Climate change is a decisive global challenge which, if not urgently managed, will put at risk not only the environment but also world economic prosperity, development and, more broadly, stability and security. Africa’s vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by a number of non-climatic factors, including hunger, high prevalence of disease, widespread poverty, chronic conflicts, high dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low levels of development and low adaptive capacity. Climate diplomacy is the interface between national interest debates and international cooperation. Diplomacy is essential for making the links among domestic, foreign and international climate policy. African political leadership has recognized the importance and timeliness for Africa to actively engage in global climate change diplomacy. The African continent sees climate diplomacy as a way of securing national-level benefits from positive action on climate change and also promoting progressive outcomes in the international climate regime. This paper examines Africa’s historical involvement in the major global environmental regimes prior to the UNFCCC, the continent’s role in the design and development of the UNFCCC. The paper also links climate change debate to Africa’s Development objectives, African solutions to climate change challenges and the institutional structures that offer the platform for climate change diplomacy.