Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Great Lakes (SDSN GL)


The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The SDSN objectives are:

  1. Support the implementation of the SDGs, Financing for Development, and the Paris Climate Agreement
  2. Promote Solution Initiatives
  3. Develop SDSN Networks
  4. Develop high-quality, free, online education via the SDG Academy

The SDSN is led by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs:

 Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute. Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is Chair and Founder of SDG USA, a non-governmental initiative to promote the Sustainable Development Goal concepts in the United States. Sachs is also co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and was director of the Millennium Villages Project (2005-2015).

SDSN Networks Program

Much of SDSN’s work is led by National or Regional SDSNs, which mobilize knowledge institutions around the SDGs. Several Thematic Networks mobilize experts from around the world on the technical challenges of implementing the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Networks Program mission is:

  1. Localize and mobilize support for the SDGs  
  2. Support preparation of long-term pathways for sustainable development
  3. Teach sustainable development, including through the SDG Academy 
  4. Vet and launch solution initiatives

The SDSN Great Lakes was launched  in 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda. It is hosted by the University of Rwanda-College of Business and Economics.

Conferences already taken place in SDSN GL are:

  1. 17 July 2015 “Preparing for the Implementation of the SDGs.”
  2. 26 April 2016 “Regional Solutions to Achieve the SDGs.”
  3. 12 July 2017 “Local Solutions to Achieve the SDGs.”

The SDSN GL is headed by a Chair and a Manager at Regional Level. The following are their profiles:

The Chair of SDSN GL. Dr. Gasheja Faustin (PhD) is the Acting Principal at University of Rwanda-College of Business and Economics (UR-CBE). He has done a lot Research and Consultancy in various socio-economic studies. From October 2015 up-to-now, he is a Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Consultant at UR-CBE. In September 2016, he offered training on Project Management to the MININFRA Staff. He was a senior consultant in June 2016 at MININFRA for MINI-GRID SURVEY. In March 2016, he was offering training on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Performance Based Budgeting at Rwanda National Police. From October 2014 to February, he was involved as a senior consultant in an assessment of Rwanda’s Agricultural Production, Climate Change, Agricultural Trade and Food Security. From November 2011 to February 2012, Dr. Gasheja was a senior consultant of South African Institute of International Affairs on Identification of Obstacles Faced by the Private Sector study conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In April 2012, he was involved in the study of the Sugar Industry as consultant of South African Institute of International Affairs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, Dr. Gasheja has gathered extensive research experience as a lead consultant and has published in multiple venues, including articles more than three peer reviewed journal of Economics and additionally, he has done several paper presentations at national, regional and international conferences.   

The Manager of SDSN GL. Virginie AKIMANA is currently an Assistant Lecturer at University of Rwanda - College of Business and Economics (UR_CBE), School of Business (SoB). She is a Bachelors degree holder in English-Literature with Education from former Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) got in 2009. She graduated from Amity University (India) with MBA-IB (International Business) in 2011. Her area of specialization is Marketing Management. Virginie holds Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher  Education (PGCLTHE) from former KIE. She also holds the following three certificates from  Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA), Arusha_Tanzania: Post Graduate Certificate in International Trade and Development (PG_CITD),  Certificate of "International Trade Policy and Development", Certificate of " Quantitative Trade Policy Analysis". She is also pursuing MSc. in International Trade Law and Trade Policy offered by Lund University (2016-2018).  She holds "Executive Postgraduate Diploma In International Trade Policy And Trade Law, Advanced Level" (2016-2017 from TRAPCA).  Before joining UR_CBE, she has been lecturing at former KIE (Kigali Institute of Education) since 2009. Virginie is registered as a PhD Student at University of Rwanda from the Academic Year 2017-2018.

Phone Number: (+250)786352990