Global Goals and African Development

  • Maano RamutsindelaEmail author
  • David Mickler
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), occupying a centre stage in the post-2015 development paradigms, raise important questions about how African development priorities and needs are situated within broader global agendas, and the impacts these agendas have on the well-being of people living on the continent. The aim of this chapter is to contribute to discussions and debates on the intersection between the SDGs and African development in the twenty-first century. African development has been a subject of scholarly debates and policy interventions by state and non-state actors for many years. Our intention in this chapter is to discuss African development in the context of the SDGs and through five themes relevant to this volume. The first theme tackles the question whether the SDGs compete with or compliment other development agendas on the continent. The second theme places the SDGs within the political economy of Africa’s natural resources to argue that Africa’s resources remain crucial for the global capitalist economy, and that this limits the promise of transforming the continent through the SDGs. The third theme draws the links between higher education institutions, networks, and African development, and also teases out the identity and developmental roles of African universities. While SDGs offer many opportunities for African development they also come with their own constraints. We explore these opportunities and constraints in theme four. The last theme, on climate–human–ecosystem interactions, draws attention to changing human–environment relations and their implications for global environmental solutions.


African development Political economy African universities Human–environment relations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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