Technical Workshop on Building Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor (BCRUP) 

From 26 to 28 February 2024, a UCLG Africa delegation composed of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, the Adviser for Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems to the General Secretariat, Mr. Mohammed Nbou, and the Director of Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems, Dr. Robert Sangori, participated in a Technical Workshop on Building Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor (BCRUP) that took place at Lake Naivasha Resort, Kenya. 

The workshop was organized during three days with the participation of the State Department for Housing and Urban Development of Kenya, UCLG Africa, Commonwealth Secretariat, UN-HABITAT, UNDRR, AfDB, Shelter Afrique, AfDAN, Habitat for Humanity, Slum Dwellers International, ARIN, University of Nairobi, Office of the Climate Envoy Kenya, Kenya Permanent Mission to UN-HABITAT, State Department for Environment and Climate Change, PACJA and Kenya Green Building Society. 

During the first day, on 26 February 2024, participants in the workshop received an update  on BCRUP, from the decision taken by the UN Secretary General in 2019 to designate Kenya and Brazil championing the initiative on behalf of the Global Community, to its translation into an African Program during the second session of the UN-Habitat General Assembly in June 2023, the BCRUP recognition by the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) on 29 August 2023, the launching of the BCRUP strategy by the President of the Republic of Kenya on 6 September 2023 during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, to the adoption of the BCRUP 10-year implementation plan on 2 December 2023 during the COP 28 in Dubai, UAE. After the adoption of the 10-year implementation plan, a second line of actions was launched that included the mobilization of the 12 countries as part of the pilot phase of BCRUP and the designation of the African Designated Authorities Network (AFDAN) to assist BCRUP in resource mobilization, and the establishment of the BCRUP Secretariat within the regional office for East Africa of UCLG Africa.  

The participants to the proceedings of the workshop were informed that as a champion of the BCRUP initiative on Africa, President Ruto has to report on the implementation of BCRUP to the UN Secretary General during the UN General Assembly scheduled in September 2024 in New York, N.Y., USA.  

On 26 February 2024, the workshop focused on:  

1) BCRUP Governance and Work streams;  

2) BCRUP Operational framework and implementation;  

3) BCRUP Finance mobilization;  

4) Action Plan and Results framework. 

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa moderated the session on partners involvement in the implementation of the pilot phase of BCRUP. 

The 27th of February 2024 doubled as the official workshop opening where the Government of Kenya leadership and partners gave remarks, with both the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary who committed to supporting BCRUP as it is a landmark programme which aligns well with the Africa’s agenda 2063, the SDGs, the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. The workshop further discussed the BCRUP implementation roadmap for the pilot phase, identifying the following urgent actions to be conducted during the year 2024: 

  1. Integrate BCRUP as a flagship program of the African Union (no later than Quarter 2, 2024) 
  2. Signing of the Headquarters Agreement between the government of Kenya and UCLG Africa for the hosting of the East Africa Regional Office of UCLG Africa in Nairobi, where the Regional Secretariat of BCRUP will be housed, and allocation of equipped office space and other amenities to the Secretariat (no later than Quarter 2, 2024) 
  3. Elaboration of the concept note for the BCRUP Readiness Program to mobilize project preparation financing from the Green Climate Fund for the 12 BCRUP pilot countries (no later than Quarter 2, 2024) 
  4. Mapping of the targeted neighborhoods in the 12 countries included in the pilot phase of implementation of BCRUP in Africa (starting from Quarter 3, 2024) 
  5. National allocations for BCRUP in the budgets of the line ministries in charge of housing and urban development (starting from FY 2024/2025) 

On 28 February, during a courtesy visit to Hon. Alice Wahome, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development, in her Office at the Geospatial Data Centre, Nairobi, and flagged by her technical team led by Mr. Eng. Benjamin Njenga, Secretary for Urban and Metropolitan Development, Dr. Charles Konyango, outgoing Director of Urban Development, and Mrs. Lilian Kieni, Ag. Director of Housing and Development. An update on the pending issues was made and directives were given by the Cabinet Secretary H.E. Alice Wahome to speed up contacts with the African Union, the signing of the Headquarters Agreement with UCLG Africa for the hosting of its East Africa Regional Office in Nairobi where the Regional BCRUP Secretariat will be housed; and the proposal of the structure of the BCRUP secretariat in order to have a rough estimate of the number of offices required. The Cabinet Secretary estimated that these tasks shall be fulfilled no later than the end of March 2024. She therefore directed that Mr. Eng. Njenga, the Secretary for Urban and Metropolitan Development, fast track the process of providing a fully furnished office to serve as UCLG Africa Eastern Africa Regional Office (EARO) and BCRUP Secretariat in the shortest time possible. 

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, also held a bilateral meeting with the Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN) to discuss the MoU to be signed between UCLG Africa and ARIN for the implementation of the pilot phase of BCRUP in Africa.