South Africa shows leadership in the transition to a green economy

In 2008 South Africans had a first hand experience of lack of energy insecurity, as a result of massive power cuts across the country with major implications on the economy. Even though energy access remains elusive to sections of South African society, especially the poor and rural dwellers in general the government of South Africa has done a great job in ensuring energy security for the country. Indeed South Africa is proving to be a leader in the deployment of renewable energy, having made major commitments to transition the country to a low carbon economy.

Only a few years ago renewable energy sources other then nuclear power featured promptly in the South Africa’s energy mix, but that picture is changing- at the speed of light. South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), stipulates that by 2030 about 43% of energy supply should come from renewable energy. The good news is that South Africa has made bold sets towards achieving that goal, which is very commendable for a country that is often criticized for its slow pace of policy implementation.

According to the department of Energy, South Africa is expected to buy 3725MW of renewable energy from independent power producers to reduce over reliance on coal power, which is the main source of power albeit a very dirty one. As a result of this positive sentiment from government, the country has been able to attract R150 billion in foreign direct investment in the energy sector, and this figure is projected to increase as the renewable energy procurement goes to competition.

The key lessons that can be drawn out of the South African experience is that the transition to a green economy is indeed possible, and given the right policy environment, its possible to mobilize the necessary resources to deploy the technologies required to transition to a green economy. It should however also be noted that the transition to a green economy is incomplete, unless its inclusive and is able to address pertinent social justice issues. It remains to be seen how these interventions in South Africa will impact those at the bottom of the pyramid, through job creation and improved energy access and hence poverty alleviation.




AFRICEGE Board Member co-authors a book

We are proud to announce that one of our board members and co-founder of Africege, Dr Sepo Hachigonta has co-authored a book on climate change and agriculture in Southern Africa, entitled Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis. The book was recently launched at the high level regional dialogue on climate smart agriculture. This annual dialogue draws key policymakers in the region, and this year it was attended by the Prime Minister of Lesotho, and Secretary General of SADC among other key stakeholders.

In the book, Dr Hachigonta and his co-authors write “agriculture is the main source of employment and income for southern Africa’s rural population. This crucial economic activity is endangered by climate change. This study is a comprehensive analysis that focuses on ways to foster agricultural development and food security in Southern Africa”

This is a critical publication, at at a time when the Southern Africa region faces significant threats from climate change that has led to declining crop yields, resulting in food insecurity for many countries in the region.

Dr Hachigonta, who holds an MSc and PhD from the University of Cape Town has been associated with AFRICEGE from the start, when generic viagra best the idea was first conceived during the Young Scientists Global Change Conference in Beijing in 2006. We are very proud to be associated with Dr Hachigonta, and the significant impact and influence he wields on climate change and agriculture in the region.


High level regional dialogue on climate smart agriculture

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so the saying goes, and if this is true, hopefully the message of climate change will find it’s way into our hearts, if its impact on food security in Southern Africa is anything to go by. High temperatures will reduce crop yields, increased prevalence of pests and weeds. Changes in precipitation such as increased rainfall or drought will increase the likelihood of crop failure negatively impacting food security.

Many countries in sub-Saharan countries are already highly vulnerable due to the prevailing food insecurity, and the advent of climate change is going to exacerbate that situation. The most vulnerable populations are often those who are already at the bottom of the pyramid.  This is because the poorest section of the population often has the least options to adapt to climate change, and with projected increase in crop prices, cialis online hunger will be a real problem affecting the ability of many countries to meet their MDG goals.

Group photo of some delegates at the climate smart agriculture dialogue

Group photo of some delegates at the climate smart agriculture dialogue

Climate smart agriculture (CSA) seeks to comprehensively address the threat posed by climate change on agriculture and also seeks to curb the potential contribution of poor agricultural practices on green house emissions, that cause climate change.  CSA “seeks to incease sustainable productivity, strengthen farmers’ resilience, reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.”

The high level regional dialogue on climate smart agriculture (CSA) is convened by the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), bringing together key stakeholders in the Southern Africa region to dialogue evidence based policy implementation in support of CSA. This dialogue that is convened annually, can be regarded as the epitome of thought leadership on building resilience to combat climate change.

Africege is proud to participate in this year’s dialogue having collaborated with FANRPAN understanding the policy landscape on climate change and human health in sout

hern Africa. More information on the dialogue can be found here:


Partnership for action on green economy

UNEP just just announced an initiative called the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). PAGE is a response to the outcome document of Rio+20 (The future we want). PAGE aims to support 30 countries build national green economy strategies, that will create new jobs, promote clean technology and reduce environmental risks and poverty.

As Africa’s wealth grows, poverty must come down

Africa’s booming economic growth fuelled by a rigorous focus on government and citizen accountability will boost poverty reduction and promote shared prosperity, according to the World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse, the twice-yearly analysis of the economic trends and latest data on the continent. “The broad picture emerging from the data is that Africa’s economies have been expanding robustly and that poverty is coming down,” says Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, and lead author of Africa’s Pulse. More>

Mapping the new economy

New project: Mapping the new economy in South Africa. Africege is proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the New Economics Foundation (nef). This innovative partnership is seeking to catalyse debate in South Africa that promotes models of the economy that maximize wellbeing, operates within environmental limits and is capable of coping and adapting to global environmental change.

The buffling impact of climate change and health

Dr ACoraf_meetingmis recently published a report for the West and Central African  Council  for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), on climate change and its impact on the health sector in southern Africa. The report found that the health sector in the region faces significant risks, in terms of increased burden of diseases and that the policy response is still very slow compared to other sectors. Download Full Report (102 downloads)