A closer look at climate change and development nexus in Africa

02 Mar 2021
02 Mar 2021

The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance in partnership with the African Climate Foundation (ACF) recently launched the first climate change and development lecture series in the School’s Development Policy and Practice Masters Programme. The lecture series seeks to establish that by bringing climate change to the forefront of development thinking and planning in Africa, countries have the opportunity to carve out new avenues for social and economic development.
For this year’s lecture series, Saliem Fakir, the Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation and course convenor, drew on a network of African experts to help unpack the intricate relationship between climate change and development and to identify opportunities that exist at the nexus.

                                                                                                           Saliem Fakir, Executive Director of the African climate Foundation
The lectures canvassed critical questions like the politics of climate change, how to promote a just transition in resource dependent African countries, the climate change, gender and development nexus, and the potential to leverage mechanisms like the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to pursue and support clean industrialisation opportunities.
This newly developed lecture series forms part of a broader programme of work between the Mandela School and the ACF to build the African body of knowledge and practice on the climate change and development nexus in Africa.

Here are some of the experts who participated in the lecture series;
• Professor Harald Winkler (Professor at the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town)
• Mohamed Adow (Founding Director of Power Shift Africa)
• Dr Prabhat Upadhyaya (Senior Policy Analyst at WWF-SA and Deputy Chair, South African Climate Action Network)
• Dr Nimrod Zalk (Industrial Development Advisor in the Office of the Director-General of the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition)
• Lauren Hermanus (Sustainable development practitioner and researcher leading the Just Urban Transitions project)
• Dr Holle Wlokas (Principal consultant for Synergy Global Consulting)
• Angus McIntosh (South African regenerative agricultural pioneer and farmer trading as Farmer Angus)
• Dr Edwin Ritchken (enterprise and industrial strategy consultant and former advisor to three cabinet ministers in South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises)
• Dr Jesse Burton (researcher in the Energy Systems Research group at the University of Cape Town and Senior Associate at global thinktank E3G)
• Dr Chantal Naidoo (Programme Director of an energy transitions programme in South Africa funded by the European Climate Foundation and Associate Faculty at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex)
• Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg (Director of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development)
• Dr Ruth Meinzen-Dick (Coordinator of the CGIAR program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi), and co-leader of International Food Policy Research Institute’s research theme on Strengthening Institutions and Governance)
• Thandiwe Matthews (human rights attorney and an interdisciplinary doctoral researcher)
• Dr Rob Davies (former Minister of Trade and Industry for the South African Government)
• Faten Aggad (Advisor to the AU High Representative on Future Relations with the European Union)
• Bridget Boulle (Content and Production Manager at Climate Bonds).

The Mandela School is honoured to partner with ACF and share a wealth of knowledge from across industry experts and thought leaders, says Dr Shanil Haricharan, Academic Director at the School.