Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute (ALLI)

UP to host national network of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

14 February 2022

A step forward for sustainability as UP hosts the national network of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) exists to mobilize the world’s academic and research institutes, leveraging their strengths to promote practical solutions for sustainable development with a key focus on:

  1. Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement by providing support for governments in understanding the challenges of sustainable development;
  2. Promoting practical solution initiatives and long-term pathways for sustainable development;
  3. Promoting high-quality education and research collaboration for sustainable development.

Guided by a transdisciplinary leadership council, the SDSN pursues its mission by working with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. The SDSN currently has over 1 500 member institutions, and these are organized into networks at the national and regional level that currently number 40 in total. While there are seven South African member institutions, South Africa has until recently not had a national network. The University of Pretoria is proud to take the initiative as host of SDSN South Africa.

The purpose of a national or regional SDSN is to mobilize universities, research centers, civil society organizations, business, and other knowledge centers around practical problem solving for sustainable development unique to their local contexts and challenges. Each National/Regional SDSN is coordinated by one or more host institution(s), which have a strong demonstrated track record working on issues relating to sustainable development. These select institutions house the National/Regional SDSN Secretariat, convene universities and institutions in the country or region, and promote the activities of the global network.

As a champion of academic research and a leader in technological advancements, the University of Pretoria provides an excellent opportunity for leveraging the skills of experts and academics of all South African SDSN members in striving to achieve the SDGs Nationwide and localize the 2030 Agenda. At the helm of SDSN South Africa is the local Leadership Council, respresenting various sectors and headed by the network Chair, Professor Tawane Kupe, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria. The secretariat of SDSN South Africa further consists of a Network Manager (Dr Yolande Steenkamp, Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute) and Deputy Network Manager (Mr Jonathan Tager, UP Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship). The national network will have its launch on 2 March 2022, and its first member meeting is being planned for September during Africa Week.


For any information, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].




Network Chair

Professor Tawana Kupe




Network Manager

Dr Yolande Steenkamp


Assistant Network Manager

Jonathan Tager



- Author Elma Akob