Improving efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of water, wastewater management and urban mobility services

Sub Saharan Africa Virtual Dialogue Event


The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed what was known to be normal. In the new normal, Connective Cities has also resorted to virtual formats of the dialogue events. Between the 7th and 14th of September, in intermittent virtual sessions, about 43 participants from 24 cities and representing 7 African countries and Germany, congregated to share best practices and develop project ideas in the areas of water supply, wastewater management and urban mobility.

The rapid urbanization in Sub Saharan Africa has seen an increase in the urban population and subsequently the demand for basic urban basic services such as water, sanitation and sustainable transport.  More than half of the urban population in SSA is yet to access these basic services.

This event provided a platform for utilities and cities to share on solutions to increase access to water supply, different approaches in management of wastewater and approaches in implementing sustainable urban mobility.

The conclusion of the event was crowned with six project ideas for Connective Cities to consider for further support in refining the concepts.


The content of the event was a combination of keynote speeches that funneled from a wide look at the challenges at city level to sector specific challenges and opportunities for change and development. The next step was delving into city specific input where different cities shared good practices on the three topics as described below. The keynote speeches and good practices highlighted areas in which the cities could work on in form of projects. Acknowledging that there are often ideas in place, the learning process facilitated a clear definition of the interventions to pursue.

  1. Water supply; approaches and technologies being applied to increase access to safe drinking water without leaving anyone behind. Highlight of challenges that cities face in effort to improve access including but not limited to inadequate financial and technical resources, non-revenue water, increasing demand among others.
  2. Wastewater management; systems and/ technologies being used to manage wastewater. How are cities dealing with municipal wastewater? Which systems would work in the different settings in the urban areas (sanitation chain)? What challenges do cities face in ensuring that wastewater is effectively treated?
  3. Urban mobility; management systems and modes used to ensure accessibility whilst reducing congestion, pollution and greenhouse emissions.


The contributions and discussions in the different working groups confirmed that most cities in Africa are faced by similar challenges yet there is a shift towards doing things differently as we adopt economically feasible, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly measures to address the gaps in provision of basic services. The interventions in the cities are however, worth learning from. The good practices were shared from Emalahleni (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), Kisumu (Kenya), Leipzig (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Tshwane (South Africa), Malindi (Kenya), Nakuru (Kenya), Oforikrom (Ghana), Kampala (Uganda), and Kumasi (Ghana).

As diverse as were the good practices, so were the project ideas brought forth. We seek to increase access to water in communities in Emalahleni through decentralized systems and bulk water supply in Mbeya and add a twist in Lusaka by developing an integrated local area plan. Imagine using briquets made from recycled waste; Malindi intends to address the sanitation gap by not only containing the waste but converting waste to energy. We also leverage on other channels of learning by visiting cities that have successfully implemented projects similar to our ideas. That will be the case for the City of Tshwane. The city dwellers of Oforikrom and Kumasi can look forward to beautiful and well-lit streets which are less congested.

Connective Cities will offer customized support to the projects in line with the services we offer.


Categories: COVID-19 Connective Cities Municipal services Solid waste management and recycling Urban mobility and public transport Water supply / sewage
Regions: Africa Ghana Kenya Zambia South Africa Tansania Uganda Bremen Hamburg Leipzig


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