10. Perspectives on the Challenges for Sustainable Development in Africa


Sustainability Working Group

According to UNEP, about 50 percent of Africa’s eco-regions have suffered immensely due to degradation, cultivation and urbanization. From the 1.4 billion people worldwide who not have have access to energy, 40 percent reside in Africa. The continent’s development in energy is lagging behind the growth of its population and socio-economic needs, according to a report from NEPAD. Climate change is playing a critical role in hindering goals of sustainable development by causing a reduction in rainfall, increasing temperatures and flooding. Africa only accounts for about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its location. The agricultural production relies heavily on the supply of rain which has been decreasing. More than half of the labor force is employed in agriculture, but this has not guaranteed food security. Over 300 million Africans do not have access to safe drinking water and uneven water distribution is a major issue. Major challenges for sustainable development range from poverty, desertification, deforestation and climate change. According to a recent MDG report, Sub-Saharan Africa was among the fastest in terms of developing regions in alignment with the eight Millennium Development Goals. As progress is being made, many targets still stand to be achieved.

Our sessions will explore the dynamics of sustainable development in Africa.

Paper topics may include, but need not be limited to:

  1. Climate Change and Agriculture

  2. Resource dependence

  3. Renewable energy

  4. Land and property rights

  5. Policy narratives

  6. Foreign investment

  7. Extractionism

  8. Community driven development

  9. The role of institutions

Questions regarding this call can be directed to David Hajj (Georgeda01@mail.buffalostate.edu) - Sustainability Working Group