The Inter-Relationship between Climate Change, Inequality, Poverty and Food Security in Africa: A Bibliometric Review and Content Analysis Approach

Phemelo Tamasiga*, Helen Onyeaka*, Adenike Akinsemolu, Malebogo Bakwena

*Corresponding author for this work

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Despite the persistent income inequality and climate change shocks in Africa, there is limited research on their effects on food security. Hence, this study adopted a mixed-methods approach including a bibliometric analysis and content analysis to examine emerging themes in the literature on climate change, inequality and poverty, and food insecurity in Africa. The bibliometric data used were retrieved from the Scopus database for the period 2000–2022. The exercise revealed an increasing trend in the number of publications in the field, as well as strong collaboration between African countries. Specifically, most of the leading research was published by Kenyan, USA, and UK institutes. From the analysis, seven themes emerged; namely; (1) the impact of governance and policy on poverty alleviation, nutrition status, and food security; (2) the role of innovation and sustainable agriculture in mitigating climate change in developing countries; (3) integrating gender in evaluations of the impact of climate change on food security and livelihoods in Africa; (4) climate change adaptation among smallholders in building resilience for nutrition; (5) the role of institutions in assisting smallholders mitigate and adapt to climate shocks; (6) inequality, food unavailability, and agricultural production; and (7) gendered impacts of climate-smart agriculture in climate adaptation and mitigation. We also found out that there was a dearth of longitudinal studies on these seven themes. Another key element revealed by the study was the lack of policies that address the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change; hence, there is limited research on the agricultural gender productivity gap. Policies based on the tenants of socio-economic inclusion need to guide the distribution of wealth and economic participation in order to reduce inequality and improve food security and nutrition outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5628
Number of pages35
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • bibliometric analysis
  • climate change
  • content analysis
  • food security
  • inequality
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • VOSviewer
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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