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Climate Chance Summit Africa 2018: the commitment of non-state actors for the continent

The first Climate Chance Summit Africa took place in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) last June, as a follow-up to the international event of the same name, but with a focus on the continent of Africa. Amongst the 600 participants from 41 countries (including 27 African states) including regional and local authorities, NGO’s, and civil society actors, AVN was invited to co-chair one of the 10 planned workshops, «The sustainable housing coalition for West Africa », and, as a member of the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GABC), to co-chair the regional round table for local authorities in West Africa.

The GABC Regional Round Table for Local Authorities in West Africa

Organised the day before the Climate Chance summit by GABC and several other actors, including AVN, this event brought together some 30 representatives of local authorities and key actors in the West African construction sector, to exchange ideas and to develop a regional strategy for transforming the sector.

Amongst the themes covered, AVN, based on its many years of experience in the field, emphasised the promotion of local materials and skills, the various options for financing affordable and sustainable housing, the training and capacity-building of local actors, the coordination of projects with local authorities and civil society organisations, and the accompaniment of States in the implementation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC).

The discussions ended with setting up of a regional coalition and the drawing up of a road map.

Workshop on the Sustainable Housing Coalition for West Africa

Following on from the Round Table, AVN organised a workshop to encourage the creation of this coalition of West African non-state actors. Major challenges were evoked, notably:

  • The mobilisation of key actors to bring about change, in particular the local authorities and civil society organisations, often excluded from international climate discussions;
  • The adoption of a simple shared approach to advocacy relating to the real daily challenges faced by members of the coalition;
  • Proposals for specific field projects which can be implemented rapidly;
  • The mobilisation of national and international funding for implementing such projects.

Participation in this workshop was very diverse (representatives of local authorities, civil society organisations, construction specialists, and international development actors) and rich in suggestions for a real sharing of good practice between West African actors. All the participants agreed the need for greater support for public building projects, from their conception to the response from local firms to calls for tender, so as to prioritise adapted and sustainable construction practices. This challenge constitutes the foremost aim for the coalition this coming year, as well as a collective mobilisation of advocacy for specific projects.

From a global perspective, Climate Chance was an opportunity to emphasise the importance of cooperation between government agencies and civil society organisations for the implementation of efficient projects to help fight the impacts of climate change.

Nine local officials signed the Declaration of Local and Subnational Leaders of Africa [1], including those from Senegal and Burkina Faso, countries where AVN’s programme is active.

The summit closed with the signing of the Declaration of the Climate Chance Summit by the majority of participants.


[1This specific appeal was originally launched during the World Summit of Climate Chance in Agadir, and was endorsed by by some 50 local and regional African officials