CoM SSA successfully celebrates its fourth Steering Committee Meeting
Published: 18 May 2022
Members of the Steering Committee Meeting who provide support, guidance, and oversight of the progress of the CoM SSA programme reflected on its 2021 achievements, exchanged thoughts, and discussed topics to help teams implement their actions during the next years.
Giving continuity to the work carried out during 2021, CoM SSA concluded its fourth Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) on 27 April 2022. A hybrid meeting was held in Brussels bringing together more than 40 participants from a wide range of stakeholders, including the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), and EU partner institutions such as the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), to name a few.
CoM SSA co-funders play an active role in contributing to solutions in the fight against climate change in Africa
Although producing a minor amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Africa is under significant threat from climate change, with serious implications for its development prospects. “The IPCC reports confirm the increased risk for cities of the effects of climate change; at the same time, cities are also part of the solution to this global issue,” is how Stefano Signore, Head of Unit at DG INTPA started his introduction. Africa requires financial resources and technical capacity to adapt to climate change impacts and develop appropriate low-carbon technologies and access to renewable energies.
Representatives from the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) confirmed, as co-funders of CoM SSA, their commitment to fight climate change and improve access to renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. During the meeting, they also highlighted the significant financial needs of African countries and emphasized the importance of focusing efforts through initiatives such as CoM SSA to mobilise and attract private financing to projects identified by African cities thanks to their climate action plans.
Gonzalo Vega, AECID Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Department, stated that, “gender equality is a priority for us” and “we are pleased to see how CoM SSA is also covering this through examples as in Mozambique.” In recent years, youth and climate change have become cross-cutting priorities for co-funders and they believe that CoM SSA is an excellent platform in the region to assist with these important issues.
“The alignment with the Paris Agreement is deeply rooted in our strategy, and climate protection and adaptation are key policy areas of the BMZ. Cities, especially the African cities that have joined CoM SSA, are becoming more and more important as partners for a sustainable energy transition”, declared through a written statement Soeren Dengg, Head of Energy Division at BMZ.
The Regional Mayors Forum presented as the African voice of this European initiative
A first for the project, nine African mayors from four different sub-regions were nominated to the CoM SSA Regional Mayors Forum (RMF) and their candidacies were formally accepted.
The RMF is a new forum that will represent the voices of all CoM SSA signatories, provide strategic inputs to CoM SSA decision-making bodies in platforms such as the SCM, and represent the initiative towards stakeholders at international and regional forums. Three seats remain available at the RMF and the CoM SSA Secretariat will start a second round of applications after the CoM SSA Sessions event that will take place in May during the Africities Summit in Kisumu, Kenya. CoM SSA will provide a space for the newly RMF members to meet for the first time and discuss regional priorities that will be highlighted in future events such as the COP27.
Implementing partners, the added value on project implementation
The four Member State Organizations (MSOs) are the piece that makes CoM SSA a “unique and good example that shows how the EU and Member States can cooperate together as a European team,” declared Signore in another of his interventions.
Team members of AECID, AFD, Expertise France, and GIZ reported on the 2021 programme’s progress. The presentations were focused on the important results achieved during 2021, despite COVID conditions, spanning all key themes covered by the three pillars of the programme: sustainable climate action plan development, mobilizing climate finance and funding proposal approaches, and knowledge exchange actions. Discussions also included the challenges encountered along with a list of potential solutions to overcome them.
The current stage of CoM SSA with the four MSOs leading the implementation of the programme will continue until 2024 and the next SCM will take place in 2023.