VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China plays a greater role in helping the African continent adapt to climate change, a senior United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) official said Wednesday.
James Murombedzi, officer-in-charge at the African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of UNECA, told Xinhua that the African side is keen on collaborating with Chinese research institutions and others around the world on climate change under the African-led Climate Research for Development (CR4D) initiative that aims to strengthen links between climate science research and climate information needs.
"We really want to partner with any research institutions across the world who have the research experience, expertise and technical architectural infrastructure," Murombedzi said.
"So if China has high speed computers and researchers working in climate change and monsoon systems, we would be excited to collaborate with them," he said, noting that one of the challenges facing the CR4D and Africa in general is lack of computing capacity.
"To run climate models, you need high speed computers and very few (African) countries have high speed computers," he said. "For those that have high speed computers, it is very expensive to run the models."
The African continent also suffers from insufficient investment in climate observation systems and climate analytics, as well as funds to carry out climate-related research, he said.
"We have a very small grant because it is completely donor funded," said the official. "Currently we have just 21 researchers and we think that we actually need over 10 million U.S. dollars a year to support a viable research program."
Murombedzi also stressed the need for Africa to prioritize measures against climate change if it is to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"There is a need to take more account of climate change when we think about each and every SDG. This continent can not achieve any of the SDGs if it does not address climate change," he said.
"Climate change is emerging as the key cross-cutting issue that has to be resolved," he added.