At the Climate Adaptation Summit, a high-level anchoring event raised ambition and unlockED action for accelerated climate adaptation across Africa. 

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, hosts the first part of the program that was geared towards unlocking global ambition in African adaptation. It will see a variety of African stakeholders share their vision for a climate-resilient future, discussing the challenges and opportunities and sharing promising initiatives.

The second part of the event focuses on unlocking action and is hosted by Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General International Cooperation at Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the lead up to this event, CCAFS together with Wageningen University & Research and the Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, held a series of virtual dialogues through January 2021 to learn on how we can make African food systems more resilient to climate change.

The key findings of stimulating dialogues feed into the CAS 2021 anchoring event.

Find out more about all the research and dialogues that CCAFS and its partners have contributed to the CAS 2021 #AdaptationSummit.  

Explore a ‘rich picture’ that tells the story of how we can accelerate climate adaptation across Africa:

Click here to see the full rich picture 

Key messages 

 To ensure a prosperous future for African food systems, we must accelerate adaptation across the continent through partnerships that make them more resilient to a changing climate. 

Through our dialogues, thousands of voices called for three priority actions that can put African economies and societies on this more climate-resilient path. The Climate Adaptation Summit, the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26 must together deliver new commitments on all three:

Innovation brokers must empower adaptation: To speed up climate adaptation that's based on compelling scientific evidence of what works, new 'innovation stock exchanges' must diffuse knowledge to where it's needed. The support of international and regional networks like the African Union and Regional Economic Communities, as well as community organizations, must play a crucial role. 
Digital disruptors must catalyze adaptation: The digitalization of commerce and public services can make policymaking, business planning and solutions for climate adaptation more targeted and effective, and vastly improve the quality of data available to evaluate outcomes. A new 'Silicon Savannah' must embrace innovation in everything from social media and fintech to unlock the power of data and digital services. 
Investors must rethink the risks in adaptation: Private finance is crucial in accelerating adaptation, but investors must develop new risk profiles, with better understanding of the challenges - and opportunities - of investing in African food systems. Investment funds managed in partnership with public financial institutions can guide investors towards adaptation projects that provide returns that are better leveraged against potential risk.  

Watch the anchoring event on unlocking action for accelerated African adaptation | #AdaptationSummit

Playback all the virtual dialogues, anytime:



The challenges facing the food system, particularly in Africa are immense and the global community is not on track to meet SDG targets or the Paris Agreement.

The Global Commission on Adaptation in its flagship report Adapt Now calls for a Revolution in Understanding, a Revolution in Planning, and a Revolution in Finance.

Meanwhile, the Actions to Transform Food Systems Under Climate Change report focuses on 11 actions needed, including the transformation of innovation systems (i.e. how ‘understanding’ interacts with planning, finance and action). It also puts emphasis on finance, and the role of the private sector in driving transformational change.

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) are committed to developing scientific insights for food systems and putting these insights into practice to shape sustainable food systems transformations—together with farmers, cooperatives, businesses, financial institutions, NGOs and governments.

This virtual dialogues series taps into the competitive advantages of the host institutions to convene key stakeholders to catalyze evidence-based action, which builds on earlier efforts outlined.

The three virtual dialogues will cover a range of themes: 

  • Evidence-based approaches to address food and climate crises. This will include the role of digitization, diversification, changing diets, and implications for urbanization.
  • Supporting action through guidance on ‘how to’ integrate climate change adaptation actions with the (demand-driven) developments sparked by COVID-19 response and recovery. This will include an emphasis on monitoring of results.
  • Promoting market development by sharing insights from investing in and supporting scale-up of climate resilient business models (including digital, data tech, impact investing, sectoral development efforts).
  • Identify opportunities to align efforts to transform food and agriculture in the lead up to the Climate Adaptation Summit, UN Food Systems Summit, and COP26.
  • Transforming innovation systems, to develop seamless innovation systems for the continent, characterized by end to end solutions from the research community supporting food systems transformations (including the role of the IPAF).
  • Offering user perspectives on lessons drawn from action research and projects for climate resilience. 



With the overarching aim of catalyzing evidence-based action to enhance climate resilience of African food systems in the lead up to the Climate Adaptation Summit, the dialogues have the following specific objectives:

  1. Understanding: Promote evidence-based action while also catalyzing efforts to address knowledge gaps. (What do we know? What do we need to know? Where is our innovation system failing?)
  2. Planning: Improve the efficacy of policy development planning processes (of different stakeholders in specific regional contexts within Africa) through digitization, also enabling the achievement of other food systems outcomes.
  3. Financing: Address the finance gap (private and public investments for adaptation in African food systems.) Based on efforts to achieve these objectives, the dialogues will develop a narrative on climate-resilient food systems for Africa to be presented during the technical session of the Africa anchoring event.

Based on further inputs during the session, the key messages will be refined and also articulated at relevant forums of the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26 in 2021.