Energy poverty is a major challenge in South Africa. Many of the 1.25 million households in informal settlements rely on burning paraffin or wood to cook and provide light and warmth in their homes. Not only do these methods of energy production create health and safety hazards, but they also limit the economic and educational opportunities of the people – most commonly women and children – living in these settlements.
According to Professor Maano Ramutsindela, University of Cape Town (UCT) Dean of Science and co-editor of Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals, the book brings together over 80 researchers from a variety of disciplines on five continents to demonstrate an approach to an equitable global partnership in the production of knowledge relevant for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
As a Research Coordinator for the Urban Ecolution project in Tanzania, I was given the opportunity to explore resident opinions and experiences in the peri-urban areas of Tanzania’s busiest city, Dar es Salaam. I had a special focus on Urban Green Infrastructure. Having grown up in Dar es Salaam, I have personally witnessed the rapid changes that have taken place in the city over the past two decades. In addition, as a resident of the city’s low-lying area of Kigogo which sits next the Msimbazi River valley, my family and I have sometimes encountered the challenges of floods and other climate-related hazards.
This year’s United Nations climate conference (COP25) underway in Madrid has been overshadowed by social unrest. Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera withdrew from hosting the annual conference following a wave of public demonstrations over economic inequality in his country. Similar protests occurred across the globe throughout 2019, fuelled by public anger over inequality, corruption and economic challenges. The linkages between the world’s inequality and climate change crises have become increasingly visible, as the climate crisis is mainly a battle about redefining winners and losers. Britta Rennkamp explores what this means for African development.