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About this book

The book draws upon the expertise and international research collaborations forged by the Worldwide Universities Network Global Africa Group to critically engage with the intersection, in theory and practice, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s development agendas and needs. Further, it argues that – and demonstrates how – the SDGs should be understood as an aspirational blueprint for development with multiple meanings that are situated in dynamic and contested terrains. As the SDGs have substantial implications for development policy and resourcing at both the macro and micro levels, their relevance is not only context-specific but should also be assessed in terms of the aspirations and needs of ordinary citizens across the continent. Drawing on analyses and evidence from both the natural and social sciences, the book demonstrates that progress towards the SDGs must meet demands for improving human well-being under diverse and challenging socio-economic, political and environmental conditions. Examples include those from the mining industry, public health, employment and the media. In closing, it highlights how international collaboration in the form of research networks can enhance the production of critical knowledge on and engagement with the SDGs in Africa.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Global Goals and African Development

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), occupying a centre stage in the post-2015 development paradigms, raise important questions about how African development priorities and needs are situated within broader global agendas, and the impacts these agendas have on the well-being of people living on the continent. The aim of this chapter is to contribute to discussions and debates on the intersection between the SDGs and African development in the twenty-first century. African development has been a subject of scholarly debates and policy interventions by state and non-state actors for many years. Our intention in this chapter is to discuss African development in the context of the SDGs and through five themes relevant to this volume. The first theme tackles the question whether the SDGs compete with or compliment other development agendas on the continent. The second theme places the SDGs within the political economy of Africa’s natural resources to argue that Africa’s resources remain crucial for the global capitalist economy, and that this limits the promise of transforming the continent through the SDGs. The third theme draws the links between higher education institutions, networks, and African development, and also teases out the identity and developmental roles of African universities. While SDGs offer many opportunities for African development they also come with their own constraints. We explore these opportunities and constraints in theme four. The last theme, on climate–human–ecosystem interactions, draws attention to changing human–environment relations and their implications for global environmental solutions.
Maano Ramutsindela, David Mickler

Africa’s Sustainable Development: Approaches, Institutions, Agendas


Chapter 2. Growth or Solidarity? The Discourse of the SDGs

The overarching slogan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is ‘leave no one behind’. To realise this, a transformative shift in our global development is necessary. This means the SDGs cannot be achieved unless large parts of Africa improve the living conditions of the majority of its citizens. This improvement cannot come about through adopting the western ‘growth model’; this will only contribute to the destruction of our global environment. The discourse on the SDGs is thus about a development path that secures the livelihood of all those ‘left behind’ in Africa, at the same time as the Western ‘growth model’ is transformed. It is a question of how the few within the rich world who are consuming and polluting the most need to act in solidarity with those left behind. In this chapter, we discuss how this ambivalent discourse on growth now plays itself out within the continent and nations most deprived of the fruits of global economic growth. This is also our global challenge. Countries in Africa become the key to successful implementation of the SDGs globally through how they question the consequences of the present growth regime of the OECD world.
Tor Halvorsen, John Higgins

Chapter 3. Lifelong Learning and the SDGs

In this chapter, it is posited that lifelong learning is a pivotal, people-centred educational strategy that should be tapped for meeting several targets for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Lifelong learning should, therefore, be given more space in the SDGs. The chapter outlines some of the tensions that surround the concept, goals, and purpose of lifelong learning. It offers an explanation of the arguments that ultimately led to the recognition of the need to include lifelong learning in the SDGs, but argues that lifelong learning is still inadequately reflected within and across the 17 goals. The rest of the chapter introduces the three main modes of lifelong learning: formal, non-formal, and informal. It is argued that these latter two modes are the least recognised in the SDGs, particularly in relation to poverty, health, and the environment, even though they are the most likely to contribute to the needs of the underserved and underprovided social groups. This chapter, therefore, focuses on these two modes with a view to exploring how they could be operationalised to contribute to the achievement of all the SDGs in the African context.
Florida A. Karani, Julia Preece

Chapter 4. Chinese and Western Development Approaches in Africa: Implications for the SDGs

