Water, Energy, Food and Environment Nexus

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.

21 – 22 October 2021 (Module 1)
27 – 29 October 2021 (Module 2)
04 – 06 November 2021 (Module 3)
11 – 12 November 2021 (Module 4)

Keywords: Nexus, Water, Energy, Food, Environment


Due to the world-wide restrictions concerning Covid-19, IDEA League is offering this school in an online format.


MSc and/or PhD researchers from IDEA League or African partner universities are welcome to apply.

  • Curriculum vitae & publication list
  • Letter of motivation
  • Optional letter of recommendation

There are no registration or tuition fees for selected participants.

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.   

Selected participants must attend all live sessions as outlined in the program.


  • Preparing junior researchers to deal with the scarcity of resources
  • Understanding the interrelationships between water, energy, food and 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

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


Day Description
20 October 09:00 – 13:00 CET: ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ workshop
21 October Morning: Introduction
Afternoon: Approaches: Systems Governance and meta-governance
22 October Morning: Approaches: Green Economy; Values, Ethics and Justice
Afternoon: Case Study
26 October 16:00 – 17:00 CET: ‘Open Coffee’ hour
27 October Morning: Transboundary river basin management; Supporting framework
Afternoon: Drivers of change in transboundary river basins
28 October Morning: Climate downscaling, catchment & energy modelling techniques
Afternoon: International water law and treaties
29 October Morning: Case studies – Zambezi and Omo-Turkana basins
Afternoon: ICT tools: from models to negotiations
02 November 16:00 – 17:00 CET: ‘Open Coffee’ hour
04 November Morning: Catchment management
Afternoon: Catchment management
05 November Morning: Drinking water management
Afternoon: Health risk assessment
06 November Morning: Health risk assessment
Afternoon: Evaluating and prioritising mitigation measures
09 November 16:00 – 17:00 CET: ‘Open Coffee’ hour
11 November Morning: Smart Crops Development; Building resilient and robust food systems
Afternoon: Entrepreneurship for addressing water, energy and food scarcity
12 November Morning: WEFE Nexus at Local Level; Aquaculture-Agriculture Integration
Afternoon: Closing session

Find more detailed information about the program in the Brochure and Media Kit.