10 December, Dubai – The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that marks a significant milestone in their collaborative efforts to support sustainable urban development across the African continent.

In a ceremony held on 10 December 2023 at the COP28 UCLG Africa Pavilion, DBSA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Boitumelo Mosako and UCLG Africa Secretary General, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, formalised their commitment to establishing the African Territorial Trade and Investment Agency (ATIA). This is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) dedicated to financing projects that will enhance the resilience, infrastructure, and overall well-being of African cities. This strategic partnership aims to address the evolving challenges faced by urban areas and to catalyse economic growth and social development.

ATIA will serve as a dedicated financial entity designed to mobilise resources for critical projects, leveraging the combined expertise and networks of DBSA and UCLG Africa. ATIA is poised to play a pivotal role in unlocking opportunities and overcoming barriers to sustainable urban development by pooling financial resources and fostering collaboration.

Key objectives of ATIA include:

Financial Innovation: Introducing innovative financing mechanisms tailored to the needs of African cities to accelerate the implementation of sustainable urban development projects.

Capacity Building: Strengthening the financial and technical capacities of local governments to enable effective project planning, execution, and management.

Knowledge Sharing: Facilitating the exchange of best practices, expertise, and knowledge between DBSA, UCLG Africa, and participating cities to enhance the impact of urban development initiatives.

Sustainable Development Goals: Promoting projects that prioritise environmental sustainability, social inclusivity, and economic resilience, aligning with global sustainable development goals.

Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General at UCLG Africa expressed his enthusiasm saying, “Our collaboration with DBSA represents a strategic alignment of our goals and values. Together, we can amplify our impact and address the unique challenges faced by African cities. ATIA is a testament to our collective dedication to the prosperity of urban areas across the continent.”

Ms. Mosako echoed MoU’s significance to the DBSA and interest in the collaboration stating, “This partnership between DBSA and UCLG Africa underscores our shared commitment to fostering sustainable urban development in Africa. By establishing ATIA, we aim to provide cities with the financial tools they need to build resilient, inclusive, and thriving communities.”

This collaboration represents a major step forward in advancing the shared vision of DBSA and UCLG Africa to create vibrant, resilient, and sustainable urban centers that enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

For more information, please contact:

Gaelle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45


About Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA):

The mission of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is to advance the development impact in the region by expanding access to development finance, and effectively integrating and implementing sustainable development solutions. The DBSA’s purpose is to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development, and improve the quality of life of the people of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and, more recently, the whole of the African continent, by driving financial and non-financial investments in the social and economic infrastructure sectors: social infrastructure – infrastructure aimed at addressing backlogs and expediting the delivery of essential social services to support sustainable living conditions and a better quality of life within communities; and economic infrastructure – infrastructure aimed at addressing capacity constraints and bottlenecks in order to optimise economic growth potential and support regional integration. The DBSA has prioritised water, energy, transport and ICT as its key focus areas.

About United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa):

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is the umbrella organization of local authorities in Africa whose founding congress took place in 2005 in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. UCLG Africa stems from the unification of three continental groupings of local governments following the official language inherited from the colonial period, namely: the African Union of Local Authorities (AULA), mainly English-speaking; the Union of African Cities (UVA), essentially French-speaking; and the Africa chapter of the União das Cidades e Capitais Lusófonas Africanas, Americanas e Asiáticas (UCCLA), mainly Portuguese-speaking.   UCLG Africa currently brings together the 51 national associations of local governments operating in Africa as well as 2,000 cities and territories with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Through its members, UCLG Africa represents more than 350 million African citizens. Founding member of the world organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UCLG Africa is its regional chapter for Africa. The general secretariat of the organization is established in Rabat, capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, where UCLG Africa enjoys diplomatic status as an International Pan-African organization. UCLG Africa is also represented in the five regions of Africa through regional offices. based: in Cairo, Egypt, for the North Africa Region; in Accra, Ghana, for the West Africa Region; in Libreville, Gabon, for the Central Africa Region; in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Eastern Africa Region; and in Pretoria, South Africa, for the Southern Africa Region.