This chapter discusses the entry of China into the game of foreign finance in Africa in an international comparative perspective. We present an analysis of long-run changes in the allocation of Western aid both globally and in Africa, along with estimates of the global sectoral allocation of Chinese aid. A similar analysis is also applied to China’s foreign direct investment and international trade. While previous literature has predominantly attributed China’s economic embrace of Africa to domestic factors, we argue that the sectoral distribution of Beijing’s foreign aid—and partly foreign direct investment—is also affected by changes in the patterns of Western aid and investment flowing to the African continent. We provide quantitative evidence for long-run trends, switches and breaks in Western development assistance. China’s foreign aid typically flows into Africa’s physical infrastructure and productive sectors of agriculture and manufacturing, filling the vacuum which emerged when Western financial flows shifted to other activities, most notably capacity building and good governance reforms. While the increasing trade relationships between China and Africa are often described as South–South trade, the pattern highly resembles the typical North–South trade patterns. Overall, this chapter shows that financial resources from both the traditional Western donors and emerging donors from the Global South such as China can help African recipient countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. China’s development assistance in Africa may serve as a complement to the kinds of foreign aid provided by the traditional donor countries.
Tobias Broich, Adam Szirmai, Ayokunu Adedokun

Chapter 5. The AU’s African Governance Architecture and SDG 16: Examining Intersections

This chapter analyses the intersection of the African Union’s African Governance Architecture (AGA) and SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, which aims to ‘promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’. The AGA is a political and institutional framework mandated by the African Union (AU) in 2011 to define, promote and regulate the body’s Pan-African democratic governance agenda and to coordinate key institutions and stakeholders in pursuit of this agenda. The architecture aligns with the AU’s long-term continental development blueprint, Agenda 2063, including the key aspiration of ‘An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law’. The chapter proceeds in two main parts. First, drawing on the notion of African agency, it analyses the process by which African actors influenced the negotiation of the UN 2030 Agenda. By linking governance reforms at national, regional and global levels, and by linking governance, security and development, the eventual inclusion of SGD 16 can be viewed as a success for African negotiators. Second, it explains the mandate and design of AGA and identifies the main opportunities and challenges in going beyond an alignment of principles and agendas at the macro level to facilitate the effective implementation of SDG 16 targets in African countries.
David Mickler, George Mukundi Wachira

Chapter 6. African Mining and the SDGs: From Vision to Reality

Prior to the adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the African Mining Vision set out a roadmap for mineral development to drive human development across the region. The vision was based on an assumption that under the right policy and regulatory regimes, mining could contribute to development by delivering significant revenues and economic linkages. This assumption has been tested in relation to the SDGs at a global level in the report on Mining and the SDGs: A preliminary atlas. The report is a joint effort of the United Nations Development Programme, the World Economic Forum, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This chapter focuses on the potential contribution of the mining industry to the attainment of the SDGs in Africa. The potential contribution of both large-scale formal mining and artisanal and small-scale mining to sustainable development is considered. We find that while some of the major global mining companies are able to show a contribution to the SDGs through specific projects in Africa, it is more challenging to implement, scale-up and measure the impact of the SDGs’ framework for the industry as a whole.
Kathryn Sturman, Perrine Toledano, Charles F. A. Akayuli, Mzamose Gondwe

Chapter 7. Minding the Gap? The Media and the Realisation of SDG 13 in Kenya

The media in Africa have a role to play in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by building awareness, setting the public agenda, and influencing and holding to account political leaders. In this chapter, we examine the problematic context of a commercialised and privatised media system playing a significant role in debates about development and in development education and advocacy—topics which are not necessarily profitable. Media can play a role as public information channels, engagement platforms, watchdogs and advocates for policy improvement—all crucial to the successful implementation of the SDGs—but media do not necessarily fulfil these obligations. With advances in technology , the power of the media to open new opportunities to drive social change and to transform development in Africa is unsurpassed. We explore how the contemporary political economy of Kenyan media challenges or supports such objectives. We also examine how information gaps concerning SDG goals, such as climate information in rural communities, pose a challenge to the realisation of the SDGs. We conduct an investigation into the form of analysis of media coverage of climate change and action in Kenya , but draw primarily from existing research concerning Kenyan media . Our findings show that the Kenyan media are ill-equipped to specifically support SDG 13 on climate change and action in the country.
Jacinta Mwende Maweu, Chris Paterson

