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October 18, 2022 to October 21, 2022



Theme: “Addressing the Impact of Climate Change on Human Mobility in Africa: Building Adaptation Strategies and Resilient Communities”

18th -21st October, 2022

Serena Kigali Hotel,

Kigali, Rwanda



Global Trends on the impact of Climate Change on Migration and Displacement

Although the migration and climate change nexus is not linear, very often causal narratives fail to capture the myriad ways that climate change is shaping human mobility. Similarly, whereas the climate change attribution science is still at its infancy there is global consensus that the impending climate crisis threatens sustainable development and the very livelihoods of people. This impact includes the greater frequency and severity of extreme weather events, water scarcity and decreased crop yields. Others include rising sea levels, as well as health and sanitation challenges. Current data on climate induced migration and displacements is varied and no robust global figure for future climate displacement exists.

However, according to the UN, there will be between 25 million to 1 billion environmentally induced migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis. According to recent reports by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, weather-related hazards already account for more than 87% of all disaster displacement globally, and disasters have caused more new internal displacements than conflict over the past ten years. In its 2022 report, conflict, violence, and disasters triggered 38 million (14.4 million by conflict and violence; 23.7 million by disasters) internal displacements across worldwide in 2021; the second highest annual figure in a decade and an increase of almost 50% on the year before. Nearly 4 million of displaced persons were on the African continent.

Trends in Africa on the impact of Climate Change on Migration and displacement

Climate change is emerging as one of the main drivers of migration and forced displacement in Africa. Climate change in Africa acts as a multiplier with other factors such as conflict and other climate related hazards, inter alia, to induce human mobility. Increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development. Climate change, and the exposure and vulnerability of millions of people in Africa, trigger migration, displacement and related protection needs. Refugees and internally displaced people in Africa often reside in climate hotspots, where they are particularly exposed to, and affected by, slow- and sudden-onset hazards, thus increasing their risk of secondary displacement and/or preventing their opportunity for return. Although most disaster and climate-related displacement in Africa is internal, displacement across borders, which may be interrelated with situations of conflict or violence, and aspiration to a better life, also occurs, with climate change acting as a threat multiplier. Invariably, among the worst affected are refugees, internally displaced and stateless people and migrants, as well as the poor, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

In recent years for example, some parts of the continent have experienced extensive flooding and destruction of infrastructure and loss of life, a particular in East Africa, with the Sudan and Kenya the worst affected: 285 deaths were reported in Kenya and 155 deaths and over 800,000 people affected in the Sudan.  Moreover, there were further indirect impacts from diseases.  Some lakes and rivers reached record high levels, including Lake Victoria, the Niger River at Niamey and the Blue Nile at Khartoum. The flooding of Niger River led to 557,800 people affected and extensive damage, including 80 death deaths, 51,560 houses and huts destroyed, and 9,741 hectares of crops were submerged by water.  The most vulnerable to climate change are the Island States located in the Indian Ocean, notably from tropical cyclones and storms, such Calvinia, Diane, Esam, and Chalane.

The result of the increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods in some regions of Africa has resulted in the increase of the risk of food insecurity on the continent. In 2021, five out of the ten countries globally found to be in food crises and in need of immediate humanitarian assistance are in Africa. Weather extremes were the main drivers of acute food insecurity in eight African countries, with 23.5 million people in Crisis or worse, including in southern Madagascar, where nearly 14,000 people were in Catastrophe in April–September 2021 due to the effects of drought. The impact of weather-related disasters on acute food insecurity has intensified since 2020, when it was considered the primary driver for 15.7 million people across 15 countries. Weather shocks – in the form of drought, rainfall deficits, flooding and cyclones – have been particularly detrimental in key crises in East, Central and Southern Africa.

As such, it is estimated that with the total population of Africa projected to double to 2.5 billion people by 2050 by UN estimates, the continent will be profoundly affected by climate-forced displacement and migration. Extreme weather events in the continent could push 43 million more Africans below the poverty line as early as 2030; and climate change is predicted that it will drive up to 131 million Africans to migrate within their own countries by 2050. This is a course to worry to all Member States of the AU and urgent measures have to be taken for the continent to reverse this trend. A climate mitigation policy need to be developed and or implemented to help many Member States to be responsive and address any climate induced displacement and/or migration within or out of the continent.

Continental responses, gaps and opportunities on climate change and migration adaptation

While this phenomenon has really affected the continent, the African Union has undertaken several measures at different levels to support AU Member States mitigate the impact of Climate Change on migration and displacement. Specifically, in order to implement the AU Agenda 2063 and UN Sustainable Development Goals, the AUC has developed normative legal and policy frameworks that addresses climate-related issues. For example, the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services) provides strategic guidance on the development and application of weather, water and climate services, which are critical for Africa’s climate-resilient development, adaptation planning, early warning, and climate-informed policy and decision-making.

Additionally, the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods commits to “enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related risks is also another example”. The Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and the programmes of action for the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy and of the Sendai Framework are the key disaster risk reduction frame works.

Most recently, the African Union Commission has developed the AU Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022 – 2032) to guide, coordinate and support the Continent’s response to Climate Change and in a bid to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement by Member States.

