ARUA Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development

ARUA Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development's initiative seeks to establish a leading pan-African platform gathering transdisciplinary climate change research in both the adaptation and mitigation spaces.

An initiative of African Research Universities' (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development

Overview of the project

The aim of the ARUA-CD is to establish a leading pan-African platform for promoting, facilitating and building capacity for transdisciplinary and transformative climate change research in Africa in both the adaptation and mitigation spaces. The Centre’s objectives for its first 5 year phase are:
1. Establish the ARUA-CD as a respected entity and presence in the climate change and development space.
2. Grow our network to include other researchers, policy makers and practitioners in Africa and beyond to begin to build a pan-African community of practice with links to the global community.
3. Synthesise existing knowledge through scoping activities, and develop research agendas and concept notes to begin to build the understanding and capacity needed to undertake research and influence policy and practice.
4. Expand on the priority thematic areas for research and training (namely climate knowledge systems, climate governance, climate resilient landscapes, and sustainable energy for poverty production) through collaborative activities, partnerships and knowledge sharing.
5. Build the capacity, capabilities, and skills (both ‘soft’ as well as hard skills) of researchers (primarily early career researchers but also established researchers) to work in collaborative teams, across disciplines and regions, and with society to address the complex challenges that emerge at the interface of climate change and development. These collaborative activities have huge potential in terms of strengthening relationships and promoting trust across the African network.
6. Review and interrogate the effectiveness of existing masters-level curricula in climate change and development in nurturing graduates who are capable of advancing a transformation to more equitable and sustainable pathways.

The successful execution of this project requires efforts in developing open and constructive partnerships with experts, decision-makers, practitioners and with well-targeted communities in order to identify research gaps, co-design projects, co-create knowledge and apply context-appropriate solutions.


Research, training and capacity building for transdisciplinary and comparative climate change research and action in Africa.

Level of progress


Project timeline

01/01/2019 - 12/31/2025

Quantitative results

We are still establishing the Centre of Excellence.

Qualitative results

As above


The CoE has some start up funding. However the main source of funding will be through applying for research grants.

About the

African Research Universities' (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development

Sheona Shackleton
Deputy Director

The ARUA Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development (ARUA-CD) is a strategic, collaborative pan-African response to the climate and development challenges of the continent and the urgent needs and knowledge required to address these. The ARUA-CD acknowledges three partners – each of them working as a regional hub – : the University of Cape Town (the African Climate and Development Initiative), the University of Ghana (the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies), and the University of Nairobi (the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation).
The ARUA-CD tackles the triple challenge of enabling development that is equitable, resilient to existing and expected climate risks and impacts, and is low in carbon emissions such that African contributions to global warming is reduced.
The CoE aims to build capacity for comparative, engaged and transformative research that enhances decision-making, policy processes and science, towards the goal of an equitable and climate resilient future. Its activities are built to support African scholars and professionals in confronting the status quo and pursuing state-of-the-art solutions to the complex challenges posed by climate change. It has for goal to strengthen and gather African voices in both regional and global platforms.
The ARUA-CD partners have already scoped four thematic areas for research and training that are of relevance to the East, West and Southern African regions, such as Climate Resilient Landscapes, Climate Governance, Knowledge Systems, and Sustainable Energy for Poverty Reduction.

Find them on
A project
in collaboration
  • Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies


    Professor Chris Gordon
  • Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation University of Nairobi


    Professor Shem Wandiga