Chapter 8. Small-scale Mining, the SDGs and Human Insecurity in Ghana

This chapter discusses small-scale mining in Ghana in the context of two intergovernmental development indicators—the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) and the African Union ’s Agenda 2063 (AU2063). Using the management and governance of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities in Ghana as a case study, we argue that the achievability of selected SDGs and the AU2063 aspirations in Ghana (and potentially in Africa more generally) depends on a political internalisation of a broader understanding of the (human) security of countries’ citizens and peoples. For example, the laws and regulations governing small-scale mining in Ghana are not normatively developed and offer little voice and benefit to host peoples and communities in areas of abundant natural resources . This results in numerous human security threats and concerns such as destruction of communities and their livelihoods, violent clashes and environmental degradation among many others. The chapter argues that the ASM sector needs to be understood as involving fundamental human security concerns as part of the broader national, regional and global sustainability discussions, rather than the sectorial perspective in which the discussion is usually framed. Drawing from selected SDGs and AU2063 goals and aspirations, the chapter contends that the SDGs and AU2063 offer broad normative but also tangible metrics by which to assess the impacts of ASM in Ghana , and adopting human security as a governance and management indicator promises a more effective conduit for achieving selected SDGs and AU2063 aspirations in Ghana .
Isaac Mensah, John Boakye-Danquah, Nurudeen Suleiman, Sena Nutakor, Muhammad Dan Suleiman

Chapter 9. Public Finance and the SDGs in Ghana

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require financing and domestic revenue generation to be realised. SDG 17 requires partnerships to attract finance, technology, capacity building, trade and resolve systemic issues. In Ghana, the SDGs are shaping national budgeting because the budget is aligned to the SDGs. Therefore, there is a need to assess how partnerships related to financing have helped in achieving the SDGs. This chapter examines how Ghana’s drive to attain the SDGs is influenced by public finance. The chapter draws on qualitative data collected through interviews with key personnel at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Ghana E-Governance Project, and Ghana Investment Promotion Council. The study finds that the national budgeting and revenue targets of Ghana are motivated by the need to achieve sustainable development goals for each year but this was not the case with trade and e-governance in the country. However, the e-governance project provides data to measure the progress the country has made towards achieving targets of the SDGs. The chapter contributes to the literature on the relationship between the SDGs and the national fiscal environment, as well as investment and trade.
Ibrahim Bedi, William Coffie

Scientific Evidence and Critical Thinking on the SDGs in Africa


Chapter 10. Research Data Management and Scientific Evidence: A Strategic Imperative for SDGs

Scientific evidence comprises Data, Information and Knowledge (DIK) often presented in a pyramidal structure. Data are the foundation base of the pyramid, followed by the information layer and the knowledge layer at the top. Data are rudimentary and expand into information and knowledge—the DIK pyramid—and also constitute scientific evidence. Such evidence is critical for demonstrating prospects, best practices and successful development models. The Internet and the evolution of the Web have resulted in easily discernible data that serve as scientific evidence in the form of big data. Transformation of the African continent through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rests on the availability of scientific data. Data are not a panacea for societal problems but data science can nevertheless open up possibilities for innovations that could help fight hunger, poverty, inequalities and underdevelopment. There is also a huge potential for big data to serve as evidence for successes and failures of the SDGs. However, without its proper creation, planning, verification, storage, security and organisation; big data cannot be used appropriately. This is where Research Data Management (RDM) adds value, mainly because RDM is concerned with planning and organisation of data in the entire research cycle, including the dissemination and archiving of results. This chapter draws on examples from Kenya, Malawi and South Africa to analyse RDM as a strategic imperative for scientific evidence in the transformation of Africa through the SDGs, with a specific reference to SDG 4 on the quality of education.
Constance Bitso, Elisha Ondieki Makori, Sellina Khumbo Kapondera

Chapter 11. Prioritising Health Systems to Achieve SDGs in Africa: A Review of Scientific Evidence

