The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) Green Cities Action Programme for Africa is to include cities in Cabo Verde and Mozambique.
The Programme aims to apply innovative solutions and turn urbanization into an opportunity for cities to become more sustainable, more resilient, provide access to healthy foods and ensure a better life for everyone, according to the FAO.
Letters of intent were signed with six African cities: Praia in Cabo Verde (pictured above), Kisumu and Nairobi in Kenya, Antananarivo in Madagascar, Quelimane in Mozambique and Kigali in Rwanda. The six cities will be embarking on the pilot phase of a programme designed to involve 1 000 cities worldwide by 2030.
The initiative aims to scale-up fast-action measures for large, medium and small cities to be more resilient, and food and nutrition secure, with pleasant natural environments, and more integrated nutritious food production and distribution systems benefiting residents and farmers alike.
“We can redesign our cities,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu in keynote remarks at the online launch. He explained: “With affordable healthy and sustainable food, with accessible green spaces, with green lifestyles, and with new jobs which our citizens need.”
He noted that the vast majority of Africa’s cities have fewer than 300 000 inhabitants. “With the right policies and planning, combined with innovative solutions, local administrations and communities can build resilience and improve the wellbeing of urban and peri-urban dwellers,” he said.
FAO is funding the initial phase and eyeing to attract more resources and interest for the full programme. The aim is to push for key innovative “quick win” actions to develop the capacity of local stakeholders in the first cities joining the project to integrate food systems, urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in local planning, requiring a holistic approach to governance that in the case of metropolitan areas often span several municipal jurisdictions.