Countries in sub-Saharan Africa have developed a range of strategies, policies and institutional arrangements to protect human health, property, livelihoods and the environment from the impact of disasters. At the same time, given the increasingly complex nature of risk and its impacts, there remains substantial scope for improvement. The changing dynamics of hazards, vulnerability and exposure dictate the need for a new way to conceptualize risk: as systemic, or emergent from complex and non-predictable interactions between human and non-human systems. Despite the success achieved in addressing disaster risk, processes such as climate change, environmental degradation, increasing income inequality and unmanaged urbanization slow progress towards resilience. Sub-Saharan Africa therefore faces a complex and evolving disaster risk profile in which efforts at disaster risk reduction (DRR) occur in a challenging context of persistent technical and financial capacity constraints. In many of its elements, the forthcoming Africa Regional Assessment Report 2020 (AfRAR) echoes the UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019). The GAR is a vehicle to showcase the progress of Members States and non-State stakeholders in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (Sendai Framework), as well the disaster-related indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to assess global risk trends and to present innovative research to enhance understanding of disaster risk. The AfRAR analyses the continental challenges, opportunities, innovations, lessons learned, and progress made in implementing the Sendai Framework in Africa. The AfRAR is structured in three parts: 1) Setting the scene: disaster risk in Africa, systemic risk and urban risk 2) Towards durable solution: gender-sensitive DRR, science and technology 3) Practical actions towards DRR in Africa: investments in DRR, community action towards DRR, DRR strategies across Africa (with reference to Target E of the Sendai Framework) and policy coherence.