Water, Energy, Food, and Environment (WEFE) Nexus (IDEA League Autumn School)


Around one-seventh of the world’s population lacks a secure food supply and has only limited access to clean water, sanitation, or modern energy sources. To tackle this challenge, resources need to be managed and more integrated to avoid over-exploitation and allow more inclusive access for all. The WEFE Nexus provides an innovative framework that captures the interrelationships, synergies, and trade-offs between water, energy, and food in different environmental contexts. This Autumn School will introduce junior scholars to the interdependencies of the Nexus elements at different geographic scales (global, basin, national, and local) with a focus on Africa. At each level, the integration of the nexus elements will be investigated. This program is a collaboration between IDEA League member universities and the following African universities:

  • University of Johannesburg
  • Addis Ababa University
  • Eduardo Mondlane University
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Ghana

The WEFE Nexus School offers students the possibility to gain a comprehensive understanding of the interconnections between water, energy, food, and the environment and to develop new ideas for sustainable solutions. In addition to acquiring theoretical knowledge, a focus is placed on practical solutions and case studies that enable participants to apply their knowledge and foster interdisciplinary collaboration between people from different backgrounds. The WEFE Nexus School brings together students and faculty of European and African universities for a unique learning experience. Students will benefit from the wide range of expertise and diverse perspectives on pressing challenges and emerging solutions. The diversity of case studies allows students to explore the WEFE Nexus in different geographic contexts.


  • Preparing junior researchers to deal with the scarcity of resources
  • Understanding the interrelationships between water, energy, food, and the environment
  • Understanding the WEFE challenges and solutions at different geographical levels
  • Getting introduced to different tools necessary to deal with WEFE challenges
  • Bringing researchers from different backgrounds to foster teamwork for solving multidisciplinary problems

Application Deadline:

Monday, 6th September at 12 pm (Noon) CET

Date(s) of the Event:

  • 21 – 22 October 2021 (Module 1)
  • 28 – 30 October 2021 (Module 2)
  • 04 – 06 November 2021 (Module 3)
  • 11 – 12 November 2021 (Module 4)

Detailed information, along with application and registration procedures are available here.