Providing Capacity Building Support to Teacher Educators for ESD in Southern Africa


Many countries around the world have made the implementation of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) one of their top development priorities. The aim is to address problems hindering or threatening human living including poor quality education, climate change and inequality. In its contribution to the world agenda, Rhodes University’s Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) has joined the SDGs implementation consortium in cause of SDG 4 (Quality Education).  

The South Africa Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Global Change and Social Learning Systems, Distinguished Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka, together with other ELRC researchers, is involved in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) level teacher education programme involving research to inform the interpretation and implementation of SDG 4, Target 4.7. of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and working with UNESCO Regional Office for Education for Sustainable Development as lead partner. 

The project aims at providing capacity building support to teacher educators for the implementation of Target 4.7 of SDG 4, which requires educators to integrate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into all areas of education. The project is focussed on southern Africa (11 SADC countries: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, eSwatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique), which is one of the region’s most at risk from climate change and the ongoing impacts of poverty.

In one of recent meetings under this project, Prof Lotz-Sisitka noted that all these efforts are being undertaken in realizing that southern Africa faces a great challenge of sustaining rapid economic growth as its population is expected to double by 2050. There is a need to safeguard the life-support system provided by its rich natural capital, which underpins the realisation of its long-term vision, added Prof Lotz-Sisitka.

In a related effort, recently Botswana conducted an in-country Sustainability Starts with Teachers workshop. To read more on the Botswana workshop click here