The Abidjan Meetings: A unique opportunity to reflect on the concept of a sustainable city in Francophone Africa

Posted on : 18 March 2020

From February 27-28, 2020, more than 500 participants gathered at the Ivoire hotel in Abidjan to discuss the theme of sustainable cities in Africa. These meetings were organized as a prelude to the Summit on Sustainable Cities to be held in Bordeaux (France) in June 2020. It was an opportunity for the partners of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) to organize a meeting between several French-speaking signatory cities and to meet certain key actors of the Africa-France Summit.

Abidjan, host city: an important player in the debate on sustainable cities

In recent years, Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, has become a laboratory of ideas and solutions for African sustainable cities. Since its creation in 2018, its Ministry of Urban Affairs has been working in collaboration with its partners, such as the Ministry of the Environment, the AFD (French Development Agency), or the African Development Bank, to make cities more resilient to the effects of climate change. The ‘Abidjan Sustainable City Club’, which brings together certain players from the private sector, meets on a regular basis to offer solutions to the challenges posed by the growth of cities.

The contribution of the Covenant of Mayors partners to the Abidjan meetings

ICLEI Africa, on behalf of GIZ, and Expertise France participated in the event as partners of the Covenant of Mayors. During the session on urban resilience, led by ICLEI Africa, the cities of Bobo Dioulasso and Bouaké, two pilot cities of the initiative, presented their experience in the field of climate planning.

Expertise France intervened in the session on urban planning alongside representatives of the cities of Nouakchott and Bamako, signatories of CoM SSA. The importance of consultation and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the definition of Action Plans for Access to Sustainable Energy and Climate (SEACAPs), as well as the dynamic nature of the latter, were notably recalled.

An event that strengthened ties between Francophone cities

The Abidjan Meetings were an opportunity to strengthen the already existing links between the French-speaking signatory cities of the Covenant of Mayors. To this end, a debate session was held between the cities of Bobo Dioulasso, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Bouaké, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Pelengana, Bamako (Mali) and Madame Christine Moro, the Ambassador in charge of the external action of local authorities for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On this occasion, the city mayors stressed the importance of North-South and South-South cooperation.

An important step towards the Africa-France summit

The Abidjan Meetings are an important step before the Africa-France summit, which will take place from June 4-6, 2020 in Bordeaux. The event made it possible to mobilize Francophone stakeholders – both French and African – who are active in the field of urban sustainable development.

The key messages and conclusions of these events will be conveyed from the African continent to France and presented in June 2020 in Bordeaux, through the partners of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa.