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7 December 2015

Renewed commitment to accelerating local action: Africities 2015 Summit

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Local authorities from Africa convened in Johannesburg, South Africa attending the Africities Summit that took place from 29 November to 3 December. Under the guidance of the theme – SHAPING THE FUTURE OF AFRICA WITH THE PEOPLE: THE CONTRIBUTION OF AFRICAN LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO AGENDA 2063 OF THE AFRICAN UNION- the summit provided a platform for local authorities to dialogue, debate and discuss real issues that they are faced with in delivering on their mandates at the local level as well as proposals for appropriate local solutions to these.
ICLEI Africa collaborated with partners such as UCLGA, UNEP, C40 and AWASLA in organising and facilitating sessions under the various thematic areas as given in the programme as outlined below:
Date: 29 November 2015
Session: Strategies for the natural and material resource use and management
The session provided a platform for local authorities in Africa to discuss strategies for more sustainable and efficient utilisation of natural and material resources. Presentations and active debate in the session focused on life cycle and value chain perspectives in areas of renewable energy, food security, urban planning, climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban mobility, urban water management and ecosystems based adaptation. ICLEI Africa shared insights on the emerging subject of Sustainable Public Procurement under the 10 Year Framework on SPP. There was further elaboration of resources available to support cities on this programme.
Key recommendations from the session included
  • Establishing platforms to promote active research – policy – practice links in decision making
  • Active involvement of the private sector in environmental management
  • Establishing robust policy environment that addresses historical and cultural issues to safeguard the environment
  • Sharing of information and experiences among cities
  • Vertical integration and multi-level governance in management of resources

1 December
Event: Handwashing event for African Mayors: Driving change through leadership
This was a signature event profiling the importance of handwashing and it was a humbling experience to have the local leaders and mayors participating actively in the event.

1 December
Session: New context of climate change and Africa’s Local Government preparation towards UNFCCC COP 21/CMP11 in Paris.

The session explored innovative ways in which local governments in Africa can promote the implementation of the climate resilience agenda. This drew from the scientific knowledge, projects and programmes currently being implemented in other local authorities across the continent.

Scheduled to take place shortly before the global UNFCCC COP 21/CMP 11 negotiations, the session provided a platform for local leaders and interested stakeholders to put forward their expectations for the climate summit. During the session, local leaders emphasised their commitment to scale up action, working closely with other regional and global players towards advancing to a climate resilient future. The session culminated in the Declaration of Africities 7 summit to COP 21. To access the declaration, please click here.

See more on the summit at:

The summit concluded with a high level political session on 3 December with a key note address from Her Excellency Dr Dhlamini Zuma who is the head of the African Union. In words reiterating the prevalent message throughout the summit and encouraging local action, Dr Zuma said, “Diversity and evolution are the key aspects for local governments. Empowerment means government capacity and resources. A pre-requisite for African mayors, that are fast learning, and not afraid of trial and error, mayors are doers and problems solvers, exploring solutions without being pragmatic, learning by sharing and finding similar solutions: learning from peers is key, nationally regionally and internationally.”

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