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Paris, France/Sandton, South Africa/Vienna, Austria

Selected cities will become lighthouse cities in Africa and for the world through the concept development and implementation of a blueprint for African cities becoming Green Industrial Cities.

The Just Transition Investor Alliance (JTIA) from South Africa and United Cities – International Centre for Sustainable Cities and Communities (UC) based in Austria, today announced they’ve entered into and signed an agreement to develop Green Industrial Cities in Africa.

Green industrial cities are innovative special purpose destinations, which build on the African Union’s $4.6trn African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA), to de-risk and leapfrog to investable, resilient and globally competitive green supply chain and industrial infrastructure, which significantly increases the continents share (for manufactured goods) of the $10trn per annum (pa) and growing global green Industrial economy.

The aim of this important and unique cooperation is to jointly design, develop and implement the Green Industrial City Initiative, to incentivize breakthrough innovation between stakeholders and to accelerate progress toward smart and sustainable city development in Africa.

In addition to support the concept development and implementation of a blueprint for African cities in becoming Green Industrial Cities leveraging on green technologies and smart sustainable city solutions. In so doing the selected cities will become lighthouse industrial cities in Africa and for the world.

The Just Transition Investors Alliance (JTIA), is built on an overarching theory of change that institutional investors, as universal owners, investee company corporates as customers and MDB’s, regional banks and development finance institutions, as private capital credit enhancers, have a pivotal role to play in positively influencing Africa’s Just Energy Transition and equitable and increased participation in global value chains for “finished goods” and green technologies.

The specific objectives of the agreement are to develop concepts and methods towards transition and planning through the use of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twins to model and visualize critical data and set up innovation labs as hubs for competence, project development acceleration solutions and especially investment, insurance and financing of sustainable projects in African cities.

As outlined in the Africa chapter of the IPCC, Africa is highly vulnerable to climate risk. The continent features strongly in discussions on equity and justice, which argue for low carbon development without interfering with the economic growth. With their concentration of people and growth, African cities are particularly important places to focus sustainable development projects and processes.

This agreement is also sharing the objectives of the “New Global Financing Pact” initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron to restore fiscal space to countries facing short-term difficulties, especially the most indebted countries, fostering private sector development in low-income countries (cities), encouraging institutional investor-public partnerships (IIPPs) in “green” infrastructure for the energy transition in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDC cities) and mobilizing innovative financing for countries (cities) vulnerable to climate change.

Dr Hubert Danso, Chairman, The Just Transition Investor Alliance (JTIA) and the African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank (AfGIIB), speaking at the Summit for the New Global Financing Pact taking place 22. – 23. June 2023 stressed during his speech that:

“Green industrial cities will be the cornerstone to assist Africa leapfrog and increase its share of the $10trn per annum and growing global green industrial economy and accelerate institutional investor-public partnerships at scale, to deliver a risk and climate adjusted Just Energy future for Africa and the world. Partnering with the United Cities – International Centre for Sustainable Cities and Communities (UC), represents a powerful collaboration to crowd-in international strategic partners committed to ensuring Africa’s Green Industrial Cities deliver on their promise”

“We are convinced that the African continent and especially African cites will play a key role in achieving the 2030 urban agenda and the climate targets. Together with JTIA we will accelerate our joint efforts and support cities across Africa in transiting into Green Industrial Cities”, says Kari Aina Eik, Executive Director of United Cities (UC).

Green industrial cities will be transformational in assisting Africa and its global investment and strategic partners, manufacture green technologies from African critical minerals, powered by the continents super natural capital and green hydrogen and leveraging technologies co-created and deployed by Africa’s and global partners – that leaves no one behind – especially communities from mining towns.

The first cities and projects will be selected ahead of COP 28 to be held in Dubai, UAE in November 2023.

“We call city leaders and solution providers to action. This initiative represents a unique opportunity for all” says Kari Aina Eik and Dr. Hubert Danso. “We encourage city leaders, investors, businesses, supply chain and manufacturing innovators, academia and technology providers to contact JTIA for more information to become part of this initiative.”


Contact Information:

Dr Hubert Danso, Chairman, Just Transition Investor Alliance (JTIA) Email: hdanso@africainvestor.comKari Aina Eik, Executive Director, United Cities – International Centre for Sustainable Cities and Communities (UC)

About the Just Transition Investors Alliance (JTIA)

JTIA is an investor led, Just Transition Value Chain Investment Initiative, to promote and procure ‘finished goods’, from African Just Transition Green Industrial Cities, (under the AfCFTA), supplying the $10trn pa, Global Green Industrial Economy (GGIE).

About United Cities (UC)

United Cities – International Centre for Sustainable Cities and Communities (UC) is a not-for- profit international organisation headquartered in Vienna, bringing together people and places on the subject of how to develop sustainable cities and communities supporting UN SDG 11. United Cities provides method and process support including use of digital twins and set up for innovation labs. 

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