1 July 2014: A New Beginning for the Cities Alliance

July First brings a new Medium Term Strategy focused on equity, a Cities Alliance strategy in Africa, a major grant from DFID and new offices.

For the first time, 1 July is not the start of a new financial year for the Cities Alliance. However, it is a very significant day for the partnership for a variety of reasons:

First, our new Medium Term Strategy (MTS) for 2014-2016 is approved and takes immediate effect. With its central focus on the theme of Equity, the new MTS represents a significant opportunity for the partnership. There is no doubt it will be challenging to implement, but with our transition to Brussels complete, we are up for the task.

Second, a strategy to guide the Cities Alliance’s activities in Africa has formally been approved and will now be operationalised as a priority. Driven by our African members, the strategy broadly aims to raise the profile of key urban challenges in Africa and help provide provide more coherent, strategic support to city and national governments in their efforts to towards more inclusive cities.  Immediate next steps include:

  • Establishment of a think tank to provide the Cities Alliance with a compelling pro-city narrative and serve as a strategic resource for the partnership;
  • A renewed focus on data collection and management for city planning, including the expansion of the Know Your City campaign; and
  • Empowering local governments, with a programme to strengthen United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA). We will also build upon our 2012/13 assessment of the enabling environment for local governments, measure the progress made and support reforms in select countries.

We are also delighted to announce that the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has given Cities Alliance a grant for US$ 8.25 million to work in eight African cities in four countries. Funds from the Future Cities Africa will be used to support a number of African cities become future proofed to climate, environment and natural resource challenges so that they are inclusive, resilient, and have growing economies. 

The grant from DFID – which rejoined the Cities Alliance in May – is a real boost to the Cities Alliance as a partnership, to the MTS, and to the Africa Strategy. It also aligns extremely well with our existing Country Programmes.

Last but not least, the Cities Alliance Secretariat is extremely pleased to begin this exciting new chapter in our new permanent offices, located on the third floor of Philanthropy House at 94 rue Royale in Brussels. 

William Cobbett, Director