Call for abstracts: Climate change and migration in Africa

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Call for abstracts: Climate change and migration in Africa

06 Dec 2019

2min min read

Please note that submissions are now closed.


he Africa Portal, in conjunction with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), seeks abstracts focused on its second thematic series, Climate Change and Migration in Africa. 

A panel of experts will select 8-10 abstracts and invite the authors to develop these into policy briefs. The authors will then work closely with experts to build their abstracts into actionable policy briefs that will be published on the Africa Portal. A monetary token will be awarded to the authors of the three best publications, as selected by the panel.  


The 2018 Global Report on Internal Displacement confirms that weather changes and disasters – in addition to other non-environmental triggers – are fuelling displacement across the globe. In Africa, it recorded Somalia and Ethiopia among the top 10 countries most affected by displacement associated with disasters in 2017.  

According to World Bank studies, the worsening impacts of climate change could cause more than 86 million people to migrate within Africa’s borders by 2050. While climate change is one of many complex factors influencing migration flows within the continent, it is an increasingly important one from a policy perspective. 

The devastating impact of two major cyclones that struck Mozambique this year underscore African countries’ vulnerability to climate change and the interplay between a changing climate and poverty/inequality in least developed regions of the world. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth have destroyed critical infrastructure, industries, livelihoods and basic services in a country beset by existing socio-economic and human development challenges, and left about 94 000 Mozambicans displaced.  

It is therefore clear why calls for migration policy – at domestic, regional and international levels – to effectively incorporate climate change are growing more urgent.  

We invite African scholars and researchers to submit abstracts that focus on the intersection of migration and climate change in Africa and how best civil society, national, regional or international actors should respond to and collaborate on these interconnected challenges. We encourage research that encapsulates the complexity of environmental migration, challenges Eurocentric narratives, and provides localised perspectives to migration management and climate change. Case studies are highly encouraged. 

Suggested focus areas could include but are not limited to: 

  • The potential for and risks of migration as a response to climate change; 
  • Building capacity to improve relocation and response policies in anticipation of climate and seasonal migration and major climatic events; 
  • The international community’s role in helping low-income countries fund and implement adaptation/mitigation strategies;  
  • Mainstreaming migration into development policy; 
  • Regional and global instruments such as the Kampala Convention, the OAU Convention on Refugees and the Global Compact on Migration; and 
  • International law and the protection of climate migrants and IDPs. 

Submission Guidelines  

The abstract must not exceed 500 words. It should be written in English and submitted in a Word document. 

The abstract must contain the following elements:

  • The working title of the policy brief;
  • A clear description of the topic;
  • The aim of the policy brief; and
  • At least 3 potential policy recommendations it will make.

Please include a 2-page CV with: 

  • Name and surname of the author(s); 
  • Organisation/institution and contact details (address, phone, e-mail) of the author(s); and 
  • Links to three recent published works by the author(s), if available.

Email your submission to The subject line should read: ABSTRACT SUBMISSION. 

Closing date for submissions: deadline extended to 31 January 2020

(Main image: An aerial view a flooded district on the outskirts of the city of Beira, central Mozambique, on 20 March 2019 after the passage of Cyclone Idai. – Adrien Barbier/AFP via Getty Images)