Cities across Africa are implementing innovative solutions that create good, green jobs and further climate goals while prioritising residents.

Africa is home to over 1.4 billion people, almost half of whom live in urban areas, with its cities amongst the fastest-growing in the world. But Africa is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable continents. To mark this year’s Africa Climate Summit, we’re showcasing the actions that African cities are taking to reduce emissions, become more resilient to climate impacts such as extreme heat, and create good #GreenJobsNow.

Photo Taken In Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. showing the city skyline on a sunny day with clear blue skies and some clouds.
© Jevgenijs Sulins / EyeEm / Getty-Images

Strengthening collaboration in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is enhancing the city’s organic waste management practices through worker engagement and inclusive planning and implementation to improve the quality of life of those living and working in informal settlements while creating waste-free streets.

Nearly 83% of employment in Africa and 85% in Sub-Saharan Africa is informal, absorbing many of the continent’s young job-seekers. Population growth in Dar es Salaam has resulted in significant increases in waste generation, along with illegal dumping and uncollected waste. With support from the C40 Inclusive Climate Action (ICA) Cities Fund, Dar es Salaam is strengthening its collaboration with informal organic waste workers to promote ownership of climate action and enhance access to wider benefits. The city is boosting skills among city officials and key actors in the organic waste management chain whilst empowering and mobilising informal worker communities to co-create and institutionalise sustainable waste management policies and practices.

Freetown the TreeTown

Freetown experienced tragedy due to deforestation and the associated increased risk of landslides in 2017, when a deadly landslide killed more than 1,000 people. The city has taken action to reduce landslide and flooding risk through the “Freetown the TreeTown” initiative, which aims to increase the city’s green space and vegetation cover. With engagement from local communities, the city will plant, grow and track 1 million trees and restore 3,000 hectares of land, sequestering approximately 69,000 tonnes of CO2.

The initiative uses innovative, disruptive, and low-cost digital technology for tracking newly planted trees. It also creates jobs for women and young people in green sectors, providing eco-friendly alternatives to working in potentially dangerous and environmentally damaging industries.

Since 2020, Freetown has planted more than 560,0000 trees in climate-vulnerable areas, covering 578 hectares of urban land and benefiting over 300 communities. The initiative has created more than 1,200 jobs, 80% of which have gone to young people, including 44% to women.

Green jobs and greener buildings in Johannesburg

Johannesburg delivered a skills training programme to over 80 city officials to support them in effectively implementing national and city-level policies in energy efficiency and green building codes. The programme, which covers Johannesburg’s Green Building Policy, educates officials on their significant role in bringing benefits to their communities through local climate action and creating good, green jobs in the building sector.

Nairobi’s nature-based solutions

Nairobi is pioneering green job creation by regenerating the Nairobi River, leveraging nature-based solutions to deliver meaningful flood mitigation measures. The city’s efforts have yielded 3,500 green jobs and are on track to achieve the target of planting 1 million trees by 2032. An additional 3,000 support staff are to be recruited and assigned to various environmental restoration efforts, together with 1,000 environmental enforcement officers and 100 technical staff.

Access the interactive dashboard on C40’s Knowledge Hub to explore city actions that drive green job creation and workforce development in the sectors of the future.

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