Unleashing the Potential of African Rural Economies through Green Growth

Recent discussions on "green growth" build on empirical evidence pointing to the unsustainability of current growth models. This problem highlights the linkages between the environmental, economic, and social aspects of development. It also points to the need to move toward a sustainable development approach, where economic growth and development promote environmental protection, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the natural resource base-in other words, a green economy. This project will investigate how rural Africa can benefit from a green economy. While research in this area is increasing, stronger scientific evidence generated by local researchers is needed on how countries and communities at the margins of the world economy could handle the shift toward a more sustainable development path. The project will help shape the policy debate on promoting a green economy in rural Africa. It will do so through a combination of grants, research support, training, activities, and knowledge-sharing tools. Specifically, the project team will: - train researchers (at least 25% of them women) and enhance their ability to use modern and rigorous research tools to address issues relating to green growth; - enhance the ability of African policy- and decision-makers to apply research-based knowledge to policies and decisions in order to promote green growth in rural economies; - conduct and facilitate innovative research to inform policy design and decision-making on rural green growth; and, - develop a knowledge management system to distribute relevant information and to support policy- and decision-making relating to rural green growth. Research findings will inform ongoing national and regional policy discussions on options to promote low carbon technology and resource efficiency in a way that retains rural labour, promotes small and medium enterprises, and enhances employment opportunities and entrepreneurship. The United Nations University's Institute for Natural Resources will implement the project in collaboration with its network of partner institutions across Africa.

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Monday, August 14, 2017


36 months

IDRC Officer

Flaubert Mbiekop

Total funding

CA$ 1,000,000


South of Sahara


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Dr Elias T. Ayuk


United Nations University

Institution Country


Institution Website