JASSD - Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development (Vol. 5 No. 3, 2022) CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA: A GENDERED, AGRARIAN PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH Victoria Openif’Oluwa Akoleowo, PhD


Africa is home to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Despite contributing a negligible amount to the causal factors of global climate change, the African continent is disproportionately affected by its damaging effects, given the continent’s widespread reliance on environmental produce. As such, Africa's agriculture and agricultural products are deleteriously affected by current changes in the environment, with particular emphasis on the extant reduction of water supply as well as erratic and extreme weather conditions. At the global level, efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change have resulted into various protocols and agreements, witness the Kyoto 1997 protocol. However, this paper contends that the policies contained in these protocols and agreements assented to by African parties cannot effectively address the challenges occasioned by climate change in the African agricultural space. The paper, therefore, emphasises the necessity of adopting a gendered approach to effective climate change mitigation policies. Such gendered approach lies within the purview of agrarian philosophy, a domain of philosophy concerned with the norms and values which drive/guide human interactions with the environment. Using this approach, this paper examines the imperative of decolonising Eurocentric approaches to climate change mitigation policies. It avers that sustainable development can only be achieved where proposed mitigation policies recognise and accommodate the facts that 1) indigenous agricultural practices derive from indigenous cultural beliefs and values; 2) the African agricultural space is predominantly made of small-holdings and 3) African women experience a higher rate of social vulnerability to climate change and its resultant effects and, must thus, be included/represented in mitigation/adaptation measures.

Keywords: African agriculture, Agrarian philosophy, Climate change, Women

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