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Exploring South Africa's leadership potential in climate change discourse in Africa.

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Studies have shown that Africa, despite being the most-affected continent by the catastrophic impacts of climate change, wields a relatively minimal influence in the ongoing global climate change debates. This inadequacy of influence is due to insufficient leadership from Africa in the global climate change negotiations. To mend this leadership challenge, South Africa has been identified as having significant potentials to lead African climate change discourse, especially, towards wielding a greater influence in the ongoing global climate change discourse. The purpose of this research therefore, is to explore the factors that qualify South Africa to be a prospective leader in climate change discourse in Africa. The study employed Underdal’s leadership perspective to analyze South Africa’s climate change actions, both domestically and globally. The study shows that though South Africa might have the challenge of being mistrusted by its fellow African countries, yet; it still presents huge potentials of providing structural, entrepreneurial, and directional leadership in climate change discourse in Africa. The research suggested that to strengthen trust and improve its leadership prospects, South Africa needs to build more climate change actions coalitions with its fellow African countries.


Master of Social Science in Political Science. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2018.