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RISE Africa brings together thinkers, doers and enablers to inspire action for sustainable cities

Launching the RISE Africa Discussion Series!

We are excited to share a new series of thought pieces which will explore themes of African urbanism, ranging from equitable cities to climate adaptation and traditional knowledge to the use of futuring to guide development. These multi-media thought pieces will be presented as photo-essays, podcasts, prose, poetry and art, and will be shared monthly through this digest.
Youth mobilities and belonging in and out of a Kenyan urban ‘hood’
- By Edward Kahuthia Murimi & Tatiana Adeline Thieme

Innovative Governance of Food-Water-Energy Nexus in Cities

An IFWEN Training Program


The Understanding Innovative Governance for Food, Water, and Energy Nexus in Cities (IFWEN) project has been developing innovative governance tools to support cities to adopt nexus approaches that connect food, water, energy, waste and nature. As part of this, a training program has been developed to increase local government and urban development practitioner capabilities to deliver integrated approaches [resources and nature] in their cities.


Dates: Seven sessions every Thursday, two hours each

19 August -30 September 2021
Time: 13:30 to 15:30 GMT+2

Accelerating Circular Economy in Africa
Join us in August to explore Circular Economy in African Cities through the lens of business and entrepreneurship!
ICLEI Africa and Stellenbosch University Launch Lab are excited to announce the Accelerating Circular Economy in Africa Programme, funded by the Finish Embassy to South Africa.

ACE Africa aims to support the growth of circular economy businesses in Africa. Circular economy is a growing area of interest for achieving sustainability across multiple sectors, and it is clear that, in Africa, the private sector is leading the transition to a circular economy. With a focus on the intersecting areas of food, health and climate change, this programme will guide entrepreneurs, and new start-ups through an incubation programme and provide a platform for exposure to, and interaction with, mature circular economy businesses, funders and government officers. The programme will also reflect on how government can support circular economy business and innovation. Learn more about ACE Africa.
Unsure what circular economy is, or whether your business contributes to circularity? Join us in August for the #CircularityIs… campaign, and get inspiration from this catalogue of circular business approaches.
What happened last month?

AfricanCITYFOODMonth 2021:
Accelerating sustainable actions towards the transformation of Africa’s urban food systems

According to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, Africa is severely affected by the three forms of malnutrition: stunting, wasting and overweight. The prevalence of stunting in under-fives is at 29.1%, wasting stands at 6.4% and overweight 4.7. Research has identified that these levels of malnutrition are not necessarily due to limited food production and supply but rather the lack of effective and appropriate processes for access to sufficient and nutritious food. As African cities are continuously expanding in terms of both geographical boundaries and urban population, it is critical that local governments prioritise urban food system planning that delivers food security as well environmental sustainability to urban dwellers.

This year’s AfricanCITYFOODMonth campaign sought to build consensus around local food systems challenges and opportunities in African cities that were identified through a series of Independent Dialogues in 12 African Cities, sponsored by FAO, to elevate the voices of African Cities in the UN Food Systems Summit. The campaign sought to facilitate learning and exchange between cities as well and as well as highlight the actions and processes that are key to transforming urban food systems that deliver.
As part of the campaign, a reflection on the key outcomes from the independent dialogues highlighted the need for African local governments to embark on the journey of taking stock of their food systems as the starting point for effective food systems governance and the formulation of effective policies. There was a call to invest in data management systems, considering that the ability to constantly evaluate progress towards achievement of food-related policies and programmes depends on the collection, storage and analysis of good data. Where food-related policies are in place, implementation often has gaps, which limits the achievement of policy objectives. Cities advised each other to not only pay attention to implementation, but to constantly review or evaluate their policies. The development of enabling policy frameworks which support all food system actors to thrive and contribute, is vital for achieving inclusive urban food systems. Participation and multi-stakeholder engagement was identified as another key entry point into urban food governance. Participants highlighted the need for local governments to partner with stakeholders to create spaces for dialogues, cooperation, sharing, co-learning and co-creation in a bid to transform African cities’ food systems.
‘Accra can strengthen its role to improve food security by continuously learning from the activities of other cities. It is important to openly discuss where the opportunities are along the food systems value chain for urban areas’
--Dr. Charles Etse, Director, Food & Agriculture, Accra Metropolitan Assembly
Further enablers identified included innovative financing models that cater for small scale actors across the food value chain, food sensitive urban planning, development and incorporation of local technology and innovation to improve efficiencies, infrastructure development especially market and transport infrastructure, efficient food loss and waste management strategies, as well as capacity building.

Exchanges in the AfricanCITYFOOMonth events emphasised the importance of formulating and strengthening both the micro and macro level food related governance processes as well as building and coordinating the linkages across the food value chain, food systems stakeholder in cities and national government and across different sectors. This is key to not only improving food security outcomes, but also linked to addressing urban poverty, inequality, access to infrastructure as well as restoring urban nature and biodiversity.

The AfricanCITYFOODMonth and Independent Dialogue platforms provided the space for these discussions and engagements across different African cities and together with our partners, ICLEI Africa will continue to support city-to-city co-learning for transforming Africa’s urban food systems.



RISE Africa, brought to you by ICLEI Africa, with support from our partners: 

Our Future Cities, African Centre for Cities, NRF, South African Cities network, African Circular Economy Network, Djouman, The Nature of Cities, IIED, WWF, AU Youth Envoy


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