UC Davis Hosts UN Summit on Sustainability in Africa

Faculty, staff and students are invited to a conference later this month at UC Davis to discuss how academic institutions can help African nations meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of access to clean energy and water, sustainable food production, and healthy lives and well-being.

Doing so, organizers say, will require breaking down traditional academic silos and increasing collaboration among institutions. UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Stanford University are partnering with UC Davis for the event, dubbed “U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Conference: Research to Action on the African Continent.”

Africa Rising Speaker Series

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, this series continues Wednesday (Jan. 11) with a program featuring seven former Borlaug LEAP fellows, addressing the topic of a book they are editing, The Future of African Agriculture: Perspectives from the Next Generation of African Scientists. Presentations and panel discussion, 4-5:30 p.m., 3001 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building. Admission is free and open to the public. Borlaug LEAP refers to the Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program, serving graduate students from sub-Saharan Africa. Borlaug LEAP is managed by the International Programs office of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

More information is available on the Borlaug LEAP website.

The free conference, set for Monday, Jan. 23, is limited to 300 participants. Registration can be arranged here.  

Keynote speakers will include Madame Mathilde Mukantabana, ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States; and Genevieve Maricle, senior policy advisor to the U.S. ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter is scheduled to speak at the conference.

The conference will also feature four 15-minute TED-style talks from faculty members focusing on interdisciplinary research and lessons learned:

  • Kate Scow, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: “Participatory Research to Identify Irrigation Technologies for Horticulture for Women and Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Uganda”
  • Woutrina Smith, One Health Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine: “Linking Sustainable Development Goals Health Research and Livelihood Improvement: The HALI Project in Tanzania”
  • Michael Carter, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: “Bundling Innovative Risk Management Technologies to Boost the Agricultural Productivity and Food Security of Vulnerable Small Farm Households in Africa”
  • Monique Borgerhoff-Mulder, Department of Anthropology, College of Letters and Science: “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Zanzibar”

Conference attendees can also participate in breakout sessions dedicated to addressing important questions of long-term success, sustainability and scalability of highlighted projects.

A full agenda with the sessions’ times and locations is available online.

This isn’t the first time UC Davis has hosted research focused on African energy. Last year, 25 leaders from 19 African countries spent six weeks at UC Davis studying the campus’s energy expertise as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

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