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New report showcases SU’s efforts to build “the Africa we want”
Author: SU International
Published: 05/05/2023

In March 2023, to coincide with the celebration of 30 years of internationalisation at Stellenbosch University (SU), the institution officially launched its very first sustainable development annual report.

The report, Sustainable development for the Africa we want 2021/2022, was published in late 2022. It describes SU's contribution to sustainable development at both a regional and global scale in terms of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda respectively.

Unplanned, but invaluable

The publication is an unintended by-product of the work of SU International's SDG/2063 Impact Hub, which was established in 2021 to focus exclusively on the University's efforts towards sustainable development. (More on the hub follows below.) Shortly after its inception, the hub started engaging with environments across SU to identify the areas and sustainable development goals (SDGs) they were most active in through their research, teaching and social impact work. A working group with representatives from SU divisions such as Research Development, Information Governance, Information Technology, Social Impact and Facilities Management helped find and document University-wide contributions. 
Initially, the primary aim was to create a website showcasing SU's work per SDG and AU goal. The site,, has since been set up and provides an overview of the University's efforts under each goal, institutional sustainable development champions, study options in the field of sustainable development, and general programmes promoting sustainable development at SU. However, the process uncovered a range of interesting stories and evidence, which warranted a dedicated publication listing the year's highlights.

Structured reporting

The report pairs each of the 17 SDGs with their corresponding AU goal(s) to provide a structured overview of the University's sustainable development work. Under SDG 2 (“Zero hunger) and AU goal 5 (“Modern agriculture for increased productivity and production"), for instance, it showcases the University's various food security initiatives, including #Move4Food and the Pantry Project, AgriSciences' Aquaculture and Sustainable Agriculture degree programmes, and the public lectures of SU's Southern Africa Food Lab.

Under the combination of SDG 6 (“Clean water and sanitation") and AU goal 7 (“Environmentally sustainable climate resilient economies and communities"), the report elaborates on the University's state-of-the-art greywater systems and water-savvy building practices and the work of the SU-hosted AUDA-NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence (SANWATCE).

Featured initiatives under SDG 13 (“Climate action") and AU goals 6 and 7 (“Blue/ocean economy for accelerated economic growth" and “Environmentally sustainable climate resilient economies and communities") include the work of SU's School for Climate Studies, the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, and the bold strategies in the University's Environmental Sustainability Plan.

Work on the second iteration of the report has already commenced.  

More about the SDG/2063 Impact Hub

Situated in SU International's Centre for Collaboration in Africa, the SDG/2063 Impact Hub seeks to promote the uptake of both the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda at SU and to introduce sustainable development literacy. To this end, the hub raises awareness of existing SDG-related activities, creates partnerships for research and education, collects and consolidates data, measures SU's impact, and communicates this publicly. The ultimate aim is for the hub's work to support the University in becoming systemically sustainable.