Spotlight on Politics of Sustainable Development: Future Africa Hosts the Inaugural CoRE Meeting

On 12 to 13 February 2024, Future Africa hosted the inaugural physical meeting of the Cluster of Research Excellence (CoRE) on the Politics of Sustainable Development: Squaring the Circle of Science and Democracy. The University of Pretoria and the University of Oslo, serving as co-lead institutions, were delighted to welcome their African and European partners.

Discussions focused on the CoRE's core pillars:

  • research on political engagement for a just transition,
  • research on African perspectives on climate adaptation and sustainable development,
  • PhD programme on leadership for sustainable societal transformation.

The team, consisting of European researchers from the University of Oslo, UCLouvain, and Utrecht University, alongside African researchers from the University of Pretoria, University of Nairobi, Addis Ababa University, and the University of Malawi, also explored new opportunities for funding, joint activities, and strategies for network expansion.

A decade in the making, this cluster, led by Dr Heide Hackmann, Director of Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, and Professor Dan Banik from the University of Oslo, was launched in September 2023 by The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild). It forms part of the 20 clusters initiated by both networks, collectively involving over 250 researchers across 60 universities and research institutes.

The Africa-Europe Clusters of Research Excellence (CoRE) initiative emerged as a direct response to the AU-EU Innovation Agenda, emphasising the important role of research and education, particularly in the social sciences and humanities, in advancing the EU’s Global Gateway strategy and the AU’s Agenda 2063.