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework for streamlining efforts towards achieving global development objectives. The SDG 3 on universal good health and well-being remains an international priority. Recent reports indicate that although progress has been made, most developing countries face health system challenges and are still far from achieving SDG 3. We examine scientific evidence to infer priorities for African states that could inform the direction and implementation of SDG 3 in Africa. The chapter focuses on shortfalls in health systems, particularly with health information systems and human resources for health. It also highlights strategies to strengthen these systems and promote sustainable capacity building. Health information systems (HIS) are important data sources for evidence-based health policymaking, research and evaluation, training and service delivery. However, inadequate provision of reliable, valid and comparable data in resource-poor settings threatens meaningful progress in realising SDG 3 targets. We review the literature and discuss progress and challenges in the collection, synthesis and use of health information, and give recommendations on improving HIS evidence in such settings. Human resource is a key component of strong and resilient health systems, without which implementation of evidence generated from HIS into meaningful practice is unachievable. We also discuss health workforce hurdles to health cooperation, coverage and training that may affect the attainment of SDG 3. Improvements in HIS and adequate capacity building will undoubtedly highlight key silences and obstacles in SDG 3 actualisation and inform health policymakers, practitioners and researchers on innovative strategies for better health in African countries.
Colette Adhiambo Wesonga, Benard Kulohoma

Chapter 12. Prioritising Women’s Mental Health for the Achievement of the SDGs in Africa

Mental health has been explicitly included in the United Nation’s global sustainable development agenda for the first time within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under the third SDG, ‘Good health and well-being’. In this chapter, we argue that prioritising the mental health of women in Africa is central to achieving this and several other goals. We outline the adversities faced by women on the continent and highlight some of the opportunities that may arise by focusing on the mental health needs of women . We describe one ongoing multinational project, the PRogramme for Improving Mental healthCarE (PRIME), as an example of a collaborative endeavour to scale up the delivery of mental health services at primary care level in Low- and Middle-Income (LMI) countries. With a view to aligning the SDG and Global Mental Health agenda, we review the evidence for one innovative intervention in the form of cash transfer programmes, giving special attention to their impact on the mental health and well-being of women . Finally, we propose novel approaches to integrating development programmes with mental health interventions, including indicators that better explain the complex relationship between gender , poverty and mental health .
Maxine F. Spedding, Angela Ofori-Atta, Dan J. Stein, Katherine R. Sorsdahl, Crick Lund

Chapter 13. Talent Management Challenges for Women in South Africa

Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. This is further supported by South Africa’s Employment Equity Act of 1998 and its promotion of affirmative action measures designed to achieve a diverse workforce. This suggests a key role for talent management (TM) approaches and, more importantly, the management of female talent in organisations located in South Africa. Through data collected from seven focus group interviews with women across 58 South African organisations, we find little evidence to suggest that organisations are seeking to manage their female talent and/or develop bespoke and exclusive TM practices. When TM initiatives do emerge, they terminate once gender parity is achieved. The result is a myopic and instrumental approach that only breeds further inequity and talented female turnover. Managers should seek to create a long-term focus on talent development and consider the strategic implications of their talent pipelines. Female workers are urged to seek mentors, challenge organisational practices that reinforce ‘traditional’ segmented approaches, develop their networks and encourage a talent mindset in the workplace.
Linda Ronnie, Alison J. Glaister

Chapter 14. Securing Inclusive Growth: Mentorship and Youth Employment in Kenya

The guiding framework for policymaking in Kenya embodies both a national and international outlook. On the one hand is the Kenya Vision 2030 while on the other are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Coincidentally, both frameworks emphasise social inclusion, or what is commonly known as inclusive growth. While day-to-day policies must be located within Vision 2030, the Government of Kenya (GoK) has also launched a roadmap for the implementation of the SDGs and acknowledges that inclusive access to employment is a critical solution for eradicating poverty . Youth unemployment in Kenya is the highest in the region, posing a significant policy issue. The GoK has implemented several programmes to deal with youth unemployment but with dismal results. Addressing youth unemployment is a big step towards achieving SDG 8 and has significant implications for SDG 1. The main argument in this chapter is that government interventions for youth employment are mainly supply driven and take no cognisance of the contextual realities of the youth . In this chapter, we propose an integrated supply and demand framework for addressing employment interventions. Such a framework would integrate academic programmes with skills that empower the youth beyond the realm of academic qualifications.
Joy M. Kiiru, Laura Nelima Barasa

