Chief Executive of Accra Metropolitan Assembly Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Chief Resilience Officer Desmond Appiah, and 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) – have released a Preliminary Resilience Assessment of Accra at a convening of strategic partners.
The document is a comprehensive analysis of Accra’s state of resilience, a product of a yearlong process which prioritized stakeholder engagement.
A city’s resilience is defined as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.
Findings in the assessment reveal the high cost of living in Accra and an inefficient public transportation system as top concerns among stakeholders, in addition to issues of waste management, sanitation, and water scarcity.
These ongoing stresses must be addressed alongside only one-time shocks that threaten the city – such as fires, floods, and disease outbreak.
“The path to a stronger Accra begins with a candid assessment of the challenges we face and the assets at hand for addressing them,” said Accra Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah.
“Comprehensive resilience planning and building strong partnerships with collaborators and funders will move us closer to creating a smart, resilient, and sustainable city for all citizens of Accra.”
A product of a multi-year process which engaged 228 residents of Accra, the Preliminary Resilience Assessment is the basis of the city’s Resilience Strategy to be released by the third quarter of this year.
In a convening of 60 development partners, Mayor Sowah presented the assessment along with examples of actionable initiatives which seek to address Accra’s risks and opportunities.
The World Bank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) were among the institutions present.
“By applying a resilience lens to the City of Accra, we start to see a range of opportunities rather than merely challenges,” said Desmond Appiah, Chief Resilience Officer.
“By aligning community perceptions, city assets, and strategic partnerships, the Preliminary Resilience Assessment is an important step forward in our city’s resilience journey.”
The assessment identifies five pillars and opportunities for discovery through which Accra will focus its resilience efforts: strengthening urban mobility and transportation; improving the management of flooding, waste, and sanitation; citizen engagement toward greater accountability; supporting the informal sector; and creating an environmentally sustainable city.
“Accra’s rapid rate of urbanization opens up new opportunities for future development to happen in a resilient manner,” said Liz Agbor-Tabi, Associate Director at 100 Resilient Cities.
“The City has demonstrated a new wave of leadership in its responses to informality, waste management, and a host of complex resilience challenges.”
The release of the Preliminary Resilience Assessment follows on the heels of the city’s successful Problem Framing Workshop, in which urban stakeholders were asked to rethink issues of waste management and produce innovative solutions.
Outputs from the workshop will be referenced in the forthcoming Resilient Accra strategy to be released publicly later this year.