Review of Meteorological Drought in Africa: Historical Trends, Impacts, Mitigation Measures, and Prospects

Brian Ayugi, Emmanuel Olaoluwa Eresanya, Augustine Omondi Onyango, Faustin Katchele Ogou, Eucharia Chidinma Okoro, Charles Obinwanne Okoye, Chukwuma Moses Anoruo, Victor Nnamdi Dike, Olusola Raheemat Ashiru, Mojolaoluwa Toluwalase Daramola, Richard Mumo, Victor Ongoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review study examines the state of meteorological drought over Africa, focusing on historical trends, impacts, mitigation strategies, and future prospects. Relevant meteorological drought-related articles were systematically sourced from credible bibliographic databases covering African subregions in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (i.e. from 1950 to 2021), using suitable keywords. Past studies show evidence of the occurrence of extreme drought events across the continent. The underlying mechanisms are mostly attributed to complex interactions of dynamical and thermodynamical mechanisms. The resultant impact is evidenced in the decline of agricultural activities and water resources and the environmental degradation across all subregions. Projected changes show recovery from drought events in the west/east African domain, while the south and north regions indicate a tendency for increasing drought characteristics. The apparent intricate link between the continent’s development and climate variability, including the reoccurrence of drought events, calls for paradigm shifts in policy direction. Key resources meant for the infrastructural and technological growth of the economy are being diverted to develop coping mechanisms to adapt to climate change effects, which are changing. Efficient service delivery to drought-prone hotspots, strengthening of drought monitoring, forecasting, early warning, and response systems, and improved research on the combined effects of anthropogenic activities and changes in climate systems are valuable to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers regarding drought management in Africa today and in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1386
Number of pages22
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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