WRI has been working in Africa for more than 30 years, supporting local partners and Africa governments to advance forest protection, landscape restoration and sustainable cities. In recent years, we appointed our first vice president for Africa, established a regional hub in Addis Ababa, and created a region-wide strategy.

Our vision for Africa is an inclusive transformation so Africa’s people and landscapes flourish. To realize this vision, WRI works with partners to generate actionable knowledge across three strategic pillars:


Vital Landscapes

Nurturing productive and resilient landscapes that improve people’s livelihoods requires many pre-requisites: equitable ownership and governance of land; strengthened institutions for collective action; climate-smart agriculture; access to clean energy; payments for ecosystem services mechanisms; enhanced capacity of rural communities to cope with risks, and more.

WRI supports these transformations through a single, far-reaching intervention: landscape-scale restoration. Done well, landscape-scale restoration can help to meet each of the prerequisites for vital landscapes, while enhancing human well-being through food, energy and water systems which conserve, restore and sustain the continent’s rich natural heritage.

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Thriving, Resilient Cities

African cities are being built now, creating a once-only opportunity to follow a sustainable path. WRI Africa works to ensure that these emerging cities become growth engines for their surrounding regions, working through the Coalition for Urban Transitions (CUT), a multi-stakeholder initiative helping governments transform cities.

Our urbanization work utilizes two approaches. First, improving planning to make cities more walkable, compact and connected. Second, fostering stronger links between cities and the surrounding landscapes that provide their water, food and energy.

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Institutional and Economic Transformation

The third pillar of our strategy seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity needed to achieve vital landscapes and thriving resilient cities. This includes working with partners to put in place the policies and practices needed to achieve inclusive, green, and resilient development.

We draw upon the experience of WRI’s New Climate Economy initiative, providing timely, policy-relevant research and analysis to support rapid, livelihood-enhancing development; and creating coalitions of influential champions who inspire governments and multilateral agencies to create and deploy inclusive, resilient and sustainable solutions.

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WRI Africa is led by a vice president and regional director based in Kenya. We maintain a regional hub office in Ethiopia and offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.