State of the Climate in Africa 2020

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Posted on: 2/16/2023 - Updated on: 2/16/2023

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The State of the Climate in Africa 2020, report provides a snapshot of climate trends, observed high-impact events and associated risks and impacts on key sensitive sectors in Africa during the year 2020. The report also draws lessons on existing compounded effects of COVID-19, and pathways for improving climate action in the continent. The 2020 report is a collaborative effort involving the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), experts from Africa, other United Nations agencies and the African Union, as well as experts from partner international scientific and technical institutions. The State of the Climate in Africa 2020 is the second in the series on the continent, following the first report in 2019; view the first and third reports here.

Climate change is a global threat with severe, cross-sectoral, long-term and, in some cases, irreversible impacts. Africa is witnessing increased weather and climate variability, which leads to disasters and disruption of economic, ecological and social systems.

By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people (i.e. living on less than US$ 1.90/day) will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat in Africa, if adequate response measures are not put in place. This will place additional burdens on poverty alleviation efforts and significantly hamper growth in prosperity. In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could further lower gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 3% by 2050. This presents a serious challenge for climate adaptation and resilience actions because not only are physical conditions getting worse, but also the number of people being affected is increasing.

Agenda 2063 of the African Union – “The Africa We Want” – is a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa. It recognizes climate variability and climate change as one of the main challenges threatening the continent’s realization of the goals of Agenda 2063. In line with the Agenda, which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), adopted at the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology, provides strategic guidance on the development and application of weather, water and climate services, which are critical for climate-resilient development in Africa.

The State of the Climate in Africa reports inform the African Union and its member States on a regular basis, providing critical science-based information for climate policy and decision-making about the status of the climate and its associated annual variability. The African Union Commission will continue to play a leadership role in coordinating the implementation of weather- and climate-related strategic frameworks in Africa, including disaster risk reduction, to ensure effective and coherent development and delivery of adequate, science-based and sector-specific weather, water and climate services for the continent’s socioeconomic development.


State of the Climate in Africa 2020. WMO-No. 1275. World Meteorological Organization, 2021. ISBN 978-92-63-11275-0. 

Affiliated Organizations

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.

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