Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Kumasi, Ghana: urban innovations bootcamp

21 December 2023


It is estimated that by 2050, 75% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas and almost 50% of this growth will happen within Commonwealth cities and human settlements. Across Africa, the number of people living in urban areas is expected to reach 1 billion by 2042, according to the World Bank. For local governments, this rapid urbanisation increases the strain to provide basic social amenities, jobs and modern infrastructure for citizens. In this context it is essential for cities and city leaders to innovate to be able to provide services, ensure inclusion and address urban issues.


In Ghana, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly was successful in winning one of the $1 million US dollar prizes from the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayor's Challenge, to implement a waste management project focused on providing low-cost toilets to households. Building on this project, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), CLGF and the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) partnered to bring together the 10 Metropolitan and Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) which made submissions to the Mayors Challenge to exchange ideas and build their capacity on designing and implementing mission-driven and sustainable urban projects.


The workshop entitled: Urban Innovations Boot Camp On Sustainable Innovations To Solve Urban Problems For Selected Metropolitan, Municipal And District Assemblies (MMDAs) In Ghana Kumasi, Ashanti Region” was held between 11-13 December 2023 in Kumasi, Ghana, and sought to:


  • introduce participants to the best practices for defining public problems within metropolis and municipalities;
  • ensure participants know how to use data, collective intelligence, and design thinking to solve problems more efficiently and effectively; and
  • introduce trainees to the latest tools and technologies for designing and implementing mission-driven projects.

Sessions focused on understanding urban innovation, problem identification techniques, developing and testing innovations, achieving change through Theory of Change, key parameters for successful implementation plans, project feasibility and viability, and the success factors and pitfalls in proposal writing.


Over three days, 30 participants were actively involved in pitching project ideas, group work, meetings, exchanging views and sharing experience and knowledge. CLGF will be looking for further opportunities over the course of 2024 to connect CSCN members with funding opportunities for their innovative projects.


CLGF Head of Programmes, Ms Claire Frost said: "The bootcamp was a great success and we want to build on the initiative to ensure local government practitioners are given the opportunity to access funding opportunities that can respond to the changes and adaptations that urban settlements really need."


CLGF Regional Officer for West Africa, Ms Joyce Ekuful, said: "This was also a great example of what can be achieved through partnership working and we thank UNDP and NALAG and also the participants for their hard work."


Pictured are the workshop participants from the Municipal Assemblies (Jaman South, Oforikrom, Wa, Ketu South) and the Metropolitan Assemblies (Tema, Tamale, Cape Coast, Secondoi-Takoradi, Accra) and CLGF.




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