Urban-Rural Interdependence and the Impact of Climate Change in Malawi and Tanzania

Today, 39% of the African population lives in urban areas. Considering the current urbanization rate of 3.5% per annum, this proportion is expected to grow significantly, increasing the demand for food, shelter and social services in urban areas while putting pressure for increased food production on rural areas. But increased food production in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa may not be possible owing to continued loss of young agricultural workers to the cities, declining soil fertility in many farming areas and dependence on rainfed agriculture. A growing concern is how climate change and climate variability will affect the growing urban population and the food supply systems sustain it.

This study will attempt to elucidate rural-urban interdependency in Malawi and Tanzania; document the vulnerabilities and coping strategies of communities and how these will be affected by climate change; and offer communities, local governments and those involved in food supply systems alternatives for adapting to climate change and climate variability.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, July 13, 2009

End Date

Friday, July 13, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Kituyi, Evans N.

Total funding

CA$ 565,400


Malawi, Tanzania, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Climate Change

Project Leader

Dr Emma Liwenga


Institute of Resource Assessment

Institution Country