Chapter 15. The Challenge of Obtaining a Decent Work Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Workers represent half of the world’s population and are the major contributors to socio-economic development. Continued, sustainable socio-economic development is only possible if workers have a decent working environment. The headline for Sustainable Development Goal 8 is to ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, while sub-goal 8.8 is to ‘Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers’. However, globally millions of working men and women have poor and hazardous working conditions. Despite knowledge about effective interventions to prevent occupational hazards and to protect and promote health at the workplace, large gaps exist between and within countries regarding the health status of workers and their exposure to occupational risks. This chapter will describe present work environment situations in Sub-Saharan Africa through focusing on four important industries: floriculture, construction, mining and textiles. Actions are suggested for improvements while the importance of developing competence and knowledge on occupational health in these Sub-Saharan African countries are underlined. There must be increased awareness of dangerous workplaces as well as efforts to prevent occupational accidents and diseases.
Bente Elisabeth Moen, Israel Paul Nyarubeli, Alexander M. Tungu, Aiwerasia Vera Ngowi, Abera Kumie, Wakgari Deressa, Simon Henry David Mamuya

Chapter 16. Upscaling Agriculture and Food Security in Africa in Pursuit of the SDGs: What Role Does China Play?

China and Africa constitute more than a third of the world’s population and China has become Africa ’s largest trading partner. This has led to other forms of engagement with African countries, shaping development policies and outcomes. This chapter focuses on one important set of outcomes: the implications of the China -Africa relationship for global food security and the transferability of the Chinese model of agriculture to African countries. As the world redirects attention to pursuing sustainable development goals (SDGs), such engagements with China in agricultural development will affect the attainment of SDG 1 on eliminating extreme poverty and SDG 2 on achieving zero hunger. China has embarked on an effort to improve African agricultural capacity and productivity partly by sharing experience, technology transfer and by encouraging Chinese agricultural investments in Africa . This has included setting up new exchange frameworks and programmes to both bring Chinese experts to African countries and African students and researchers to China . However, China ’s engagement with Africa has also raised concerns about new forms of international exploitation and their impacts on sustainable development . This chapter examines possible lessons for African countries from the success of agriculture in China , as well as the potential challenges arising from China ’s own development priorities, particularly when the Chinese model of agriculture is implemented in Africa .
Lawal Marafa, Julian May, Vincent Ado Tenebe

Chapter 17. Contextualising Accountability and Responsible Production and Consumption in the Extractive Industries of West Africa

Many African countries have embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, little attention has been paid to accountability in relation to responsible consumption and production advocated by SDG 12, especially in the extractive industry of West Africa. The authors critically engage with two existing accountability mechanisms, namely, the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to highlight their limitations in respect of accountability relating to SDG 12 in the extractive industry of West Africa, using Nigeria and Ghana as reference points. We also highlight the limitations of a set of indicators being promoted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as an accountability mechanism for SDGs, especially responsible production and consumption. We argue that a better accountability mechanism for SDG 12 should prioritise those indicators that show how production and consumption in the extractive industry do not result in (1) loss of life and displacement from land for the local communities and (2) spillages that destroy the land, water and air, depriving the local communities of their means of livelihood and causing health problems.
Innocent I. Okwuosa, Sharif S. Khalid

Chapter 18. Using the Past to Inform a Sustainable Future: Palaeoecological Insights from East Africa

An important aspect of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which aims to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 °C by 2050, has been the development of monitoring and evaluation plans that integrate climate change perspectives into new policies and programs for the protection and functioning of ecological systems. These include measures that enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change. Ecosystem change and the interaction of the different drivers of change in ecosystems have been studied at different temporal and spatial scales across different disciplines. However, the use of long temporal records documenting environmental and climatic change in understanding the impacts of the interacting drivers of change and planning sustainable use of resources is relatively new. We present examples of the use of palaeoecological data from East Africa in planning for the long-term sustainable use of natural resources by providing long-term historical perspectives on human–environment–societal–wildlife interactions and engagement with the biocultural heritage and societal evaluations of these spaces to achieve an increasingly diverse set of conservation, social and economic objectives. We link the Earth system processes whose associated boundaries can be directly related to sustainable development goals in our attempt to prevent unacceptable environmental change. The realisation that humans are having a significant impact on climate and landscapes means we now need to showcase the societal relevance of palaeoecological research and utilise its output especially in our efforts to remain within a safe operating space for humanity and ecosystems.
Esther Githumbi, Rob Marchant, Daniel Olago

