Climate change has become a serious challenge to sustainable development worldwide. The African continent seems to have been disproportionately impacted by climate change. In addition to global warming, the African continent is facing rapid population growth, rapid urbanization, rapid growth of extractive industries, and rapid deforestation. All these developments have created an alarming rate of environmental degradation.The continent also has low adaptation capacity to global warming and is already producing a growing number of environmental refugees. This 12-credit Certificate in Sustainable Development in Africa aims to engage graduate students with the issues, debates, and analyses related to sustainable and equitable development in Africa. Students will learn about the key global and regional drivers of environmental degradation, how the environmental degradation has impacted African societies, and how Africa may develop effective adaptation mechanisms to withstand or even reverse the degradation process. This certificate will provide students an opportunity to engage with current topics from a specifically African perspective, and it foregrounds competency in the UN Sustainability Goals in line with similar priorities in Penn State Global and the Sustainability Institute. Students will receive training in development theory and practice to understand the place of Africa in global environmental change. Students will learn to critically analyze the complex interrelationships and trades offs between development and environmental costs. Students can choose to focus on an area of study such as: resource extraction (e.g., mining) and governance, food and agriculture, water, renewable energy (e.g., solar), and development practice. Students are encouraged but not required to pursue study abroad and embedded travel opportunities on the African continent with a specific focus on sustainability.
Certificate Learning Outcomes
- Critically analyze key factors that impact adversely sustainable development in Africa as well as in the rest of the world.
- Appraise Africa’s environmental degradation and its impacts on African societies.
- Analyze and evaluate different policy measures of adaptability to environmental changes and sustainable development in Africa.
Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.
To earn a graduate certificate in sustainable development in Africa, a minimum of 12 credits of graduate and 400 level courses is required. No more than 3 credits may come from individual studies, and no more than 6 credits may come from 400 level courses.
6 to 9 credits from the following courses:
- AFR 501: Key Issues in African Studies
- AFR 527: Migration, Urbanization, and Policy in the Developing World
- AFR 532: Environment and Livelihoods in Africa
- AFR 534: Political Economy of Energy and Extractive Industries in Africa (Oil and Mining)
- AFR 434: War and Development in Africa
3-6 credit from the following relevant African Studies courses, or focal topic course offered by other units:
- AFR 596: Individual Studies
- AFR 464: Extractive Industries in Africa
- AFR 440: Globalization and Its Implications
- AYFCE 535: Youth Civic Development
- INTAD 820: International Agricultural Development Seminar
- FOR 440: Forest and Conservation Economics
- INTAD 577: Global Agricultural Systems
- FOR 418: Agroforestry: Science, Design, and Practice
- GEOG 430: Human Use of Environment