BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Global Warming is expected to induce grave effects around the world. It is predicted that many communities, mostly in the third world, experience numerous consequences because of climate change. Therefore, effective action is needed and universities play a huge role in addressing Global Warming issues and their impacts through research and innovations. Hence, assessing the extent to which African university students understand climate change and its impacts shows the extent of hope in mitigating the climate related risks. This Case study assesses how deep is the knowledge of young educated Africans on Global Warming causes and risks, how committed they are on fighting the issue and applying solutions.
METHODS: A hypothesis testing and descriptive statistics models were employed to analyze a qualified data set collected through an online interview survey among young educated Africans taken from a sample of oversea students in Chinese state universities. After a consistency study, Out of 250 questionnaires received, 224 were useful data, and Cronbach’s alpha was 0.75. Participants were taken from 34 different African nationalities. All analyses were conducted using SPSS24.
FINDINGS: The results have shown that 39% of the students are very familiar with the topic, and 33% consider it as a known issue and the participants mostly rely on social media to get information about Global Warming. Two hypotheses were tested at 95% level of confidence; the critical statistic was 41.3 against a 51.2 calculated chi square for H01: Young educated Africans don’t have significant knowledge on Global Warming causes. Similarly, a critical value of 36.4 was compared to a calculated chi-square of 40.6 for H02: Young educated Africans don’t have significant knowledge on Global Warming risks. Hence, both hypotheses were rejected. Consequently, it was deduced that young Africans students do have general knowledge on GW risks and causes, even if some deep aspects are still unclear for some. It was revealed that most of the students (81%) are ready to take actions against climate change, and some have even started to do so; besides, they mostly believe that the solutions should come from every human being at any age or background. Using these results, recommendations were given to different stakeholders.
CONCLUSION: In Africa, where education about climate change is generally low, the findings in this study may provide all stakeholders with crucial information for better understanding of Global Warming risks and effective response plans. This study has shown that Young educated Africans report a general sense that global warming can negatively impact people’s lives, but relatively few are willing to personally get involved in the response. Therefore, there is need for practical climate change health and safety education leading to improve behaviors among the most remote communities.
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