TAFACSE15U Thematic course: Climate, Sustainability and Environmental Governance (CSEG)

Volume 2022/2023

MA programme in African Studies


The African continent is said to be hardest hit by the climate crisis. The following are some of the key reasons:


  • Rural societies in Africa are very closely coupled with the climate system and depend on rainfall to survive.
  • African climate regimes are extremely complex and consist of a mix of landscape systems and weather conditions with implications for agricultural possibilities, biodiversity etc.
  • The capacity in Africa to adapt to climate change and create avenues for sustainable development is uneven: poverty and lack of capacities has reduced choices at both the individual and institutional level. States and other governing institutions have difficulties coping with the effects of climate-related crises.


The objectives of this course are as follows: (1) Develop an understanding of key concepts and theories related to climate issues, sustainability and environmental governance in Africa. (2) Debate climate adaptation and mitigation, sustainable development and governing the environment. (3) Discuss specific African cases related to climate-smart interventions, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and governance initiatives related to biodiversity conservation and rural development.


Key elements to be examined in this course will include:

  • Key actors in Africa's development and the roles they play in responding to the climate crisis, in sustainability and in governing natural resources.
  • Relevant questions concerning the relationship between climate, scarcity and abundance.
  • Internationally-driven climate-smart initiatives in Africa related to the role of state, market and civil society.
  • Impacts and coping strategies related to implementing the SDGs in Africa. 



Learning Outcome

The aim is for the student to acquire the following qualifications:

  • Ability to select and discuss a relevant sub-topic within the overall focus area of climate, sustainability and governing Africa's environment. The sub-topic should be geared towards specific conditions within or related to Africa.
  • Ability to independently and critically select relevant literature on the sub-topic related to climate, sustainability and environmental governance.
  • Ability to independently and critically analyse the sub-topic in question and to place it within the overall context of governing Africa's natural resources.
Passed a minimum of 120 ECTS on BA-level
This course is about learning rather than teaching. All members of the class are expected to show genuine commitment to maximizing the return from the time invested in the class. Reading course literature will be expected and the class sessions will build on this material.The course will consist of a combination of lectures and workshop-like activities with active student participation and presentations by a number of external lecturers including guests from the private sector, NGOs and researchers.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 122
  • Exam Preparation
  • 150
  • Exam
  • 120
  • Total
  • 420
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
15 ECTS: A written paper on a topic of the student’s own choosing comprising 36,000-43,200 characters.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

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