uMAMA researcher wins award at the First Symposium of International Network of Michelin cities, at Clermont-Ferrand University, France

Benjamin Batinge, a doctoral candidate of Stellenbosch University and a member of the urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA) Research Team attended the First Symposium of International Network of Michelin cities in 2017, to share his latest research: “Implications of urbanization in sub-Saharan African cities on sustainable energy access”. The paper, co-authored by Mr Batinge and his PhD advisors; Prof. Musango and Prof. Brent, examines the state of African cities by 2030 and the implications of rapid urbanization in cities on sustainable energy access. The study used four African cities namely Lagos – Nigeria, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, Dar es Salaam – Tanzania, and Kinshasa – Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Batinge was awarded the 2017 Jean Monet prize for an original work by a young researcher.

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Mr. Batinge received the Jean Monnet Young Researcher prize for original work at City Hall – Clermont-Ferrand.

The prize for senior researcher was awarded to Paul James from University of Western Sydney, Australia for his work: “Alternative Paradigms for Sustainability: Decentring the Human without Becoming Posthuman”.

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Prof. Paul James and Mr. Benjamin received the Jean Monet prizes at City Hall – Clermont-Ferrand

The symposium, which took place between the 27th of November and 1ST December 2017, brought together stakeholders from academia industry and local government authorities including mayors from major cities in Europe, to deliberates on the challenges presented by the increasing size of the cities, the amount of resources required and the complexity of modern society.
The key speakers at the symposium were Maja Göpel from Wuppertal Institute in Germany, Paul James from University of Western Sydney, Australia, and Aleix Altimiras Martin, Universidad Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. They gave lectures and presented papers pertaining to environment and climate change, sustainability and resilience of cities, and urbanisation and resource flows. The papers presented at the conference will be published as chapters in a book forthcoming in June 2018 titled: “Sustainable Cities”.

The conference was organized in sessions themed: Sustainable Cities, Concepts and Methodology, Environment and Sustainable Cities, Social and sustainable Cities, Energy and Smart Cities. There were also round table discussions with former deputies of the European parliament; Ilona Graenitz, Zofija Mazek Kukovic, Danielle Auroi, and Jean Paul Besset on the topic “Europe and Sustainable Development”.

Conference reflections on Singapore

André Troost, who recently graduated from the MPhil (Sustainable Development) programme cum laude, presented his masters research at the International Conference on Green Energy and Applications in Singapore from 24 to 26 March 2018, hosted by Nanyang Technological University and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. André's research was concerned with the potential of strategic investment to increase access to finance among mini-grid energy service companies in sub-Saharan Africa and was supervised by Prof. Josephine Kaviti Musango from the School of Public Leadership and Prof. Alan Brent from the Department of Industrial Engineering. The study recommends that mini-grid ESCOs should build competencies in customer relationship management and the extrapolation of rural electricity consumption and customer creditworthiness data towards commercial applications such as the sale of electricity dependent products and services, as it was found that potential strategic investors attach value to these indicators. 


Exciting Experience as Guest Researcher at Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden

Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango was awarded Guest Researcher scholarship at Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Sweden (, and spent the fellowship from 1 February – 31 March 2018, with her host, Dr Patience Mususa.


