CoM SSA Inception Visit to Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
Published: 15 Nov 2018
Bissau is the capital and largest city of Guinea-Bissau on the western coast of Africa. Located on the Geba River estuary, Bissau covers 77,5 km2 and has about 430,000 habitants. In June 2018, the city of Bissau confirmed the voluntary commitment to implement the CoM SSA objectives on its territory.
The city of Bissau is one of the pilot cities of the CoM SSA and, with the support of UCCLA and Galp Foundation, is involved in the project “FUMUKABA – Development of sustainable household energy in Bissau”, which received financial support from the European Union. The project aims at to improve the living standards of the population of Bissau by increasing access and foster switching from charcoal to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.
From 3 to 7 December, a delegation of the CoM SSA went to the city for meetings with the Mayor of Bissau and representatives of Bissau project team, as well as with the technical staff of the EU Delegation, Directorate General for Energy and the Environment, UN-Habitat Guinea-Bissau and UCCLA. Information exchanges, local challenges and technical support needs were the main topics of the meetings.
A statement from Mayor Luiz Silva de Melo summarizes the outcomes of the meetings : “Bissau is committed with CoM SSA but needs to strength the capacity of the municipal staff appointed to work on the project and political stability to implement the action plan”.
Parallel encounters also took place with the Portuguese Embassy in Bissau and the provisional committee of the national association of Guinea-Bissau local authorities, as well as with representatives of CSOs and local companies. On 6-7 December, CoM SSA was represented with a display stand in the International Conference on Sustainable Energy in Guinea-Bissau and held a presentation to the conference participants.
About one hundred students from the three main universities in Bissau – Lusófona, Jean Piaget and IPNOVE – actively participated in an awareness-raising event on 5 December. Presentations on the CoM SSA initiative, the FUMUKABA project and the Talanoa Dialogue process provided the basis for a 3-hour lively debate on sustainable energy resources, multi-level climate governance and citizens participation.