Call for Consultant: Terms of Reference – Navigating Economic Transitions: Unveiling the Benefits of Enhanced Investments and Policy Support in the Tourism Sector for South Africa and Namibia in the Decarbonization Era.


The Africa Institute of Environmental Law is a dynamic think tank focused on research, training, and capacity building in natural resource governance and environmental law across Africa. We are initiating an important study titled “Navigating Economic Transitions: Unveiling the Benefits of Enhanced Investments and Policy Support in the Tourism Sector for South Africa and Namibia in the Decarbonization Era.” This research is a crucial part of our comprehensive project. Our main objective is to strengthen civil society engagement, promote informed debate, and reshape policies and public narratives related to agriculture and tourism. This strategic initiative aims to move Namibia and South Africa away from their traditional reliance on oil and gas. Our ultimate goal is to produce a highly informative paper that addresses current gaps and guides these nations towards sustainable development free from the constraints of oil and gas dependency. We are actively seeking an experienced Consultant to work with us on this study. Together, we aim to provide significant insights that will shape the economic transitions of Namibia and South Africa and lay the foundation for sustainable development.


The discourse on decarbonization and energy transition poses a significant challenge for Southern African countries, specifically Namibia and South Africa. As the global energy sector approaches a critical juncture in the next decade, the decisions made will have a profound impact on climate change targets. Despite commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both Namibia and South Africa are becoming increasingly dependent on oil and gas. This reliance is driven by factors such as energy crises and proposed gas-to-power projects. However, this dependence not only contradicts efforts to mitigate climate change but also presents significant socio-cultural, environmental, and economic threats to local communities. Concerns about biodiversity destruction, the impact of offshore drilling on coastal communities, and the inequalities caused by fossil fuel-based energy practices have led to a call to halt oil and gas investments in Africa. However, these movements lack cohesive policy alternatives, highlighting the need to bridge the gap between environmental, energy, and land rights advocacy. Policymakers currently lack evidence-based alternatives to inform fiscal decisions regarding oil and gas investments. To contribute to sustainable development in Africa, this research aims to explore the untapped potential within the robust tourism sectors of Namibia and South Africa.

Tourism is the fastest-growing economic sector in Namibia, employing over 100,000 Namibians, particularly from rural areas. [1] In 2018, the sector contributed €270 million to the GDP, accounting for 3.5% of it. Additionally, the sector created 44,700 direct jobs, including over 2,900 jobs in community conservation areas.[2] South Africa is renowned for attractions like Table Mountain, Kruger National Park, and the Cape Winelands, making it an attractive destination for global travellers. Tourism contributes 3.7% to the GDP and generated 478,900 direct jobs in 2020, accounting for 3.2% of total employment.[3] In both countries, tourism not only drives economic growth but also showcases their unique cultural and natural heritage globally.

As carbon-intensive industries decline, the tourism sector becomes crucial for the economies of Namibia and South Africa. This moment calls for exploring transformative possibilities and policy implications during this transition. Understanding the need for evidence-based alternatives to shift the focus from oil and gas, we are seeking a seasoned consultant to conduct a comprehensive study on the economic benefits of Enhanced Investments and Policy Support in the Tourism Sector for South Africa and Namibia. This study aims to shape policy dialogues, training initiatives, civil society engagement, informed debate, and reshape policy and public narratives about tourism.


  • The main objective of this proposed research is to assess the economic benefits of increased investments in the tourism sector in Namibia and South Africa.

Sub Objectives

  • Assess the untapped economic potential of increased investments in the tourism sector in Namibia and South Africa.
  • Evaluate the policy support required to facilitate a smooth transition from dependence on oil and gas to a strategic focus on tourism.
  • Examine the unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities within the tourism sectors of Namibia and South Africa.
  • Analyze the potential role of tourism in mitigating economic challenges arising from declining carbon-intensive industries.
  • Propose evidence-based policy alternatives to encourage strategic investments in tourism as a sustainable economic anchor.

