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18 August 2023

Cities and regions will make their voices heard at Africa Climate Week

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The rapid, unplanned, and informal urbanisation in Africa underscores the urgent need for multi-level climate action. Unlocking finance at the local level, particularly in Africa, is crucial for transitioning towards a more sustainable and climate-conscious development pathway.

Local governments are on the frontline of urban challenges and possess valuable insights into their communities’ needs. Direct investment empowers local governments to implement context-specific projects that enhance infrastructure, service delivery, and climate resilience.  Scores of African cities  have invested heavily in the development of climate and energy plans but challenges exist in gaining access to the finance needed to implement these plans.

By bridging the gap between multi-level international institutions, development finance institutions and government tiers, finance can be unlocked at the local level, where it is needed most. This will enable African cities to implement new and scale tested transformative projects to address pressing issues such as water security, sustainable waste management, and access to sustainable energy. Against this backdrop, subnational representation at Africa Climate Week 2023 is essential.

The Africa Climate Week, running in parallel to the African Climate Summit (ACS), provides a unique opportunity for the Covenant of Mayors for sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA), alongside the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency, – to convene an event titled, (T)Winning on Climate Action in Africa: Unlocking Finance for city-scale transformation through Multi-level Governance. This session will be co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, ICLEI, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cities Race to Resilience and the High-Level Climate Champions – Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin and HE Razan al Mubarak.


As the opening session of Track 2: Cities, Urban and Rural Settlements, Infrastructure and Transport at Africa Climate Week, this event will showcase subnational climate action leadership and promote multi-level governance for climate action, as part of the LGMA roadmap towards COP28.

Following on from this event, CoM SSA, will be hosting an event on 7 September, titled, Multi-level Climate Action in Africa: Tangible examples, ready for scaling. This event, linked to the opening track session, will showcase clear examples of how multilevel governance and local leadership has contributed to successful implementation on the ground. This to be taken forward in strengthening MLG outcomes for COP28 within the formal UNFCCC process. African cities are already taking bold action to tackle climate change, and need increased finance to implement these actions at scale. During this event a pipeline of projects, available for funding urban climate action across the region, will be shared.

African cities are facing a poly-crisis as they tackle the effects that climate change and biodiversity loss are having on developmental gains. On 5 September ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center will be co-hosting an event at Africa Climate Week, in the Nature-based Solutions (NbS) Hub, titled, Pulling Levers, Changing Gears for Implementation of NbS Across City Scales

ICLEI Africa will be participating in numerous other events, bilaterals and engagements during Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week, bringing evidence-based local perspectives to regional and global conversations.

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