Cities innovating to attract funding for their local climate action: A marketplace organised by the Groupement Intercommunal des Collines (GIC) in Benin
The Groupement Intercommuncal des communes (GIC) is an intercommunal association composed of the municipalities of Savè, Bantè, Dassa, Savalou, Glazoué and Ouessè in Benin, West Africa. Similar to many other semi-rural areas, they are already suffering from the impacts of climate change; desertification and water scarcity hinder agricultural activities in the region. Moreover, like other intermediary cities, they also struggle to attract climate finance to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
The GIC, a climate leader in Benin
The GIC is already implementing various climate activities at the local level such as the project CEMAATERR which aims to integrate climate change into local development policies.
The six municipalities of the Groupement Intercommunal des Collines also all joined the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) between January and August 2018 and, since then, benefited from the technical support of the CoM SSA implementing partners to take their climate action forward.
In November 2018, the GIC decided to organise a ‘Roundtable for technical and financial partners’, with the support of , among other partners, CoM SSA and ICLEI Africa. The event, which included a panel discussion and marketplace, aimed to showcase their projects in the field of agriculture, energy access, water management and farming.
The funders’ marketplace: an attractive format
A marketplace is a concept mostly used in the business industry to define a platform or an economic system where companies or actors compete with each other in order to sell their products. Entrepreneurs generally use these platforms to attract investors’ interests, either in person or online.
The GIC decided to exploit the potential of the marketplace model because, despite their active role in the energy and climate spheres and their long-lasting partnerships with various institutions, the six cities of the GIC struggle to finance their local climate action.
The marketplace format enabled the GIC to pitch their projects to technical and financial partners which included the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the GERES, ICLEI Africa, Initiative pour un Developpement Integre Durable (IDID) and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA). Some representatives of the Ministries, including the Ministere du Cadre de Vie, as well as representatives of the private sector also attended the event.
All in all
The Roundtable was the occasion to increase the visibility of the GIC’s activities which were broadcasted on national TV. It was also an opportunity for the different funders and technical partners working in this region to meet and explore potential collaborations. The representatives of the GIC now expect that these discussions will bear fruit.