Climate change and year-to-year climate variability have resulted in widespread, pervasive impacts to ecosystems and people in Africa, including increases in the intensity of weather extremes such as droughts and floods. While these shifting and varying temperature and precipitation patterns have affected the productivity of many climate-sensitive sectors, the agricultural sector has been the most impacted, resulting in reduced food availability and increased food prices, ultimately jeopardizing food security, nutrition, and livelihoods of millions of people.Despite the enormous role that climate information can and has played in supporting resilience of agricultural and food systems and the availability of high-quality climate information in many Africa countries, including through the Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative, however, the effective use of climate information in decision-making processes to support climate adaptation has remained limited.
Acknowledging these gaps and the resultant enormous opportunity to professionalize the agricultural sector with the knowledge and skills to support climate resilience, the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) project has been working to co-design and co-implement curricula targeting universities and/or the agricultural extension systems in each of the six AICCRA target countries, to build foundational knowledge and skills to manage climate risk.Moreover, it has been working to ensure these resources and others on climate risk management (CRMI, climate information services (CIS), and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) are shared more widely with others on the continent confronting similar challenges through the establishment an online curriculum platform in close collaboration with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) a consortium of 163 universities in 40 countries in Africa aimed at strengthening the capacities of universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of smallholder farmers.
To harmonize and advance the co-development of climate-related curricula at the university level for African universities, as well as its sharing via the RUFORUM online curriculum platform under development, the AICCRA and PGIF projects will jointly host a workshop.
The overarching aims of this workshop are to:
Provide an overview of the existing CRM/CIS/CSA curricula that have already been developed or are under development by the AICCRA project, including their goals, target audiences, scope, structure, and format, as well as share lessons learned from their development and implementation. Given the role that some universities play in training agricultural extension in Africa, this will include both agricultural extension curricula and university curricula developed through AICCRA, with an emphasis on university-targeted curricula.
Document the perspectives of key education stakeholders in East and Southern Africa (ESA) and the wider continent on the value of the CRM/CIS/CSA curricula and the online curriculum platform effort, including alignment with needs and demand.
Identify priorities (target learners, topics, length and format of courses) for ESA universities, as well as regional and continental educational networks and stakeholders.
Identify and articulate opportunities and challenges for implementing the RUFORUM curriculum platform.
Gain insights and recommendations for future engagement and promotion of climate curricula in the ESA region and wider continent (strategic vision), as well as piloting, embedding, and otherwise scaling such curricula in different contexts.