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10 December 2020

Highlights from 2020

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Kobie Brand_3

Ms Kobie Brand

Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI
Regional Director, ICLEI Africa

Message from our Regional Director, Kobie Brand

2020 will long be remembered as the most unpredictable and extraordinary year of our lives – at least for the majority of people alive today. As the year now draws to a close, we take time to reflect on the enormous challenges we have all had to face – and are still facing – both personally and professionally. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it much despair and tragedy, but it also brought out immense strength and compassion, as we stood together in solidarity and support, adjusting to a completely new way of life together.

Our city and regional leaders have taken bold action, constantly learning and adjusting to this unprecedented challenge, using scientific research to make hard decisions that have needed to balance social and economic realities. And these on top of sticking to their commitments to address climate change and related development challenges towards building more inclusive, safer, accessible and resilient cities for all.

At ICLEI Africa, our team united and adapted as never before as we reinvented our services, projects and tools to provide maximum support to our local and subnational leaders and their communities across 46 countries in Africa. These services are designed to better serve our members and broader network during the pandemic and for the recovery phase thereafter in line with Agenda 2063’s vision of the Africa We Want, while focusing on more resilient and climate neutral cities and a future that allows us to live in harmony with nature.

To all our governors, mayors, thousands of municipal friends and partners from across the world, ICLEI Africa continues to value you and the important work you do. We stand with you in solidarity and in action and we look forward to 2021 when we will continue our work together for a better future for people and planet alike.

Wishing you, your teams and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday season until we meet again in 2021.

Yours sincerely,


Africa’s capital cities stepping forward to tackle climate change and build more sustainable cities under newly elected leadership

The 54 capital cities of Africa have elected their new Presidium for the next three years. From left, Her Excellency Mayor Roheyatou Malick Lowe, Mayor of Banjul, The Gambia and Member of the Executive Committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), is the newly elected President of the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (ACCSF). She is joined on the ACCSF Presidium by Her Excellency Soham El Wardini, the Mayor of Dakar, Senegal, and by His Excellency Mohamed Sadiki, the Mayor of Rabat, The Kingdom of Morocco.
The ACCSF is supported by a dedicated ACCSF Secretariat embedded in ICLEI Africa’s head office in Cape Town.

Finance for change | Local climate solutions for African cities

LoCS4Africa 2020 attracted over 1 300 registrants, who joined us from 91 countries and 370 cities. 500 of our registrants were government officials, 152 were from academic/research organisations, and we were happy to see 121 representatives from the private sector, particularly due to this year’s focus on finance. The event took place over 8 days, with 35 sessions and over 200 speakers. Participants spent 3 487 hours on the virtual event platform.

Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa | A major catalyst for local climate action

African CITYFOOD month

The inaugural #AfricanCITYFOODmonth campaign highlighted diverse, innovative and evolving African urban food systems. The campaign provided a platform for insight, learning opportunities and support for local governments and food system stakeholders who are interested in shaping sustainable, nutritious and inclusive food systems.

Urban Low Emission Development Strategies | Climate resilience for African cities

Mapping systems of impact in the City of Johannesburg

The value of ecosystems in the City of Johannesburg

Urban Low Emission Development Strategies | Climate resilience for African cities

Launched on World Cities Day | Reshaping our future through CitiesWithNature

What is the value of nature in our cities and regions?

Ahead of the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, CitiesWithNature launched a campaign exploring the many benefits of urban nature. Nature underpins our very existence and livelihoods, and is integral to the effective functioning and well-being of urban communities.

Reflecting cities | Connecting for Sustainability Project

IMPACT project | 7 proven ways for stronger collaboration

With two decades’ experience implementing urban sustainability projects in African cities – and through the IMPACT project, we have identified 7 enablers for effective and inclusive multi-level governance that builds climate resilience.

Investment Case for Nature’s Benefits in Dar es Salaam

In Dar es Salaam, the project aims to attract investment that will not only improve the utilization and management of nature in the city, but that can also be used to attract tourists to Dar es Salaam.

Climate Risk Narratives: envisioning possible futures for your city

Climate risk narratives are stories incorporating a range of plausible climate futures. Ideally, diverse knowledge and different perspectives on possible climate impacts come together in the co-production of these narratives. This poster showcases the various components of co-producing narratives and the value of the narrative process.

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