What kind of Africa do you envision in 2050?
The world is on fire. Under business as usual, scientists warn that by 2050 over half of the world could face water scarcity, unsafe levels of air pollution, and increasingly unpredictable weather events. The world is at a crossroads. If we act now, we have a unique opportunity to remake the world otherwise.
What future do we hope for? What future do we fear? If you could write any world into being, what world would that be?
The climate crisis is global, but it was not made and will not be felt equally. Africa is the continent that has contributed least to carbon emissions. Yet it stands to be most devastatingly affected by the effects of climate change, with limited resources to cope. Today, African perspectives on just transitions to a low-carbon world have never been more important.
That’s why we have launched Africa@2050. We invite short stories (max 1500 words) or poems (max 1000 words) to the Africa@2050 Climate Fiction competition. Tell us your stories of the future: what is your vision for Africa in the world in 2050? What challenges lie ahead, what dreams and hopes?
Author, filmmaker, independent scholar and dance therapist
Ytasha L. Womack is a leading expert on Afrofuturism and lectures on the imagination and its applications across the world. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture (2013), a leading primer on the subject and is a 2014 Locus Awards Non-Fiction Finalist. Womack’s other books include A Spaceship in Bronzeville, Rayla 2212, Post-Black: How a new Generation is refining African American Identity (2010), and Beats, Rhymes and Life: What We Love & Hate About Hip Hop (2007). Womack’s Afrofuturist dance film “A Love Letter to the Ancestors from Chicago” (2017) won Best Experimental Film at the Collected Voices Festival and toured internationally. Womack was an inaugural resident at Black Rock Senegal, a writer-in-residence with WOW in Liverpool, a creative-in-resident at Kickstarter, and a writer-in-residence at Emerson College. Her graphic novel Blak Kube with illustrator Tanna Tucker debuts in 2023.
Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University
Africa@2050 is a project based at the Centre for Energy Ethics (CEE) at the University of St Andrews and the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies (C3SS) at the University of Ghana. It is funded by the Scottish Funding Council.
Featuring an online writing competition and a climate research workshop, the initiative brings together writers with researchers to collaboratively devise future-looking and innovative solutions to the challenges posed by climate change to the African continent and to the world at large. By foregrounding Africa@2050, we position Africa at the centre of global conversations and innovation and as a catalyst for climate action. We want writers to become leaders in re-imagining the world otherwise. In foregrounding the importance of imagining futures, Africa@2050 emphasizes possibilities for positive change, hope, and determination in facing the climate emergency.