Peter A Allard School of Law

Re-Imagining Sustainable Development

Re-imagining Sustainable Development Banner


Event Description:

After the Year of Africa (1960), African countries started grappling with the domestic efforts to promote development while managing the aftermath of political and economic interventions such as colonial and foreign corporate interests, economic reconstruction, foreign aid and structural adjustment. African states have come together to forge continental development programs under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity and its successor, the African Union, including the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action, the 2001 New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the 2013 Agenda 2063. Following more than 60 years of these efforts, much of Africa continues to face daunting development challenges.
Influential global policy responses such as the Brundtland Commission’s ground-breaking 1987 report, the Rio Declaration in 1992, and the Sustainable Development Goals from 2015 dominate our understanding of the concept of sustainable development to frame solutions in Africa. However, the colonial, modernist, neo-classical economic, institutionalist, and other myopic underpinnings of sustainable development have constrained nuanced understanding of how Africa could address mounting challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, the COVID-19 pandemic, population growth and foreign economic capture.
As part of the “Re-Imagining Agenda 2063 Project” at UBC and LSA, the conference will revisit the deeper historical, philosophical, socio-cultural, political, legal, economic, and other foundations of Africa’s sustainable development policy to address these challenges and rethink solutions. Participants will learn from African Indigenous ways of knowing and the journeys of other developing regions that have walked comparable paths.

Workshops and keynotes:

Academic, policy, industry and community researchers from Cameroun, Canada, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and other countries will re-imagine sustainable development at the African regional, subregional, national, and subnational levels. These contributions are organized into 13 workshops and 2 keynote addresses. Sharing a common thread, each workshop will have 3 speakers, 1 chair to coordinate them and 1 discussant to provide detailed feedback. The keynotes will draw on lessons from Africa and other developing regions to re-imagine sustainable development.


The conference organizers plan to publish selected papers in a peer reviewed book of the International Research Collaboration (IRC) 32 of the LSA, “Re-Imagining Agenda 2063: A Socio-legal Foundation of the Africa We Want,” to be co-edited by Prof. Rashid Sumaila, Temitope Onifade and other policy scholars.


Please submit any inquiries to the conference organizer, Temitope Onifade, Allard Ph.D. Candidate and coordinator of LINA and LSA IRC 32, at, or Delali Oforiwa Ofori, LINA’s Research Assistant for the project, at


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