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December 2021

The guideline is a means to increase the capacity of the utilities in the planning of the routine
operation, which is a fundamental element to ensure quality services and a way to track the
progress of the SDG targets within their domain of service areas. For this reason, the public utilities
must reflect the standard practices of providing basic water and sanitation services and analyze the
impact of global, regional, national and local situations on the utilities' performance


Global goals need African voices
September 2018

Farmers hold the key to fulfilling global goals on hunger and poverty. How can we build a more food-secure future in Africa? 

The mouth is ignorant: after eating, it forgets who provided the food”, so an African proverb says. But it is essential that we understand how our food arrives onto our plates – a path that is a result of processes linking nature and people. A vast web of connections defines the nutrients in our stews, the incomes of rural farmers, and, ultimately, the sustainability of the planet.

Authors: Mr. David Collste, PhD Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Ms. Maylat Mesfin, Social Sector Advisor, SDGC/A

T20 Africa, G20 and Africa: Assessing Our Impact and Influence
August 2018

The T20 comprises think tanks that aim at developing research and evidence-based briefs and positions to guide governments in policy development. The T20 Africa Standing Group was established in 2017 to bring together think thanks from the G20 and African countries to work together on G20 policy matters. But as of now there is little information about T20 Africa’s influence and impact on G20-Africa related policies

Authors: Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General of the SDGC/A; Dr. Grace Onubedo, Senior Research Fellow at The Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa; Ms. May Hui, SDGs Advisor at the SDGC/A; and Dr. Milindo Chakrabarti, Visiting Fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries.

Cooperating on the Improvement and Expansion of Tertiary Education and TVET Programs to Transform African Economies
August 2018

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) brought about a paradigm shift in international cooperation. The agenda emphasised the need of the global north and south to share responsibility and act together. The follow-up agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is even more comprehensive and demanding.

Authors: Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director General, SDGC/A and Mr. Yulius P. Hermawan, Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Parahyangan Catholic University, Indonesia

Building from the Last Mile: Spending on Lighting and Electricity in Rwanda
February 2018

With the high cost of extend the grid well established, small individual solar systems have shown great promise in meeting the energy need of the estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide that lack access (including 600 million in Africa). However, a systematic analysis of a potential market size for existing solutions has yet to be undertaken. In particular, there is little understanding about the differential of spending ability across the population. Five dollars a month is often cited as a realistic amount for most customers to spend, but there has been spotty data to back this assertion. Fortunately, many countries have large, vetted data sets that contain the answer to this exact question in the form of living condition surveys that track consumption in many different areas, including energy products. By analyzing these data sets, it is possible to get a very rich sense of market sizes at different price points.

Author: Mr. Gordon Shaw, SDG Advisor 

Mobilizing Higher Education for the Sustainable Development Goals
January 2017

With a burgeoning African youth population that is increasingly challenging the quality and quantity of tertiary educational institutes in Africa, a revitalization of educational policies that stagnate the pace of development has become central to progress. Tertiary education, especially in Sub Saharan Africa, has come a long way from the 1980's when most funding was limited to primary and secondary education. In an increasingly technologically sophisticated world, highly specialized skill-sets were essential to Africa’s global economic role.

 Author: SDGC/A

SDG Financing for Africa: Key Propositions and Areas of Engagement
January 2017

SDG Financing for Africa: Key Propositions and Areas of Engagement  is a discussion paper presented during the SDGC/A Conference: Expediting the Implementation of Africa's 2030 Agenda on 27 January 2017, Kigali, Rwanda. 

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in African nations requires a bold approach to development finance – one that significantly increases long-term, public and private investments on the continent. Without a bold approach to this endeavor, the SDGs will simply not be achieved. Unlike the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), during which there was a major focus in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), the SDGs will require all types of financing – public, private, international and domestic – to be achieved. As a result of this need, new frameworks for development finance are required for national governments and financial institutions. The purpose of this document is to highlight key propositions regarding the financing of the SDGs in African nations and to articulate how the SDGC/A will help contribute to these challenges.

Authors: Dr. Belay Begashaw, Director-General, SDGC/A, and Mr. Aniket Shah, SDG Advisor for Development Finance, SDGC/A.

Professor Vijay Modi
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS
Faculty, Earth Institute and Data Science Institute
Columbia University

SharedSolar - A qSEL Project
Pay-as-you-go system for household electric

March 2017 

SharedSolar pioneered the first pay-as-you-go minigrids in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide grid-like service using renewable energy, digital metering and smartly managed storage. Shared Solar has brought reliable and verifiable electric service to off-grid communities. Core principle was to allow a seamless growth of consumption and appliance ownership on consumer side without having to make additional consumer investments each time in generation/storage hardware. Shared Solar takes a decentralized approach to providing electric infrastructure and service to communities that are not immediately considered viable for grid connectivity.

Author: Professor Vijay Modi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS, Faculty, Earth Institute and Data Science Institute, Columbia University

A Toolkit for Geospatial Electrification Planning
March 2017 

The ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SE4All) initiative was launched by the United Nations in 2011, aiming for universal access to modern energy services by 2030. Hundreds of millions worldwide still lack electricity. The Sustainable Engineering Lab has years of experience and an innovative, inexpensive, and highly practical mix of tools to help with geospatial electrification planning for increased access. 

SEL also has more than ten years of field work and project implementation experience in the areas of development planning and geo-spatial data gathering in many countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The SEL team provides training in many technical aspects of geo-spatial data gathering and management, including grid and social infrastructure mapping, algorithmic modeling. The SEL team also has experience implementing and managing innovative smart solar micro-grids.

Author: Professor Vijay Modi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS, Faculty, Earth Institute and Data Science Institute, Columbia University
Contact: Vijay Modi (Director):; Edwin Adkins (Geospatial Planning Specialist):

Acacia Irrigation - A qSEL Project
Pay-as-you-go (or lease to own) system for smallholder irrigation

March 2017 

Smallholder irrigation has alluded much of Sub-Saharan Africa, even though it played a key role in lifting Asia out of poverty and hunger. The Acacia Irrigation system developed by the qSEL addresses this challenge. Recognizing the need to provide a low operating cost solution, yet not burden the farmer with high capital costs of solar equipment, we developed a pay-as-you-go model for irrigation water provision. The system can power one or more pumps located in close proximity (200 meters) to each other with a single solar PV power source. Successful current usage has been in the Niayes zone in Senegal, stretching from Dakar to St. Louis. Here 5 to 7 kWp PV installation power one or more one kW three phase AC motors to drive pumps. The farmers receive water as a service. We are also developing a low-cost single farmer (but share-able) system.

Author: Professor Vijay Modi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS, Faculty, Earth Institute and Data Science Institute, Columbia University


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