders.”

Afrobarometer representatives participated in several side events, including the Agri-Food Systems Summit, which featured a keynote address from Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture. The organisation’s proactive role in amplifying the voices of African citizens within this dynamic space has fostered synergies and paved the way for potential collaboration with like-minded institutions.

Noting the importance of Afrobarometer’s participation at COP28, CEO Joseph Asunka said, “Our impactful debut at COP28 underscores our commitment to foster dialogue and collaboration on climate change. We are determined to build on the momentum gained during this event, solidifying our role as a key contributor to shaping sustainable and climate-resilient strategies for the African continent.”

Afrobarometer has been monitoring the aspirations and experiences of African citizens since 1999. The pan-African public attitude research network is now gearing up for its Round 10 surveys, which will cover 40 countries across the continent. Looking ahead, 2024 holds particular significance for Afrobarometer, marking a quarter-century of research excellence on the African continent.