CoM SSA resources and partner’s expertise, key components to support cities in their response to COVID-19

Posted on : 28 April 2020

In only a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll, personally and professionally, on populations across the world. In Africa, we are in many ways just beginning our COVID-19 journeys, and grappling with understanding the implications for our communities. Never has it been more important for local and regional governments to be empowered to build resilience in their cities.

Cities are at the frontline as the pandemic unfolds. City networks like CoM SSA, GCoM, C40, ICLEI, UCLGA, CEMR and others are adapting their approaches to address the pandemic and find ways to continue supporting their member cities during this time.

ICLEI Africa is the African regional chapter of the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s largest and oldest city network focused on sustainability formed by cities, for cities. The organisation recently released their extensive COVID-19 response and it includes key resources and involvement of CoM SSA.

“ICLEI Africa is committed to serving all of our local and regional governments across the continent, in response to their needs, by providing relevant and reputable information, platforms for knowledge sharing, enabling connections between leaders and practitioners to share good practices, and adjusting our programmes and projects to be responsive to current and future needs.” – Kobie Brand, Regional Director: ICLEI Africa, Director: Cities Biodiversity Centre.

Resources and tools

Both the ICLEI Africa and CoM SSA websites are now home to a dedicated webpage where you can find reliable resources – specifically tailored to African city stakeholders – in relation to the pandemic. Addressing the need in Africa, a large majority of these resources are available in French.  Visit the page here.

One of the key French resources is the recently released CoM SSA and GIZ publication, La réponse des gouvernements locaux africains à la pandémie du Covid-19. Find it here.

Forums for sharing experiences

  1. CoM SSA Technical Helpdesk, run by ICLEI Africa, set up a various WhatsApp groups, where information is being shared on COVID-19 and their sustainability work.
  2. ICLEI Africa’s active Twitter account is updated regularly with news on their sustainability work and how it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. The CitiesWithNature online platform provides a unique, free and virtual means for the network to stay connected and to share and inspire each other on the benefits of nature in and around our urban areas, especially in relation to the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

 

Webinar series in partnership with CoM SSA

CoM SSA is the main collaborating partner on ICLEI Africa’s new webinar series, Building a Resilient Urban Africa during a Global Health Pandemic. A number of topics that are relevant to African cities will be covered. The webinars will be broadcast in English, French and Portuguese, and will be released regularly. For updates please visit CoM SSA and ICLEI webpages.

City Shares video clips

To facilitate learning and sharing of experiences for African cities by African cities, ICLEI Africa is running a series of “city shares”, which are short video clips where African city stakeholders share their messages of solidarity and/or lessons about how their city is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please look out for these clips, in Twitter, in newsletters, WhatsApp groups and on the website.

Whether you are a member of ICLEI or not, you can benefit from these resources, tools and outreach programmes. They are tailored specifically to city leaders to assist in guiding you through the challenging and uncertain time.