Mar 7, 2022
One Planet Fellowship Laureate Candidates Publish New Research on Gender and Climate Change

Documentation of research findings is both essential and urgent. It is imperative that we have more research conducted and published by Africa about Africa. There are several reasons why we need more African scientists to publish academic papers and journals. For instance, the articles address local issues, address a local audience, and increase the publications’ usability. Scientific articles allow scientists to share their discoveries with the world and receive recognition for their research.

Recently, six One Planet Laureate Candidates published two peer-reviewed articles addressing gender inclusion in agriculture under the changing climate and climate change adaptation and mitigation in sub-Saharan Africa.

The 2019 Laureate Candidates, Alemayehu Lamore, Austin Phiri, Howélé Michaëlle, Rokiatou Traore, Pamela Afokpe, and Oliver Kipkogei, provided insightful reviews on the current status among smallholder farmers while informing future innovative efforts aimed at improving farmers’ experience and resilience to climate change.

Despite its low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, Africa remains the most vulnerable continent. It is recorded that climate change has a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement, and stress on water resources. Phiri et al. note that to effectively respond to the impacts of the changing climate, there is a need to design interventions that address the needs of the respective gender groups.

In the paper reviews, the Laureate Candidates note that there is hope to turn things around if we harness the different innovative adaptive farming systems and technologies in response to the changing climate. Afokpe et al. urge scaling up climate-smart innovations sustainably by creating an enabling policy environment, capacity building, conducting climate change-related research and outreach, and effectively disseminating inclusive climate technologies and information, especially in remote areas.

Their effort towards creating solutions to the biting challenges of climate change builds on the knowledge produced by other African research scientists who now play a crucial role in achieving sustainable economic growth and development for the continent. Studies document that Africa generates one percent of the world’s research output, making it even more important for Africa to cultivate and nourish its research potential.

Issues like climate change, food security, natural resource management, agricultural inclusivity, and disease control demands that we imagine and reimagine Africa’s future. At the heart of this is quality research. We need to ensure that Africa has the research capacity it needs to ensure that everyday challenges faced by Africans have innovative solutions. AWARD is accelerating such efforts through the One Planet Fellowship, which is modeled towards building a robust pipeline of highly connected, inter-generational scientists equipped to use a gender lens to help Africa’s smallholder farmers cope with climate change.

Raising the Visibility of African Research

The One Planet Fellowship, through its science cornerstone, strengthens the Laureate Candidates’ scientific skills and helps them translate their research outputs into language that can inform agricultural policy development. One of the activities within the science cornerstone includes a two-year Research Group Project (RPG) engagement that enables participants to collaborate on a grant proposal, publish a manuscript in a high-impact journal or engage in an innovative development process. The intervention is intentional in ensuring the Candidates foster creativity, contribute to the debate, strategies, and policies around climate change and establish networks and collaborations between the different research institutions.

The six 2019 Laureate Candidates are direct beneficiaries of this targeted intervention, becoming its first group to publish manuscripts in high-impact journals.

Since 2019, the One Planet Fellowship has directly impacted 130 emerging scientists across 12 countries in Africa, increasing the number of African scientists leading agricultural research initiatives under climate change. The Fellowship also supports its participants to attend other AWARD training interventions, including leadership skills, gender in agricultural research, and negotiation skills.

One Planet Fellowship, a coalition of the One Planet Summit, is a unique collaboration between the private sector, civil society, public research, and private philanthropy that brings gender to the center of climate change research. The Fellowship is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), BNP Paribas Foundation, The European Union, and the Canadian International Development Research Centre  (IDRC).


African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Hosted by World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri. P.O Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: awardqueries@cifor-icraf.org | Tel: +254 (0) 20 722 4242