The African continent is reported to be one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change and variability (Boko et al., 2007), although it contributes minimally (only through its dependency on fossil energy, and land use change as agriculture is concerned) to the factors that result in climatic change, compared to other continents.

The urgent need for addressing the threatening impact of climate change calls for all hands to be on deck in mapping up strategic solutions. As such the PAUWES  (Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences) Climate Change and Gender club believes that research, networking and knowledge sharing, coupled with community-based actions can help in mitigating the impact of climate change. The approaches in doing so heavily integrate gender concerns, primarily based on evidence backed by UN report that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women and children.

Building a climate resilient Africa through gender mainstreaming, therefore, remains the strong call upon which this club is born towards the “AFRICA WE WANT IN 2063” mission.

Objectives and beneficiaries

The objectives of the project are:

- To promote the integration of gender concerns in climate change responses in Africa through the establishment of a Climate and Gender office in PAUWES.

- To harness and encourage innovative research and partnerships that will enhance climate change adaptation and mitigations in Africa.

- To create climate change awareness at all community levels across Africa.

- To participate in the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental related policies at the local, national, and regional levels in Africa.

- To encourage PAUWES students to include climate change related issues in their master thesis.

All African communities where our members come from are direct and indirect beneficiaries of this project.

Strong points of the solution

The strong points of the project are:

- mainstreaming of gender in all activities;

- community outreach programmes;

- networking and researching to develop innovative solutions to help in mitigating climate change as well as the awareness.

This has already started and the impact has been phenomenal.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

- Students undertaking research into the water-energy and climate change nexus;

- Communities across Africa becoming aware of climate change and how best they can mitigate its impact using indigenous means;

- PAUWES becoming a center of excellence for climate change and gender policies and projects in Africa;

- Extending the club to all Pan African Universities on the continent and connecting with PAU Virtual University;

- Students setting up community-based action groups in their respective countries to help in alleviating the impact of climate change through adaptation and mitigation.

Scalability potential of the solution

This project carries the potential to impact at least 15 African communities per year where our members come from. Our members are drawn from various African countries who have their students enrolled in various master programmes at Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) in Algeria.

[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made for length and clarity.]