Chapter 19. Biodiversity, Wildlife and the Land Question in Africa

The concerns of environmental scientists, environmental non-governmental organisations, government agencies and international bodies with biodiversity are aptly captured with observations in the United Nations Secretary-General’s Report on Progress towards Sustainable Development Goals released on 11 May 2017. The Report notes the increase in biodiversity loss, declining land productivity and the increase in the poaching of wildlife, among other challenges. While these problems are real, there is a need to comprehend how their solutions intersect with other national policies or development agendas in Africa. Literature shows that trading off Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the failure to draw synergy among them undermines their universal aim of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. This chapter adds to this literature by showing that some of the efforts toward curbing biodiversity loss ironically create conditions that work against the protection of biodiversity while also deepening existing socio-economic problems. The chapter demonstrates this irony by referring to SDG 15 and its relations to inequitable land distribution in African contexts. It argues that efforts to reduce biodiversity loss by expanding protected areas and by excising land in the battle to curb rampant poaching compound the very challenges as they lead to a situation, where land alienation and poaching are entangled in a vicious and unabating cycle.
Maano Ramutsindela, Paballo Abel Chauke

Chapter 20. Water and Sanitation Inequality in Africa: Challenges for SDG 6

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which focuses on sustainable access to clean water and sanitation , pledges to ensure the ‘availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ people. Achieving this goal goes beyond the task of making water and sanitation services available to all communities; it entails measures that ensure that there is sustainable use and management of water resources. In this chapter, we examine water and sanitation services in Africa , highlighting the challenges of achieving the two dimensions of SDG 6. Using examples from South Africa , Uganda and Zambia , we identify some of the enduring challenges around providing sustainable access to water and sanitation in Africa . We illustrate that, although different African countries face different challenges in this regard, there is a common challenge around the huge disparities between rural and urban communities.
Horman Chitonge, Amanda Mokoena, Minga Kongo

Chapter 21. Achieving SDG 14 in the African Small Island Developing States of the Indian Ocean

Humans are inextricably connected to the ocean , yet the challenges facing marine areas and resources have received little global attention until recently. For the first time, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explicitly include marine issues. SDG 14 focuses on ‘life below water’ and the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and resources. SDG 14 is particularly important for the African island States in the Indian Ocean as they rely heavily on marine resources for economic development , livelihoods and sustenance. These countries also have blue economy agendas centred on achieving future wealth from the oceans . These micro-jurisdictions are often overlooked, but deserve greater attention as they are small island developing states (SIDS) or least developed countries (LDCs) with limited resources to address ocean issues, and have emerging innovative approaches that that may offer broader lessons to other maritime nations. This chapter explores efforts made to achieve SDG 14 sustainable fishery management goals by focusing on the small-scale artisanal fishing sector in the Indian Ocean SIDS and effective collaborations between governments and communities.
Erika J. Techera, Krishnee A. Appadoo

Africa and the SDGs: The Role of Collaborative Research


Chapter 22. The SDGs and African Higher Education

Higher Education (HE) has a crucial role to play in realizing the sustainable development agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 4 deals specifically with education and calls for equitable access to affordable and quality post-secondary education. That is important, especially in Africa, but, as the authors will argue, the role of HE and of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can and should go beyond that. The first 16 SDGs address virtually all aspects of life, and HEIs should respond to them comprehensively. Indeed, the SDGs offer an opportunity for African HEIs to boost their societal relevance. This chapter explores ways in which this might be achieved.
Han Aarts, Heinz Greijn, Goolam Mohamedbhai, James Otieno Jowi

Chapter 23. Which Factors Influence International Research Collaboration in Africa?

It is commonly accepted that international research collaboration improves scientists’ abilities and performance. In this chapter, we investigate the question: what are the characteristics of African researchers who collaborate more often with international partners?. Data are taken from Web of Science and a survey that collected detailed information about the individual characteristics of 2954 African researchers in 42 African countries. We use descriptive statistics and an econometric model to discern the characteristics that are associated with higher levels of collaboration with researchers outside Africa. Overall, our results suggest that, on average, researchers who did their doctoral studies outside of Africa, had the opportunity to move abroad (over the past 3 years) and received a higher share of international funding (over the past 3 years), are more likely to collaborate more frequently with researchers outside of Africa. In our conclusions, we discuss that beyond increasing the availability of mobility scholarships and the amount of research funding for African scientists, policymakers and international organisations should also think in incentives to keep long-term research interactions and try to avoid unequal partnerships.
Hugo Confraria, Jaco Blanckenberg, Charl Swart

