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Global Norms, African Contexts: A Framework for Localizing SDGs in Cities


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-95979-1_3

Author / Authors:

  • Kareem Buyana
  • J. Jacqueline A. Walubwa,
  • Paul Mukwaya,
  • Hakim Sseviiri,
  • Disan Byarugaba
  • Gloria Nsangi Nakyagaba



The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a normative agenda that offers opportunity for cities to steer profound change globally. But if cities are to play an effective role in localizing the 2030 Agenda, there is a need for systematic engagement with the conundrums presented by the normative dimensions of the SDGs. We argue that African cities offer unique contextual insights into the linkages and overlaps among SDG norms, due to their immensely diverse nature and historically distinct drivers of urbanization. Set against African urban realities, the chapter presents an analytical framework that construes the linkages between global normative statements and local SDG meanings as mainstream and counter-mainstream interpretations. The framework was built by exploring alternative ways of localizing SDGs, through a transdisciplinary waste-to-energy research project in Kampala, Uganda. Based on the locally experienced tensions within the SDGs, we argue for a flexible approach to localization.

Keywords - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Cities, Localization, Africa, Kampala, Energy


  • Book Chapter