Students in Climate Action: A Study of Some Influential Factors and Implications of Knowledge Gaps in Africa
Akrofi, Mark McCarthy
Antwi, Sarpong Hammond
Gumbo, Jabulani R.
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This study examined how the regional manifestations of climate change effects and students’ involvement in various climate-related clubs and activities influenced their knowledge and awareness of climate change. Key knowledge gaps and their implications for climate action were also examined. A cross-sectional survey was adopted for the study whilst a snowball sampling technique was used to select the respondents. A total of 300 students from 26 African countries participated in the survey. Descriptive statistics, relative importance index (RII) method and the chi-square test of independence were used to analyze the data. Results showed that regional manifestations of climate change effects and students’ involvement in climate change-related workshops and campaigns significantly influenced their knowledge levels whilst their membership of climate-related student clubs had no significant influence. Key knowledge gaps with regards to how factors such as meat consumption and waste generation could lead to climate change were also identified. Students were also less knowledgeable about how climate change affects key issues such as conflicts, gender inequalities and job insecurity. Intensification of climate change education beyond the most common causes and effects is highly recommended among the youth. Various environment-related student clubs are also encouraged to tailor their activities in this direction.