The consultant will follow this methodology:

  • Literature Review: Conduct an extensive review of existing research, policies, and perspectives on the economic benefits of tourism investments in Namibia and South Africa. Synthesize key findings to inform the study. Additionally, evaluate the effectiveness of current tourism policies and frameworks in promoting economic growth, sustainability, and inclusivity within the sector.
  • Co-organize multi-stakeholder consultative workshops in Namibia and South Africa with AIEL to gather diverse perspectives from policymakers, conservationists, safari operators, hotels, industry experts, and community representatives. Incorporate stakeholder input into the research design.
  • Quantitative Analysis: Use statistical data to assess the current economic contribution of the tourism sector in Namibia and South Africa. Analyze GDP contributions, employment rates, and sectoral growth patterns.
  • Qualitative Analysis: Conduct interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders to understand qualitative aspects such as socio-economic impacts, challenges, and opportunities in the tourism sector. Develop financial models to project the potential economic benefits of increased investments in tourism over a specified timeframe, considering factors like market trends, technology adoption, and policy changes.
  • Case Studies: Select representative case studies from both countries to provide in-depth insights into successful tourism initiatives, showcasing their economic impact and sustainability.
  • Create a comprehensive report that incorporates quantitative and qualitative findings, case studies, and policy recommendations.
  • Co-organize multi-stakeholder validation workshops in Namibia and South Africa with AIEL to gather diverse feedback from stakeholders on the findings and recommendations.


Proposed Phases of the Research and Outputs





Collaborative initiation involving the consultant to orchestrate multi-stakeholder consultative workshops in Namibia and South Africa, fostering stakeholder buy-in and soliciting valuable input to guide the research process.

– Draft and Final Inception Report

– Presentation outlining the Methodology and Proposed Report Structure

Data Collection, Analysis and Report Writing

Implementation of the approved methodology by the consultant, with active collaboration in data collection to promote knowledge sharing and engender a sense of ownership over the final output.

–          Draft Report with Key Findings and Recommendations


Refinement Phase

Establishment of a Technical Committee tasked with meticulously reviewing the research report and providing constructive comments to the Consultant. Additionally, organization of a Validation Workshop to ensure rigorous scrutiny and validation of research findings and recommendations by critical stakeholders.

–          Draft and Final Report incorporating Reviewer’s Comments


Dissemination Phase

Showcase key findings and recommendations from the research in various impactful forums.

Presentations should be tailored for diverse audiences, including policymakers, industry experts, farmers groups, and civil society

Engage in policy dialogues, training workshops, and specialized events, including the Energy Transition in Africa Dialogue Series.


Policy Brief: Condensed document addressing critical policy issues identified in the study.

Dynamic Presentations encapsulating the main findings, highlighting key insights, and emphasizing actionable recommendations.


The consultancy is expected to commence in May (as per agreement) and conclude by July 12, 2024, with regular progress updates.

Qualifications and Desired Experience

  • Applicants should hold a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in specialized areas such as Economics, Environmental Economics, Ecology, Conservation Developmental Economics, or Finance, Public Policy, Climate Economics.
  • Thorough knowledge of key policy issues related to energy transition and the decarbonization agenda in Africa.
  • Proven track record in conducting impactful research and analysis in the biodiversity economy sector, with a regional focus.
  • Deep understanding of the economic and political landscapes of South Africa and Namibia, ensuring a nuanced understanding of the contextual factors that influence biodiversity conservation.
  • Strong analytical skills and advanced report-writing abilities to deliver comprehensive and insightful research outputs.
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively engaging with diverse stakeholders, fostering collaborative partnerships, and ensuring inclusive perspectives in the research process.

The consultant will report to the AIEL Coordinator, providing regular progress updates and seeking guidance when necessary.

Prospective consultants are invited to submit their Expression of Interest, which should include a comprehensive Methodology, Research Plan, Proposed Report Structure, Budget, Curriculum Vitae (CV), and 2 or 3 examples of previous research work demonstrating expertise in relevant areas to:

Deadline: 24 April 2024 at 23:59 Hrs


[2] ibid



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