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Africa Transformation-Ready: The strategic application of information and communication technologies to climate change adaptation in Africa

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have had an increasing impact on economic and social development over the past two decades, resulting from their capacity to generate and disseminate information, to facilitate the coordination of different actors in and beyond government, and to make government, business and development processes more efficient.

These three capacities are as relevant to climate change adaptation as they are to other fields, though the extent of experience in deploying ICTs for adaptation is currently less than in other development fields such as health and education.

This publication explores these transformative capacities in the area of climate change adaptation in Africa by mapping out key challenges and opportunities; drawing on case studies from three countries, Senegal, Malawi and Uganda; and suggesting policy approaches, practical actions, and interventions that can contribute to building adaptation capacities using ICTs.

The paper is based on an analytical framework for assessing ICT tools and adaptation. The framework categorizes adaptation interventions into four areas: addressing the drivers of vulnerability; building the response capacity of local and regional system and communities; reducing and managing risks related to climate change variability and climate change; and confronting climate change. ICTs in adaptation are categorized according to their relevance to policies and planning; their centrality to investments in infrastructure and tools; and their enabling function in sharing knowledge and information for adaptation action.