The Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability challenges in Africa

Click here to open and read the Case Story. You can also listen to the Case Story below

Watch the TEDxEuston video below on Sustainable Development in Africa ‘connecting the source with a new generation’ by Dr Million Belay from Ethiopia and how they relate to southern Africa. What can you learn from this video for your Change Project?

Can you find two or three relevant videos on the SDGs in Africa or in southern Africa.

Consider how you might use these in your teaching practice.

Linking culture, society, politics, economy, and biodiversity together in sustainable development thinking

In the video above, Million Belay draws our attention to the importance of including culture in sustainability education. He argues that culture is the ‘source’ of our learning, yet we don’t develop this well in our practice. ESD gives us a chance to see how important culture is to sustainability concerns.

Rob O’Donoghue has developed a model that shows that “the Earth is a living world made up of many environments [bio physical, social (cultural), economic and political] that we experience as the surroundings in which we live” (2001:3; see model below). Each aspect interacts with the others, and communities of humans and of other living things, too, interact to shape our surroundings.

Consider the video you have just watched above. Can you identify how the views of Million Belay and Rob O’Donoghue can be used with student teachers or VET instructors to approach the sustainable development goals and priorities in southern Africa, to develop a better understanding of the interacting and multi-dimensional nature of these issues.

Figure 1 O’Donoghue (2001) model showing interacting dynamics of our surroundings (environment). All of these dimensions are relevant to understanding sustainable development concerns.

Look at the information sheet that outlines critical sustainable development issues in Zambia , read the article , ‘Windhoek International School (WIS) children think of ideas to #EndPoverty‘ and then read or listen to how our Case Story unfolds.

Watch the two video’s ‘Seeds of Freedom’ and ‘Seeds of Sovereignty’ (the one video describes the problem, and the other offers hope and change perspectives) [note each video is approximately 30 minutes so allow enough time for this]. After watching them, consider the O’Donoghue model and Million Belay’s views on sustainable development. The video’s are a good example of how African communities are addressing SDG 2: End Hunger, and SDG 13: Life on Land. What do these videos mean for Education for Sustainable Development in your view?

Read the section on the Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to southern Africa in the Learning Action 2 Course material Booklet. Once you have worked through this section please visit the website and go through the SDGs in more detail to familiarise yourself with them. Read some of the articles on ‘the Global Goals at 5’ on the homepage, and some of the current perspectives on the global goals and debates around the global goals and the COVID-19. Do some research on the SDGs in Africa, and in your own country. (e.g. you can visit the SDGs in Africa Centre website to follow discourse on SDGs in Africa.

Which of the SDGs, do you think, are most important for southern Africa? Which of the debates on the SDGs do you most enjoy? Which are most relevant to your context and your TE/TVET education programmes? Which would you prioritise in your teaching programmes? Why would you do this?

  • How can teacher/TVET educators contribute to the achievement of key aspects relevant to the SDGs in southern African?
  • What role can they play?
  • What role can you play?
  • What does this mean for change in your teacher/TVET education institution?

Click here to open and read the Case Story. You can also listen to the Case Story below