Original Research

The implications of climate change for Africa’s economic development

Pinky Lalthapersad-Pillay, Eric Udjo
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 7, No 3 | a245 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v7i3.245 | © 2014 Pinky Lalthapersad-Pillay, Eric Udjo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 June 2018 | Published: 31 October 2014

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Pinky Lalthapersad-Pillay, University of South Africa, South Africa
Eric Udjo, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Studies confirm that developing countries could be hardest hit by climate change given that they have to contend with extreme poverty levels and harsh geographic conditions. Even Africa will not escape the adversity that climate change will engender. Climate change could impact negatively on water resources, land quality, forestation and ecosystems, which may threaten livelihoods and food security, making it foremost a development issue. Existent socio-economic conditions in developing countries place them at greater risk to climate change as these inequities are likely to be reinforced by climate change, thereby jeopardising their future economic development. The results of the analysis based on the calculation of an overall index comprising four proxy variables, showed that eleven African countries are high risk countries whose future economic development may be impeded by climate change. Adaptation, economic diversification, mitigation, climate-smart polices within the framework of development policy are pertinent policy options. 


Climate change; economic development; Africa; poverty; food security; policy


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