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Stranded assets and climate change in the context of sustainable development in Africa

Asset stranding (when assets are devalued) in Africa’s fossil fuel and mineral sectors poses significant risk to development pathways for countries that face sustainable development challenges. There is an urgent need to identify policy choices based on the contextual understanding of countries and sectors.

Contextual understanding has been limited and African voices and insights are often missing from analytical studies. This project aims to contribute to a new area of research for impact. The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) will generate an evidence-based assessment that evaluates the socioeconomic risks African countries face because of fossil fuel and mineral assets stranding. Sustainable development policy actions will be identified for achieving the Paris Agreement targets and key Sustainable Development Goals from a country perspective.

Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, and Zambia will be analyzed because of their high reliance on mineral assets, albeit at different stages of exploitation. The research will examine the implications of stranding different types of mineral assets in terms of financial returns to countries and regional economies, changing availabilities and priorities for investments for the health and education sectors, effects on the economic transformation of gender, and on evolving employment markets. The study aims to inform deeper understanding of these issues by African policymakers and the private sector in the context of the current political economy on mineral resources in Africa.

Project ID
Project Status
12 months
IDRC Officer
Michele Leone
Total Funding
CA$ 99,200.00
South Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Dr Fatima Denton
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa