ICLEI Africa Mission to Bobo Dioulasso, “the green city of Burkina Faso.”

Posted on : 30 January 2020

In December 2019, ICLEI Africa and GIZ began a week-long mission to Burkina Faso as part of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM-SSA), an initiative supported financially by the European Union, the Spanish cooperation agency and Germany, for the technical launch of the Action Plan for Access to Energy and Climate (SEACAP) for the city of Bobo Dioulasso.

The mission was held following the adoption by the Municipal Council’s extraordinary session on November 27, 2019, unanimously of its members, of the deliberations relating to the accession of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso to CoM-SSA.

The steering committee and the technical team of the project constituted

The mission made it possible to constitute and clarify the roles and attributions within the steering committee and the technical team of the project. The steering committee is made up of customary chiefs from the ten towns making up the municipality, representatives of the relevant departments of the town hall and the various district town halls, as well as decentralized State services. Its first meeting was held on Tuesday, 17 December, 2019, bringing together many of the local media.

During the meeting, the Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso, Bourahima Sanou, stressed the importance of starting from local realities to fight climate change at the global level. He also expanded on the role of local elected officials, “who, in contact with the population and communities on a daily basis, are messengers to bring this fight to the local level.” Mr. Sanou also introduced the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa as, “an excellent opportunity to carry out actions in favor of sustainable development.”

Following this meeting, ICLEI Africa and GIZ participated in the establishment of the technical team within the municipality of Bobo Dioulasso, who will be in charge of the development of the SEACAP. The team brings together members from several departments (finance, communication, et al.) in the city, as well as civil society organizations and researchers. This diversity of actors aims to create synergies at the local level and take advantage of varied expertise in order to develop the SEACAP.

The establishment of the team was followed by a workshop to discuss the three pillars of the SEACAP, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as sustainable, affordable and secure access to energy. Its members have thus been able to identify the needs of the municipality in terms of capacity building and have reiterated the need to involve as many local people at all stages of the development of SEACAP.

Bobo Dioulasso: a green city already active in the fight against the effects of climate change

ICLEI Africa and GIZ have also had the privilege of discovering various local initiatives aimed at protecting the immense environmental and forest heritage of the city, which is sometimes threatened with degradation by human pressure. The city is rich in numerous natural spaces such as the classified forest of Kou, green belts and wefts, or even the backwater. The future town hall, whose building complies with the standards in force in Burkina Faso, illustrates the consideration of this need to reduce the environmental impact at the local level.

The Mayor is personally involved in the fight against climate change via his farm, the water supply of which is supplied by a water pump powered by solar energy. Another natural space, supported by the fourth deputy mayor, is La Guinguetta, a haven of peace and greenery located about fifteen

kilometers from the city center, that helps the local population to recharge their batteries. These numerous spaces and projects bear witness to the strong commitment at all levels of the Bobolese population, and what has made Bobo Dioulasso’s reputation throughout the country, that is to preserve a green city with a pleasant climate.

The official political launch of the project should take place at the beginning of 2020

The mission ended in Ouagadougou with meetings with national experts from universities, national and international institutes and agencies. The aim of these meetings was to strengthen dialogue between the local and national levels, but also to align the results of the SEACAP with Burkina Faso’s national objectives in the fight against climate change and access to energy.

The teams in charge of the technical aspect of the project were formed during the mission but the political launch of the SEACAP development process will officially take place at the start of 2020. The next steps towards the implementation of the project include the collection of data as well as the validation of the results of studies and the planning of actions, which will be the subject of an upcoming visit by ICLEI Africa and GIZ to Bobo Dioulasso in 2020.