In an innovative event held in Mombasa, Kenya from May 15-19, 2023, officials from 14 African cities came together to address the critical issue of climate change and its integration into long-term urban infrastructure planning and implementation. The workshop, organized by the World Bank and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), in partnership with the City Resilience Program (CRP), the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), provided a unique platform for city and central government officials to explore, identify, and prioritize climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
The workshop offered a comprehensive program of training sessions, panel discussions, interactive mapping, case studies and site visits. Participants engaged in lively discussions on various topics, including the challenges of translating climate adaptation planning into actionable steps. Real-world examples of initiatives in solid waste management (Kampala), resilient and green buildings (Senegal), and nature-based solutions (Beira and Kigali) were shared, demonstrating the successful implementation of key sustainable practices. Through interactive exchanges on local climate risks and sharing of best practices on project development, city representatives gained valuable insights from one another, fostering a spirit of collaboration and collective action.
Site visits were organized in cooperation with Mombasa County, allowing participants to witness firsthand some of the county’s ongoing efforts and successes in sustainable development: the restoration of vital mangrove ecosystems, the innovative Kibarani waste management project, and a decentralized treatment facility at Shimo la Tewa prison. These experiences provided inspiration for integrating resilience into fundamental city operations for officials to take back to their own cities.
In addition, the workshop discussed how to mobilize funding and leverage financing mechanisms for urban climate adaptation and mitigation measures. Recognizing the financial barriers that often hinder climate-smart investments, the workshop equipped city representatives with the knowledge and strategies to overcome these challenges. Participants explored innovative funding models, public-private partnerships, and access to climate finance resources, empowering cities to secure the necessary funds for their sustainability projects.
The workshop culminated in a project pitching session, where city representatives presented their own resilience initiatives to a panel of experts, combining newly acquired knowledge on resilience, funding and financing, and climate risks. This interactive session offered constructive feedback on specific resilience projects and their funding and financing mechanisms and pushed participants to make practical improvements. The city representatives left with enhanced project proposals, while also being armed with valuable insights and connections to experts who can support their future endeavors.
The innovative collaboration between the World Bank teams, including the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, CRP, and GFDRR, alongside AFD, proved invaluable. The expertise and resources presented by different teams provided a rich and diverse pool of insights, further enhancing the workshop experience. This partnership between international development agencies sets an example for future collaborations in addressing climate-smart urban development.
The Cities and Climate Change Technical Workshop in Mombasa was a compelling step forward for African cities in their journey towards climate-smart urban development. Looking ahead, World Bank teams, in collaboration with CRP, the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, GFDRR, and other development agencies, are committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue and exchange with cities and will continue to support them in implementing sustainable urban development strategies, climate resilience plans, and investment project preparation tailored to their unique needs.