how we approach sustainability
We have been working with African cities and regions, large and small, remote or well connected, no matter where they are on their sustainability journey, for more than two decades.
We offer a variety of urban sustainability solutions through programmes and projects, networks, platforms, tools and services.
Our mandate is significant; we promote the necessity for city engagement in the development of national and global sustainability agendas, and communicate in tangible ways how cities are contributing to the achievement of major international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
We co-produce and implement programmes and projects on the ground, from inception and project conceptualisation to implementation. One of ICLEI’s major strengths is that, complementing the significant technical expertise our team possesses to get deep technical work done in cities across the continent, we engage in sustainability journeys with our cities over the long-term. ICLEI Africa prides itself in continuing to engage with our cities and towns long after particular funded projects end. Cities and towns are part of our network, benefitting from long-standing relationships we have built with a vast network of partners and cities, and we are dedicated to facilitating the right connections to strengthen action and drive change.
How we engage
We engage our cities through various means, including:
Advocacy and representation
Convening the Local Government sector into regional, continental and global processes through, for example, our biennial Local Climate Solutions for Africa (LoCS4Africa) Congress series, and within regional and international platforms such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP), United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP) and similar processes. ICLEI is also the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) focal point for the UNFCCC. ICLEI CBC, which is embedded in ICLEI Africa, is the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments focal point for the CBD and related processes, and serves as co-chair (with Austria), of the Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation scheme’s Independent Advisory Committee (IAC).
Leadership development and networking
Leadership development and networking through global forums such as the annual Daring Cities and ICLEI World Congresses.
Peer-to-peer learning and exchange opportunities
Peer-to-peer learning and exchange opportunities within Africa, the Global South and internationally through a wide range of projects and engagement platforms.
Local implementation projects
Local implementation projects, driving global change through local action and mobilising resources and projects for local governments in Africa.
Technical tools, innovation and sharing of good practice through various ICLEI case studies, reports, infographics, videos and publications, some of which are globally applicable, such as the Guidelines for an Integrated Approach in the Development and Implementation of National, Subnational and Local Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.
Engaging in African-led collaboration
Engaging in African-led collaborative research that results in positive impacts for urban Africans. ICLEI Africa is uniquely positioned to engage in and promote robust research activities to respond to the needs of cities and regions in Africa, addressing the diversity of topics relevant to sustainable development and subnational leadership in this space. Alongside our network of cities and regions, we work with universities, research institutions and think tanks that engage on specific topics related to urban sustainability.
Virtual platforms, providing pioneering virtual engagements and learning through multiple webinar series, online trainings and events, including Africa’s first virtual event for local authorities, the LoCS4Africa Virtual Congress 2020. ICLEI Africa also launched an online learning platform, LearnWithICLEIAfrica, in partnership with its South African-based for-profit partner company, Changing Cities Pty (Ltd), in 2021.