A Research Agenda for Low-Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South - Regional Policy Review – Africa

1 April 2023


All countries now face enormous challenges posed by climate change. The consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions are dire, particularly for countries in the Global South that are both more affected and more vulnerable to climate change at the same time as they have less capacity to adapt (AfDB, 2022). The realization that a low-carbon transition needs to be implemented also in countries in the Global South is well established and is also reflected in most countries’ ratification of the Paris Agreement and in their Nationally Determined Contributions. In effect, most countries in the Global South are now confronted with the fastest and most dramatic transformation of their economies that they have ever experienced – or at least they would need to be. 

The low-carbon transition in the Global South needs to be guided by research since such a transition is an inherently very knowledge-intensive process. This is why the Sustainable Inclusive Economies (SIE) Division of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has identified this area as particularly interesting to support. This report is commissioned by SIE as part of a bigger initiative to develop an actionable research agenda that IDRC can support to achieve a low-carbon transition with gender equity in the Global South. 

This Regional Policy Review for Africa is part of the Research Agenda for Low Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South series of papers. The consortium that is working on this series of papers is global and consists of 60 researchers from a multitude of universities and institutions. This particular paper has been written by Lydia Chikumbi and Amin Karimu from University of Cape Town, Nnaemeka Chukwuone, Ebele Amaechina and Innocent Ifeluin from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Wisdom Akpalu, Nkechi Owoo, Anthony Amoah and Rexford Kweku Asiama from University of Ghana. The EfD Global Hub staff supporting the authors were Daniel Slunge and Daniel Hernandez. 

This Regional Policy Review for Africa is one of the three regional papers covering the experiences and political ambitions with respect to low-carbon transition in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The focus is on the opportunities and challenges that the regions will face in the years to come to achieve a low-carbon transition (LCT). Although the chapters present a regional perspective, they are supported by in-depth analyzes of a sample of countries in each region. We hope to receive constructive comments on this draft paper from IDRC, our networks and external scholars and practitioners. We will then revise the paper for validation by policy makers and senior civil servants in the Global South. Based on the reviews and validations we plan to prepare final versions of both the paper and the accompanying High-Level Research Agenda by March 2023. The ambition is that these papers will be useful both for donors and research institutions in supporting an even greater contribution by research to a much needed low-carbon transition with gender equity in the Global South in this crucial Decade of Action. 

Gunnar Köhlin 

Director, Environment for Development 

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Publication | 26 April 2023