Through the Future Resilience for African CiTies And Lands (FRACTAL) project, local governments in sub-Saharan Africa adopt a model of inclusive climate research and action, effectively bridging the divide between science and policy by responding to city identified challenges with the co-development of relevant climate information. The targeted Southern African local governments participate in city consultations – called Learning Labs – to facilitate knowledge sharing and generation, learning, networking and policy advice. The cities are also exposed to training (at political and technical levels), partnership development and co-production of robust and scale relevant climate information. FRACTAL has established new methodologies for improved collaboration and innovative transdisciplinary research by integrating across disciplines, nations, sectors, and between academia and society. This collaboration is rooted in Africa through effective partnerships between individuals and organisations, and between participants in Africa and elsewhere. This new approach to fundamental climate research is strongly framed by the information needs required for context relevant African societal decisions.