Accra , Ghana

Our Approach
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  • The UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is one of the 15 Research and Training Centres / Programmes (RTC/Ps) of the United Nations University (UNU). The aim of the Institute is to bridge the gap between science and natural resources management policies in Africa. UNU-INRA’s mandate is to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resources in a way that maintains the quality of the natural environment and transforms lives.
    The Institute’s programme areas focus on the development, management and governance of Africa’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources as well as green economy promotion. UNU-INRA’s goal is to be a catalyst for knowledge creation and delivery for efficient use of Africa’s natural resources in order to improve livelihoods.
    Specifically, UNU-INRA’s objectives include the following:

    • Assist African countries and other non-African developing countries to better appreciate and mobilise their natural resources to benefit their people;
    • Promote the development of natural resources through knowledge generation, application of scientific knowledge and the development of innovative approaches for productive work;
    • Increase the understanding of the socio-economic and other dimensions of natural resources in the context of self-reliant development;
    • Contribute to the strengthening of national and other institutions by building research and consultancy capabilities in Africa and other developing countries with respect to their natural resource endowments;
    • Encourage inter-disciplinary research and advanced training in the area of natural resources management;
    • Make scientific knowledge available to policy and decision makers.

    The Institute operates from its main office in Accra, Ghana and carries out some of its programme activities through a network of Operational Units (OUs) and a College of Research Associates (CRA’s). The OUs consist of multi-disciplinary groups of researchers located at selected institutions in five African countries: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, and Zambia. Each of these focuses on specific areas of natural resources management.
    The Institute also runs a competitive Visiting Scholars Programme (VSP) that provides opportunities for researchers from the continent to undertake high-quality research. UNU-INRA also collaborates with other UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral institutions to deal with natural resources challenges facing Africa.
    To be the leading institution in Africa in capacity building for research in natural resources management.
    To empower African universities and research institutions through capacity strengthening.

    UNU-INRA Website

  • In fulfilment of our vision, UNU-INRA’s activities centre on four core areas: research, capacity development, policy advice and knowledge sharing and transfer.


    We conduct innovative and tailor-made cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research on natural resources management issues in Africa by using science-based techniques and methodologies to offer options for solutions. Our research projects address questions on the management of Africa’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources and on the potential of green growth strategies and green economy to promote sustainable development.

    Capacity Development

    We enhance the potential of key stakeholders from universities, research institutions and individuals across Africa through training programmes, so as to strategically position them to be able to address questions affecting natural resources management on the continent. This is achieved by developing and organising flagship training programmes on relevant natural resources management challenges including training on Environmental issues, Extractive Industries, Urban Sustainability as well as Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing training for professionals in natural resources management in Africa.

    Policy Advice

    Our targeted studies aim to inform policy making and to provide policy advice to different stakeholders including African Governments. The ultimate goal is to enable them make informed decisions on the management of the continent’s natural resources for sustainable development. As an African Institute, UNU-INRA will foster good working relationships with African Governments across the continent.

    Knowledge Sharing and Transfer

    We develop and produce evidence-based materials such as books, working papers, policy briefs, chapters in books, proceedings and conference presentations, journal articles and media releases to share research findings with our key stakeholders in Academia, Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other Policy and Advocacy Groups. We also organise public events such as conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures that provide a platform for our stakeholders to share ideas and also offer networking opportunities.


    United Nations University
    Institute for Natural Resources in Africa
    International House
    Annie Jiage Road
    University of Ghana, Legon Campus
    Accra, Ghana.

    T: +233-302-500396
    F: +233-302- 500792
    E-mail: inra@unu.edu