Advancing Capacity to Address global Challenges through Investment corridors in Africa (ACACIA) project

Lead Research Organisation: World Conservation Monitoring Ctr WCMC
Department Name: Science Unit

Abstract

The concept of 'development corridors' is increasingly used to support economic growth in Africa, driven by international as well as national interests. Development corridors have tremendous development potential yet they face significant challenges. These include uneven development impacts, traversing so-called "underutilised" lands that are generally already populated and managed, and vulnerability to climate change. Such challenges result in a lack of appropriate research capacity in the region. This proposal aims to addresses these challenges through engagement with decision makers and by developing relevant capacity within research institutions and researchers in eastern Africa, China and the UK. The research is targeted to generate decision-relevant evidence and feed it into key decision making processes in order to improve the sustainable development outcomes of investments in development corridors.

The proposal is focused on corridors in eastern Africa, particularly the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and the Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) in Kenya. The consortium is led by the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), who would be contracted as 'WCMC', and comprises five universities (Cambridge, London School of Economics, Nairobi, Sokoine University of Agriculture and York) and three boundary agents (World-Wide Fund for Nature (Tanzania), African Conservation Centre (ACC) and the China National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The work is structured around three outcomes and six Work Packages, fully integrating research and capacity development, and significant policy engagement and outreach.

Planned Impact

Together the members of our consortium members are extremely well linked into a number of different mechanisms and processes that will deliver direct impact through the generation of timely, decision relevant research in the short and medium term. We also envisage a longer term impact through a legacy of early-career researchers, senior research leaders, and institutions trained in three different regions who would be available to work with other countries and agencies on issues related to large scale development corridors and how best to plan and implement them in the developing country context, especially in Africa.
At the national scale WWF-Tanzania and ACC in Kenya are members of the SAGCOT and LAPSSET corridor management structures and hence have a direct voice in these bodies. This project will strengthen their roles in these agencies and allow their input to be informed by relevant, demand-driven research for the specific corridor areas. We see this engagement as a critical part of the impact pathway to influence the decisions made around the current set of development corridors. The likelihood of this happening is strengthened through the commitment by SAGCOT to using the project results.
In China, researchers have been called upon by central government to support the implementation of the country's 13th Five Year Plan, including the country's overseas development assistance and foreign investment such as the Belt and Road Initiative. The country is seeking institutional capital development to ensure that these funds are invested in a sustainable manner in order to realise its international commitments, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. NCSC houses many of the researchers who have been tasked with providing such support to central government. It sits within China's leading economic and development ministry, NDRC, and therefore has extensive convening power across a range of relevant government departments and research institutes. This influence, together with NCSC's experience of South-South Cooperation mechanisms, actively promoting knowledge sharing on climate resilient sustainable development, means that the capacity built will influence China's growing corridor investment in East Africa and other target countries of the Belt and Road Initiative.
At international scale, collectively, the UK-based partners will be able to work through their excellent networks within the UN system, within national governments in East Africa and China, and with both academic and civil society partners to present the project results so that they can inform the design of development corridors in other countries. For example, UNEP-WCMC will be able to disseminate the results to the East African Community via the UN Economic Commission for Africa and to the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment. UKAID supported work (through the Darwin Initiative) on mainstreaming biodiversity into national development plans, including through an African Leadership Group, will also contribute to upscaling project results to additional African countries.
UNEP-WCMC is also working to support countries in delivering on the SDGs, in particular recognising the environmental dimension to multiple SDG targets including those related to agriculture, water, growth, infrastructure, cities, and climate change. UNEP-WCMC and WWF are also working with the extractive, oil and gas, agriculture, and marine transport industries to integrate natural capital into their operations. These industries are often at the heart of growth corridor development. Both UNEP-WCMC and WWF will use this experience to build the capacity of researchers in Kenya, Tanzania and China to make the business case for the integration of natural capital into corridor design.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description As part of our stakeholder mapping and engagement, we have established relationships with a number of critical stakeholders, including: 1) TOTAL, the French oil company who oversees EACOP (oil pipeline development) in northern Tanzania 2) The SAGCOT Center, a body in Tanzania which coordinates the developments in Tanzania's SAGCOT corridor 3) Silver Street Capital, a UK based company which invests in SAGCOT 4) LAPSSET Authority, a body in Kenya which coordinates the development work in Kenya's LAPSSET corridor 5) The Chinese offices of the SGR railway, which implement the SGR railway in Kenya 6) China's Ministry of Commerce, who attended the Beijing launch event In addition to this, we have very promising links with key investment and development organisations in China, including public statements by senior representatives of organisations such as the secretary general of the China International Contractors Association, indicating their willingness to work with us.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Transport
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Aligning the financial system and infrastructure investments with sustainable development - a transformational approach
Amount $280,000 (USD)
Funding ID gef 9775 
Organisation World Bank Group 
Department Global Environment Facility
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 10/2018 
End 10/2020
 
Description Initial scoping field trips in Tanzania corridors 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Initial scoping in the corridors (Iringa, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam regions in Tanzania) to introduce the project (November 2017 and July 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Project features in a major Chinese online newspaper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The launch of the project in Beijing on 17-18 September 2018 was covered by the large newspaper China Daily.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2018-09/21/content_36956421.htm
 
Description Project inception and launch meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (6-9 November 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project inception and launch meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (6-9 November 2017).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Project inception and launch meeting in Nairobi, Kenya (1-3 November 2017). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project inception and launch meeting in Nairobi, Kenya (1-3 November 2017)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Project launch and planning meeting in Beijing and Lishu, China 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project launch and planning meeting in Beijing and Lishu, China
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018