Accra has joined the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, and is kicking off the process of developing a comprehensive resilience plan that will enable the city to better survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks it experiences.
The city-led initiative will begin with a "Resilience Agenda Workshop" that will bring stakeholders across the city, from the government and private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civic groups, into the planning process. It will also start to uncover some of the key threats the city is facing, and some of the resilience building tools and plans it has available to address those threats.
In the months following the workshop, the city, led by a new Chief Resilience Officer, will continue to engage those stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting the plan. The agenda setting workshop was held on April 7, 2015 at Alisa Hotel in Accra.
Developing a comprehensive and resilience plan is particularly important in Accra, because Ghana's capital city is faced with shocks such as fires, floods, etc., and stresses such as chronic water shortages, homelessness, unemployment, etc.
The 100RC provides this assistance to member cities through funding, with a Chief Resilience Officer who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, and NGO-created resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.
Accra was selected as one of the first 32 members of what will ultimately be a100-city global network, and will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement a resilience strategy. An additional cohort of cities will be selected in December.
Commenting on the workshop, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpujie, said: "The success story of AMA being part of the first 35 most resilient cities means that Accra will be helped to build resilience to the social, economic and physical challenges that confront it."
"City governments are on the front line of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stress. Accra is part of a group of cities leading the way on resilience to better prepare for, withstand, and recover more effectively when disruption hits," said Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin.
"Through this type of inclusive resilience planning cities can be better prepared for the unexpected. They can also realise the resilience dividend, [and] the economic and competitive advantages that come from taking a resilience mindset. Your commitment to resilience thinking, planning and action will set a global example," she said "Accra is helping fuel global momentum around building urban resilience, and leading by example," said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.
"The agenda workshop will clarify the city's needs, surface innovative thinking, and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Accra the tools and resources needed to become more resilient."
The workshop was designed to bring together a range of constituents, including city officials, local businesses, civic groups and academia, to begin developing the city's resilience plan. The plan will encompass a variety of factors, among them partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable populations.
The workshop began the process of identifying priorities, actions and metrics as part of a resilience strategy for Accra. The plan will be drafted over the next 6-12 months. The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, addressed participants at the workshop, while Liz Agbor-TabiOton, Head of Africa Work at 100 RC, was in Ghana to support the workshop.