Key programmes have been developed by the Commission to address climate and disaster risk. Key among which are: (i) Climate Information Services and related Application (ClimSa); (ii) Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AMHEWAS) Programme; (iii) Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance for Resilience in African regions and countries; (iv) Global Climate Change Alliance Plus in Africa (GCCA+); (v) Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI); and (vi) Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaption for Resilience in the Sahel.

Specifically relating to migration on the continent, the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) takes into account AU priorities, policies, Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and international migration management policies and standards. MPFA identifies Climate Change as a key driver to migration and displacement in Africa and calls Member States to develop innovative measures to address it.

The African Union Commission has also in a collaborative effort established The Africa Climate Mobility Initiative (ACMI). The ACMI is a joint undertaking of the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), and the World Bank (WB). It was launched at a High-Level Event on the Margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on the 28 September 2021. The main focus of the ACMI is to support the efforts of the AUC and AU Member States to both harness the potential of mobility in the context of climate change, as well as to address climate-forced displacement and migration. The ACMI’s people-centred & evidence-based approach aims to generate political momentum, a common policy agenda, and mobilize resources to advance comprehensive and locally anchored solutions for climate induced human mobility.

The 7th Pan African Forum on Migration Contribution to the Climate Change and Migration Discourse

The Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFOM) is an African Union continental interstates dialogue Framework on Migration that brings together African Union Member States and other relevant stakeholders within the migration space to discuss and deliberate on various topical issues regarding migration and human mobility in Africa. As a continental Migration Governance Conference, this Forum aims at providing an opportunity for AU Member States and RECs, together with other relevant stakeholders to share information, best practices and also learn from each other on ways of improving migration governance in the continent.

PAFOM has been in existence for the last 7 Years and has recently evolved as a premier continental forum that contributes and shapes how migration governance in Africa can be improved for sustainable development as per the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 6th Pan Africa Forum on Migration was held in September 2021 in Dakar, Senegal, that focused on ways on improving Labour Migration Governance in Africa. The Forum is guided by AU Rules and Regulations of hosting Member States Meetings and Forums as per the approved Terms of Reference. The outcome of each Forum feeds into AU Decision making architecture for political support and follow up.

The 7th Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM-7) will therefore be held in Kigali, Rwanda. This meeting will provide an opportunity for AU Member States, RECs and other relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the impact of Climate Change on Migration and displacement governance in the continent. This meeting will include relevant Ministers of Migration and Climate related issues together with their experts. It is anticipated that this forum will stimulate a vibrant dialogue and discussion among AU Member States and invited participants; with the aim of providing necessary policy and operational guidance on mitigating climate-induced migration and displacements at national, regional and continental levels for socioeconomic development. The 7th PAFOM will also presents a unique opportunity to focus discussion on transformative recovery agenda that strengthens Africa’s ability to address a cascade of multi-faceted climate change risks as it navigates the post-covid-19 world and further contribute to the upcoming COP 27 in Egypt sometimes this year.

Objectives and Expected outcomes of the forum:

The forum aims to:

  1. Sensitize participants on the migration-climate nexus and the impact on the socio-economic development and the integration of Africa.
  2. Serves as a platform for participants to share experiences and best practices on the impact of climate change, displacement and migration; especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and formulate relevant recommendations on early warning, preparedness, and adaptation strategies, including return and reintegration in communities of origin.
  3. Agree on key policy recommendations on how Africa can address the impact of climate change on migration and displacement in the continent.
  4. Identify key climate change and migration issues that can form the continent’s contribution to the upcoming COP 27 meeting in Egypt to be held sometimes this year.


By the end of this forum, the following will be key outcome of the meeting:

  1. A meeting outcome report detailing actionable key Commitments and policy recommendations for Member States and other stakeholders’ implementation on ways of addressing the impact of climate change on migration and displacement governance.
  2. Enhanced awareness of the impact of Climate Change on migration and displacement in the continent for a joint collaborative approach in mitigating it for sustainable development.
  3. Enhanced visibility of African Union Climate Change and Migration initiatives and programs, including the ACMI; with a view of promoting Member States and RECs political support and relevant partnership with Member States and other relevant stakeholders.
  4. A common understanding among Member States, RECs and other stakeholders on key issues, approaches and continental priorities on causes and issues of climate change and migration for advocacy and inclusion as continental’s contribution to the upcoming COP 27 outcome report in this thematic area.

Resource and Reference Materials.

The following will be key documents for the meeting:

  1. The revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa
  2. The 1969 OAU Refugee Convention
  3. African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)
  4. The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
  5. Africa Migration Report (1st edition)


For further information please contact:

1. Gamal Ahmed A. Karrar | Senior Communication Officer | Information and Communications Directorate, African Union Commission | E-mail:

2. Mary Aisha Menta| Communication Officer | Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development | African Union Commission | Email:

3. Eric MAZANGO | Communications Officer, International Organization for Migration | Email:

3. Marie Claire GATAYIRE | The Office of the Government Spokesperson | Government of Rwanda | Email:  

4. Candy Basomingera | The Office of the Government Spokesperson | Government of Rwanda | Email:

Department Resources

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