Chapter 24. Making North–South Collaborations Work: Facilitating Natural Product Drug Discovery in Africa

Many global North–South collaborations seek to address different aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Africa . The role of the North in these collaborations is crucial from a funding point of view. However, the realisation of the SDG objectives for Africa will depend largely on strategies that are guided by the successes and challenges of previous and existing collaborative efforts. Globally, Africa has the highest disease burden with the leading causes of morbidity and mortality being malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS and more recently, cardiovascular diseases , diabetes and cancer. Neglected tropical diseases are also causing long-term detrimental health effects, resulting in huge social and economic losses. Ironically, the continent is endowed with a huge biodiversity resource that has the potential to provide novel and potent drug candidates but remains largely unexplored partly due to financial and infrastructural challenges. Developing the scientific research capabilities of African institutions towards drug discovery through global networks is, therefore, an important component of improving health systems on the continent. This chapter examines experiences from three North–South collaborations—the Royal Society’s Leverhulme Trust Africa Award (LTAA), Newton Advanced Fellowships (NAF) and Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx)—and proposes the adoption of structures that extend the current focus on skill transfer to include the building and maintenance of sustainable infrastructure. It is believed that these thoughts and suggestions could promote sustainable collaborative research to provide good health and well-being (SDG3), quality education (SDG4), relevant infrastructure (SDG9) and reduced inequalities (SDG10) in Africa .
Kwaku Kyeremeh, Adrian Flint, Marcel Jaspars, Suthananda Naidu Sunassee, Richard Amewu, Godwin Akpeko Dziwornu, Kojo Sekyi Acquah, Adwoa Nartey Padiki, Rui Krause, Dorcas Osei-Safo

Chapter 25. A Collaborative Framework Highlighting Climate-Sensitive Non-communicable Diseases in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa

Climate change vulnerabilities are key environmental and social determinants of health, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where public health and other infrastructure are not yet geared towards counteracting the potential impacts of changing climates. Health-related climate change adaptation research for sub-Saharan Africa is limited and existing research is not effectively translated into practical advice for decision makers. A World University Network (WUN) collaboration project was started in 2016 to investigate climate change impacts on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This interdisciplinary collaboration, established through the Healthy-Polis International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability focuses on the intersection of health, climate and sustainability within urban environments through innovative research methods, co-production of knowledge, capacity building and intervention. NCDs like cancers, asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental health are on the increase in sub-Saharan African urban areas and can be further aggravated by climate change. If NCDs and the climate nexus are unaddressed, they will undermine achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Principally, we highlight climate-sensitive NCDs impacts on vulnerable populations, i.e. women, children, elderly, immune compromised and people with low socio-economic status, throughout their life course. We argue that interventions need to target disciplinary and sector ‘intersections’ for effective adaptation strategies. These interventions should be specifically linked to four SDGs, namely, SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). We conclude with capacity development and policy guidance to strengthen sub-Saharan African countries ability to address climate-sensitive NCDs.
Hanna-Andrea Rother, Clive E. Sabel, Sotiris Vardoulakis

Chapter 26. Multiplex Learning: An Evidence-Based Approach to Design Policy Learning Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa for the SDGs

Although most scholars acknowledged that development is a transnational process, existing discussions usually focus on negative externalities such as pollution, epidemics, violent conflicts and economic crises. This chapter considers a form of positive externality, knowledge spillovers and argues that countries can innovate in policymaking, both design and implementation, and achieve more sustainable forms of development by participating in a multiplex policy learning network. Furthermore, we emphasise that policy knowledge transfer should not be one-way, so global governance becomes a truly inclusive and interactive process. One fundamental problem to this end is the design of such multiplex policy learning networks. This chapter adopts an evidence-based approach to this problem. Using quantitative analysis, we identify performance-based clusters of status leaders, intermediates and followers in Sub-Saharan Africa with respect to the constituents of indicator-based performances on each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), and offer a detailed contextualisation for multiplex policy learning in Sub-Saharan Africa with a prospective design of an international conference agenda for SDGs.
Serdar Türkeli, Pui-Hang Wong, Eleni Abraham Yitbarek


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