The 2020 Africa-France Summit on Sustainable Cities and Regions


In response to the evolution of the crisis caused globally by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Africa-France Summit, initially planned to be held in Bordeaux from 4 to 6 June 2020, was canceled. In collaboration with African partners, the President of the Republic will suggest to his counterparts an initiative devoted to the health and economic response to Covid-19 across the continent.

Welcoming the Heads of State from 54 countries of the African continent, the Africa-France Summit for sustainable territories and cities 2020 was meant to bring together institutional and public service actors, financial actors, private companies, business leaders and civil society.

Key figures

1 billion city-dwellers in Africa by 2040
$90 billion of annual infrastructure needs

At the Summit:
54 countries invited
1,000 African business leaders
More than 500 mayors and local leaders from France and Africa
500 French and African economic actors
3 days, including one day open to the general public
1 friendly international sporting event
1 major urban music concert

Addressing the challenges of megacities

The urban population in Africa currently stands at 472 million, but that figure is set to double by 2040, reaching 1 billion.

One hundred of the continent’s cities already have more than 1 million inhabitants. Ten cities have five million, and Lagos, as Africa’s largest urban space, has 23 million. These megacities shake up our habits and knowledge through the size of their populations, their diversity and their role in terms of the movement of people, ideas, goods, wealth and cultures.

The World Bank estimates the urban infrastructure needs of Africa as a whole at $90 billion annually. Some 4 million homes would need to be built each year to keep up with the explosion in urban growth.

Designing the sustainable cities of tomorrow

Climate change is a crucial issue for cities. To offer their inhabitants health care, education, transport, water and sanitation services, they need access to frugal, reliable and scalable technological solutions. Urbanizing without polluting, undermining the social mix of city centres or bringing about the emergence of slums means organizing development to allow a growing population to enjoy equitable access to such services.

The Summit will have a strong economic and environmental dimension:

  • A political dimension, because only sustainable urban development can enable reduction of inequalities and migratory phenomena;
  • An economic dimension, because cities are the leading driver of growth;
  • An environmental dimension, because man, cities and nature have to be reconciled, and cities are the source of 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Solutions

The 2020 Africa-France Summit will showcase effective solutions promoted by African and French actors in their cities and territories.

These initiatives will be presented in the City of Solutions, located in seven districts focused on the themes of tomorrow’s sustainable cities:

  • Essential services: such as security, resources, renewable energy, energy efficiency, risk management, etc.
  • Mobility in cities: transport infrastructure, mobility and access, etc.
  • City living: housing, health care, education, training, culture, sport, leisure, civil society, vulnerable populations, etc.
  • Feeding cities and sustainable consumption: agriculture, agrifood, shops, restaurants and catering, packaging, recycling, local production, etc.
  • Connectivity in cities: innovation, digital technologies, smart cities, data management, etc.
  • Developing and embellishing cities: architecture, construction, urban furniture, green spaces, urban art, sustainable tourism, heritage conservation, etc.
  • Financing and structuring projects: donors and foundations, banks, investment funds, consultancies, insurance companies and lawyers, financial and technical support, project management, decentralized cooperation, etc.

Proposing and discovering projects

Projects can be promoted by French and African businesses, civil society organizations and local government bodies. The projects can concern all areas of sustainable cities: water, waste and the circular economy, the climate, smart energy management and energy efficiency, air pollution, sustainable habitat, green mobility, digital technology, citizen mobilization, sport, culture and crafts. Proposals can include innovative solutions for citizens, services and technologies, with a vast array of possibilities so long as local partners are involved and a tangible deliverable is presented during the Summit.

To submit a project or discover initiatives, visit the Summit platform

For more information, visit: