Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time – affecting various aspects of our lives. Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and intersecting factors such as poverty, and more make the situation more urgent.
The ‘Road to 100 Million Climate Soldiers in Africa’ initiative, launched in late 2022 by Africa Soft Power & African Women on Board, addresses the critical issue of climate change illiteracy hindering essential climate action across the continent. We recognized that the impacts of climate change on various aspects of life in Africa (security, education, food, economy, etc.) were not fully acknowledged due to widespread climate change illiteracy and a lack of relatable narratives for engagement.
We realized that for people and local communities to buy into the various initiatives tackling climate change on the continent, we needed to focus on behavioural change. We are implementing a multipronged solution that makes climate change a relatable and urgent issue for Africans, especially the youth. We’re connecting climate change to local challenges, issues and experiences through engaging climate education projects, powerful media campaigns, and much more.
Active countries: Kenya, Nigeria, United States, United Kingdom
The Climate Change Photo Essay Prize is the inaugural initiative of the ‘Road to 100 Million Climate Soldiers in Africa’, and marks the beginning of a series of campaigns within the project. It calls upon 18 – 30-year-olds from Africa and the global diaspora community to document the environmental changes happening before their very eyes. For the first edition of the Prize, entrants were asked to submit a photo essay addressing the theme, ‘Climate Change & Your Community’.
The works of our 2023 finalists are on a global tour – which began in Nairobi, Kenya, during Africa Climate Week, at the beginning of September. Since then, these award-winning works have been exhibited at The Africa Center in New York during the UN General Assembly, The Africa Centre during Frieze Week in London, and in Lagos during Art Week in November.
For many of the audience members, this exhibition was their first engagement with a different and personal look at the impact of climate change on the continent. This is also a massive step towards including African perspectives in global conversations on the key issues of our time.
For more information on the Prize, CLICK HERE.
Africa faces significant data challenges, including a lack of comprehensive information and a reliance on outdated data, which hamper targeted interventions and informed decision-making. Due to these data gaps, the exact nature of threats, opportunities, the precise value of several sectors and more remain obscured.
The primary objective of this data initiative is to determine the level of climate literacy on the continent, and how Africans are actively responding to the challenges posed by climate change. Understanding the African perspective on climate change is crucial for shaping effective policies, investments, and strategies that can harness the continent’s potential for environmental resilience and sustainable development.
The first phase of this research project will involve extensive interviews and surveys conducted in five African countries: Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Cote d’Ivoire. By doing so, we aim to capture the diverse regional perspectives and variations in responses to climate change.