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Climate action in Africa: Pathways towards resilient sustainable cities

July 1st, 2022

Africa’s urbanisation is increasing and remains largely informal, uncontrolled, and unsupported by the continent’s infrastructure. More people are moving to towns and cities, rapidly creating ‘informal’ settlements with limited access to urban services that people need.

Africa’s urbanisation challenge is further compounded by its high susceptibility to the risks and impacts of climate change in part due to dependence on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture.

Kenya is among the countries with a high rate of urbanisation. By 2050, the population living in the urban areas in Kenya is expected to be 44% of the total population. It is imperative that urban development plans must be in tune with the current and future realities of rural-urban migrations and take into consideration the attendant challenges that include food security, health and climate risks.

These conversations were brought to the fore during the 9th edition of the Africities Summit, which took place in May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. Rallying Africa continent to a compelling theme chosen for the Summit: “The role of intermediary cities in Africa in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and of the African Union’s Agenda 2063”.

The Summit brought together African leaders, civil society organisations, academia and development partners, to highlight issues inherent in the urban development of intermediate cities and the critical role they play in strengthening linkages between rural and urban cities in Kenya and the continent at large.

FSD Kenya was among participants in this year’s summit showcasing green finance and affordable housing work currently implemented both at national and county levels. FSD Kenya also shared knowledge products aimed at enabling Policymakers to develop, integrate and enforce policies into their financial and governance decisions in the country’s urban and county development planning.

Some of the knowledge products developed by FSD Kenya together with our partners, the Adaptation Consortium shared at the summit included:  County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) urban contextualisation policy brief and an affordable housing showcase articulating emerging housing issues in developing nations such as Kenya.

Among the key takeaways from the summit included bringing women and youth into climate discussions as they constitute a workforce with often untapped potential that can be used to catalyse adaptation activities.  Moreover, tapping the knowledge, capacity and natural resources of local communities presents an opportunity for community-based solutions-often affordable and life-transforming.

This resonates with FSD Kenya’s current green finance work that aims to develop a climate finance data ecosystem informed by county government and community participation with the long-term objective of consolidating lessons that lead to tangible and practical solutions to climate challenges facing Africa today.

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