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Joto Afrika

Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub- Saharan Africa. The series helps people understand the issues, constrains and opportunities that poor people face in adapting to climate change and escaping poverty. The series are produced in both English and French.

Here is the current issue

Issue 21 - Role of Science and Innovation in Climate Change Response

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is the major driving force behind global, regional and national efforts to cope with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change and variability. STI is key in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on strengthening the global response to the impacts of climate change and keeping the global temperature below two degrees centigrade.


Kenya’s Climate Change Act, 2016 clearly states, “In formulating the National Climate Change Action Plan, the Cabinet Secretary shall be informed by scientific knowledge about climate change, technology and technological innovations relevant to climate change.”


The country enacted the Science, Technology and Innovation Act No.28 of 2013 to facilitate the promotion, coordination and regulation of the progress of STI. It resulted in the creation of the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) succeeding the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST).


This issue highlights innovative solutions that the National and County governments, various private sector actors, research organisations and universities are involved in to respond to climate change and ensure the country transitions to a low carbon economy.

Issue 20 - National and County Government Response to Climate Change

Climate change response requires coordination across the different stakeholder categories, and between national and county government institutions. This ensures synergy between national and county government efforts to address climate change. It also minimises duplication and wastage of resources and reduces institutional conflicts.

The Climate Change Act (2016) recognises the complimentary roles of the national and county governments in climate change affairs. The Act, consequently, recognises that climate change impacts are localised, placing the county governments in a better position to identify and address them.

One of the objectives of the Act is, therefore, to “integrate climate change into the exercise of power and functions of all levels of governance, and to enhance cooperative climate change governance between the national government and county governments.”

The Act establishes a legal and institutional framework to mainstream climate change at the national and county government levels. This issue focuses on National and County Government response to climate change and highlights contributions from other non-state actors.

Issue 19 - Kenyan government has addressed climate change

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a starting point where all the nations jointly fronted their aspirations to battle climate change and adapt to its effects. A number of the countries have ratified the Agreement and corresponding positive actions are under implementation. The Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, coinciding with the 22nd UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco.


Kenya heads to COP22, having cabinet approval of the Paris Agreement. It is the instrument that will forge the country’s future in implementing its priority actions towards climate change mitigation, as well as adaptation.


The comprehensive and timely nature in which the Kenyan government has addressed climate change attests its willingness to address challenges that come with climate change and at the same time capitalizing on inherent opportunities. Kenya in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) aspires towards low carbon and climate resilient development. This issue also highlights the progress made since COP21 among issues such as the Kenya Climate Change Act, the REDD+ process in Kenya, National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Support Project on “Circular Economy Solid Waste Management” in the urban areas and the National Agricultural Risk Management Program.

Issue 18 - Youth and Climate Change

Climate Change remains one of the greatest threats to civilization today. Its impacts continue to threaten lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups living in the global south. It is in enabling transition to community level actions that we see a clear role for youth in Kenya. Considering that close to 50% of the Sub-Saharan population is under the age of 30 years and given the high levels of unemployment in the region, youth remain particularly vulnerable to climate threats and the impacts thereof.

This edition seeks to look into the role and involvement of youth in addressing climate change and further, highlight opportunities that need to be leveraged to consolidate ongoing engagements and build to scale successful youth led interventions. Most evident, is the leading role youth in Kenya have played in championing for climate justice in global climate negotiations, their proven actions in conservation, afforestation, green energy and smart agriculture. Of significance are their recent pilot actions to secure domestication of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) in specific counties in Kenya.

Issue 17  -Green Growth: An Overview of the Framework for Development

As a concept, green growth advocates for complimenting actions between how we utilize our natural resources and our daily development endeavors. Furthermore, green growth orients policy and associated subsequent actions in regard to climate change issues. At national level, an assessment report on green growth done in 2014 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) concludes that Kenya is already implementing various green economy initiatives. The fundamental challenge is to mainstream and align green economy activities across the social, economic and environmental spheres of society. This requires an integrated approach through the development of a strategy that identifies the costs, opportunities, tradeoffs and range of policy instruments that support the transition to a green economy.

It is commendable that research has led to various innovations and technologies in the energy, water, agriculture sectors and value-chain supply as illustrated by articles in this issue of Joto Afrika.

Issue 16 –Kenya is taking bold steps to combat climate change

Climate change describes larger than normal variability in weather and climate parameters, especially rainfall and temperature. The cause of climate change has been debated by critics. But the time for debate is long past. Unless we act more proactively, hundreds of millions of people will face more drought, more floods, more hunger and more conflict. That is why Kenya is not waiting. Kenya is taking bold adaptation and mitigation actions to combat the impacts of climate change.

This special issue of Joto Afrika is supported by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities (MENRRDA). It outlines key initiatives the Ministry and its partners have undertaken in realizing a low emission and climate resilient development pathway. The articles give a better understanding of the constrains and opportunities that people face in adapting to climate change and escaping poverty.

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