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Data availability across Africa

Africa is considered one of the least prepared and most vulnerable regions to climate change, and its population is projected to reach 25% of the world's population by 2050. It is also considered a data desert due to the significant lack of data, especially on the environmental conditions of the continent. This lack of data can hinder decision-making, research, and analysis, making it challenging to understand and address issues effectively.

Data collection across Africa has increased in recent years, but it can be difficult to obtain, process, and understand without domain-specific expertise.

Earth observation

There are both government and commercial satellites collecting data over Africa. Government missions usually provide the data they collect to the public, whereas commercial providers charge for access but may have a better resolution or the ability to request specific data. Some examples from the public side include:

Of the 55 members of the African Union, many nations have space programs (at least 21), and 13 have launched their own satellites. In 2023, the African Union Commission launched the African Space Agency (AfSA) to coordinate space technology on the continent.


Weather data across Africa is generally sparse and unreliable. It has just one-eighth the density of weather stations recommended by the World Meteorological Organization, and of those, only 22% meet its reporting standards. This lack of meteorological data makes early warning and detection of extreme weather events very difficult, especially as weather grows more unpredictable in the face of a changing climate.