By Evance Odhiamo

The Nairobi-based Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the United Cities and Local Government in Africa (UCLG Africa) which is based in Rabat, Morocco signed a collaborative memorandum of understanding in Kisumu, Kenya at the sidelines of the ongoing ninth Africities Summit.

The MOU aims to help UCLG Africa integrate climate change programming within its work of building African unity and development through grassroots cities and new urban areas.

Appreciating the signing of the MOU, Charles Mwangi, the acting Executive Director, PACJA, noted that his organization has supported climate-smart pro-poor development and equity based positions relevant for Africa and that collaborating with the UCLG Africa extends that support to populations living in cities, urban and new and upcoming towns.

Mwangi added that with the MOU, PACJA and UCLG Africa commit to cooperate in implementing activities of common interests ahead of the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change set for Egypt later in the year.

Mohamed Nbou, Director, Climate Change Department, UCLG Africa said the trend of urbanization has the potential to serve as the leeway to change, driving economic growth in some of the world’s least developed countries and pulling more people out of poverty but that climate change poses a challenge.

“Our partnership with PACJA, leading coalition of CSOs on the voices of African people in the climate discourses are coming at a right time. UCLG Africa will seek the advice and support of PACJA on ways community voices can be harnessed in planning for climate-proofed cities,” said Mohamed.

According to the pact, the two organizations will mobilize stakeholders in climate change sector including policy makers in Africa in co-designing programs on building resilience for African cities, build the resilience of the urban poor through joint implementation of locally lead climate actions and especially in the water sector and explore greater linkages with new emerging issues and mainstreaming climate change in budgetary plans for local authorities and cities.

In addition, the two organisations conduct collaborative research in areas of climate change and its impact on the economic development in Africa besides collaborate on livelihood improvement programs especially through fostering partnerships between private sector, cities and other non-state actors.

The MOU will also see the UCLG Africa use PACJA’s evidence-informed advocacy work in Climate Change in its intervention within cities and new urban areas.

The Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance is a coalition of more than 1000 organisations and individuals in 51 African countries who advocate for fair and just climate regimes for the African people.