'My fellowship experience at NAI was the most exciting one because I had time to specifically focus on my research, and wrote a paper which is currently in submission process', says Prof Musango. She was thrilled by the large collection of African Scholars' textbooks at NAI Library, which makes it an excellent institution for African Scholars to have a productive time.
While at NAI, she published an article with Paul Currie in The Conversation about the Day Zero Plan for City of Cape Town (, which was one of the most read pieces in the month of March, reaching over 30 000 reads. She also presented her research to NAI colleagues and it was featured on NAI Website ( Further, she submitted a panel for the Nordic Africa Days with Paul Currie and Prof Stephan Krygsman on 'African mobilities as processes of urban metabolism' (, which will be held on 19 -21 September 2018.
“I am excited for the opportunity and support for collaborative research provided to me in NAI, which included a seminar on DIY urbanism with my host, Dr Mususa and other invited collaborators, as well as a visit to University of Bergen, where I am submitting a South Africa-Norway collaboration proposal".
It was not all work without play! It had to be Lagom. Prof Musango had her first ice skating experience, thanks to Lina Soiri, the Director of NAI, and Ingela Dahlin, Librarian, who provided a wonderful training session. NAI also provided the opportunity to Watch Black Panther in 3D, and the discussions thereafter, were stimulating.
Prof Musango is very thankful for Tania Berger, Head of Administration and Research support, and Annika Franklin, Research Administrator, for making her stay since arrival to departure, a wonderful one. She also thanks all the NAI colleagues for the interesting conversations during 10 am coffee breaks, Wednesday's staff meetings with snacks, and Fika.
She looks forward to being back for the Nordic Africa Days event in September 2018!

Postdoctoral Position Open

Urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA), is a Research Group within the Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transitions (CST), which was created to engage with scholars, city decision - makers, urban residents, industry and urban planning and design professionals to enhance the research focus on urban metabolism in African cities.

uMAMA was awarded a grant from Stellenbosch University for one postdoctoral fellow, on a project titled: Comparative analysis in co - designing energy communities in urban informal settlements: the cases of Mathare, Kasubi-Kawaala and Enkanini.

The post doctoral position is part of a larger collaborative research effort titled ‘Co-designing energy communities with energy poor women in urban areas: case studies in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa ’ (, led by Dr Amollo Ambole, Research Group co-Leader of Living Lab at the University of Nairobi, Kenya ( ); Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango, Research Group Leader of uMAMA, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; and Dr Kareem Buyana, Researcher at Urban Action Lab, Makerere University, Uganda (

An appointment will be made for not less than 12 months and not more than one year.

For more details about responsibilities, renumeration and application, please see the full advert here.


Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango on +27 21 808 4 338 or

Dr Lorraine Amollo Ambole on

Commencement of duties : A s soon as possible , but not later than 1 March 2018
Closing date : Open until filled.

SPL Researchers Participate in SU–Makerere University Outreach

To celebrate and strengthen the long standing collaborative relationship between Stellenbosch University and Makerere University, the Centre for Collaboration in Africa (CCA) afforded several postgraduate students and young staff the opportunity to visit and explore the Southern region of Uganda, on 4-9 September 2017. Among the delegation were Suzanne Smit, PhD candidate, and Dr Jacquie Walubwa, PostdDoctoral Fellow, from the School of Public leadership who were representing the urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA) research group.

uMAMA, under leadership of Prof Josephine Kaviti Musango, is currently working on a cross African research project with Dr Amollo Ambole from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Dr Kareem Buyana from Makerere University, Uganda to develop co-designed gender responsive options for improved household energy provision and better health outcomes in urban informal settlements.

Ms Smit, whose research focuses on human activity, land-use and energy flows in urban informal settlements, described the visit as being “deeply impactful in terms of the cultural nuances and historical context”. “My work has thus far been limited to the South African landscape and this has been a real eye-opener, especially with regard to the size and scope of the informal economy and the differences in informal settlement types in Uganda. This visit has reaffirmed my belief in research that is contextually grounded and the need to understand what drives the phenomenon of slums or informal settlements across Africa. Nothing quite drives this home than exploring these spaces first hand.”

According to Dr Walubwa the visit to Africa was a learning experience for improved collaborations from one centre of excellence to another.

SU_Makerere team photo
Front: Dr Amollo Ambole (Nairobi University and Principal Investigator), back right: Dr Buyana Kareem (Co-investigator, Makerere University); to his left: Dr Jacque Walubwa (Stellenbosch Univ) and to her Left: Suzanne Smit (Stellenbosch University). Other members include community leaders, field researchers and researchers from Makerere University.