Climate Change And Political Conflict In Africa; Focus On Migration And Refugees In The Continent

Project and Seminar Material for International Relations

Climate Change And Political Conflict In Africa; Focus On Migration And Refugees In The Continent


This study explores the nexus between climate change and political conflicts in Africa with focus on migration and refugees in the continent. The analysis of this study is anchored on system theory. Data for the study have been collected from secondary sources. Climate change, whether human induced or natural, precipitates environmental disasters like erosion, flood, typhoon, hurricane, drought, desertification, etc which can kill people, displace them or force them to migrate to other areas. Climate change has the potentials of engendering conflicts and snowball the existing staggering population of refugees in the African continent.

Climate change will cause scarcity of the basic resources like food, fresh-water supplies, arable land for agricultural activities and habitations that sustain life for people around the world, especially in African countries which are already vulnerable to climate variability and have least capacity to respond. This study argues that severe climate change disasters can lead to migration of affected people to other areas and conflict could erupt in receiving areas as competition over scarce resources developed, particularly in Africa where there is low adaptation capacity to climate change hazards. It further argues that climate change could lead directly to conflict e.g. Durfur crisis.

The study is an attempt to beam searchlight on the root cause of some conflicts in Africa. The empirical evidences gathered show that climate change has been implicated in some of the conflicts in the African continent. In recent past, climate change has become an international issue because of its security risk. This development had led to the Kyoto 1997 and Copenhagen 2009 summits on climate change of heads of states and governments and their representatives to discuss ways of tackling climate change.

The study discovered that there is a link between climate change induced migration, conflict and refugees in the African continent. It also discovered that inability and negligence of governments of African states to manage impacts of climate change are often responsible for the out break of conflicts. The study draws conclusion and makes some recommendations.

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