Management Practices Towards the Incorporation of Sustainability in African Universities

Solomon Chukwuemeka Ugbaja


The continent of Africa is one of the most resource-rich continents on earth, as it is so well-endowed with natural resources such as crude oil, natural gas, silver, diamond, timber, coal, bauxite, uranium, gold, chromium, mountains, forests, coastal lands, deserts, woodlands, freshwater ecosystems, etc. Despite being endowed with all these natural resources, Africa is still the poorest continent in the world. This calls for sustainable management, development and protection of the environment, and from this arises the need for African universities to help their societies respond to all these environmental, economic, and societal challenges. This study observes and evaluates the incorporation of sustainability practices in African universities. The main question in this study is, ‘How are universities incorporating sustainable-oriented practices in African sustainability-focused universities as far as CORE system (Curriculum, Operations, Research, and Engagement) is considered?  The employed research methodology mainly relies on content analysis of UI Green Metric ranking and universities’ websites of selected universities in Africa from the UI Green Metric Sustainable University assessment and ranking index to observe the universities’ integration of sustainability practices.  The sample of the study is selected from four hundred and seven (407) top sustainable universities ranked by the UI Green Metric. The total population observed and evaluated in this study includes the only eleven (11) sustainability-focused Universities in Africa according to UI Green Metric sustainable ranking. It is obvious that from the observations made in this study that the studied universities have sustainability as part of their goal and have plans, policies, and strategies; they have gone ahead to incorporate some of their sustainability goals. From the findings, the eleven universities need to increase their commitment in the Operational Eco-efficiency (Setting and Infrastructure, Energy and Climate Change, Waste Reduction/ Recycling, Water Conservation, and Transportation) aspect of the CORE system. Also, in the area of Education in the CORE System, all the studied universities performed below average and need to really be more committed in this aspect of sustainability which is very important in the education of students and the society about sustainability. African universities should strive for the attainment of the sustainable development goals to achieve a sustainable society.

Keywords: Management and Sustainability Practices, Content Analysis, CORE System, UI Green Metric, African Universities.


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