1st Water Energy Food (WEF) Nexus Winter School for Southern Africa


26-30 July 2021

Achieving water, energy and food (WEF) securities is a priority for southern Africa, especially under unfavorable climate change, increasing urbanization, population growth, and advanced ecosystems degradation. Achieving WEF securities will require a collaborative and inclusive approach, which considers the interconnections and interdependencies between the three sectors. Since 2011, when the WEF nexus first came to prominence, various southern African actors have been championing it at various levels. There has been progress in building a shared understanding of the WEF nexus concept, using it to facilitate discourse through various dialogues, and recently developing frameworks and analytical models/tools. The WEF Nexus Winter School is a capacity-building initiative aimed at providing support to early career researchers, postgraduate students, managers and practitioners in understanding nexus thinking, particularly the WEF nexus, as a transformative approach to sustainable natural resources management and socio-economic development. As the field of nexus research is relatively recent, participants will be exposed to this rapidly developing and critically important way of thinking. Participants will improve their knowledge of the WEF nexus and get acquainted with the concepts, how to facilitate discourse and new frameworks, tools and methods for analyzing the WEF nexus.

What to Expect:

The overall objective of the WEF Nexus Winter School is to improve evidence-based decision-making capacities of early career researchers (< 5 years post PhD), postgraduates (Master and PhD), managers and practitioners towards (i) achieving simultaneous WEF securities, (ii) sustainable natural resources management, (iii) socio-economic developments, (iv) understanding WEF trade-offs and synergies, (v) innovating through the WEF nexus for job and wealth creation, and (v) linking science to informing policy and decision-making in their respective countries. Particular emphasis is set on developing transdisciplinary professional competences to prepare the participants for addressing complex grand challenges through transformative approaches.

Therefore, the winter school will focus on:
• Improving the ability to conceptualize the WEF Nexus linkages and potential impact on resource management and regional policies;
• Strengthening skills and knowledge about tools and methods for WEF Nexus assessments, planning, monitoring and evaluation; and
• Networking and mentoring, i.e., improving international communication between practitioners, postgraduates, early career researchers, senior researchers, and experts to build and consolidate a WEF network in southern Africa.

Upon completion of the winter school, participants will be issued with a Certificate of Attendance. We are engaging with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) so that registered scientists can obtain Continuing Professional Development (CDP) points. This will be confirmed in due course.

Who should apply?

Early career researchers, postgraduates, managers, practitioners (NGOs, Government, River Basin Organizations), and stakeholders conducting research and development related to the WEF nexus and related fields such as agriculture, forestry, water, energy, engineering, climate change, ecosystems, and environment. Applicants must demonstrate an advanced (C1) English level (please, see the application form).


The WEF Nexus Winter School will be held at Future Africa, University of Pretoria, Hillcrest Campus, Pretoria South Africa (https://www.futureafrica.science/index.php/campus/conference-facilities) from 26 to 30 July 2021. The venue has accommodation facilities https://www.futureafrica.science/index.php/campus/accommodation, and you are
encouraged to book your accommodation on time (check-in 25 July & check out 31 July). The winter school organizers will closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic situation and timeously communicate any changes via email and through the website: http://WEF-Tools.un-ihe.org.

Program Cost:

The program fee is USD1000 per participant. The fee includes registration, lunch and teas during the Winter School and the field trip. Participants are responsible for their accommodation, flights, airport transfers and meals outside the Winter School hours. A limited number of full and partial sponsorships are available to financially needy candidates from SADC countries who meet the criteria (see application form for details).

To apply:

Visit http://WEF-Tools.un-ihe.org to download the application form and learn more about the 1st WEF Nexus Winter School for Southern Africa. Submit your applications to waternet@waternetonline.org with subject WEF Winter School. You may also use that email for enquiries.


(Late and incomplete applications will not be considered)