African Development Bank expands urban support program to six new cities

African Development Bank expands urban support program to six new cities

African Development Bank expands urban support program to six new cities
African Development Bank expands urban support program to six new cities

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

The African Development Bank’s ( Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) ( has expanded its African Cities Program to cover six new cities across the continent. The expansion, approved by the Fund’s 13th Oversight Committee, will help bolster urban development and address critical challenges faced by rapidly growing African cities.

The newly included cities are:

  • Kolwezi, the Democratic Republic of Congo: mining town grappling with rapid urban growth and environmental issues.
  • Grand Nokoué, Benin: an economic hub with over two million inhabitants.
  • Buffalo City, South Africa: a coastal city prioritizing climate resilience.
  • Joal, Senegal: A medium-sized city focusing on integrating environmental and social issues into economic development.
  • Juba, South Sudan: Prioritizing essential services for a growing, vulnerable population;
  • Nouakchott, Mauritania: Planning to combine projects on climate resilience, urban mobility, and sustainable energy.

The Bank launched the UMDF in 2019 in response to growing demand from countries and cities for urban development support. It receives contributions from the Nordic Development Fund and the governments of Denmark, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency.

The Fund provides financial and technical assistance to national and local governments for improving governance, planning, and to prepare investments in sustainable urban development for more climate resilient, resilient, liveable and productive cities, underpinning national socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

UMDF will provide funding for each of the six cities over several months, including a detailed analysis of the strengths and vulnerabilities, especially regarding economic, social, climate, and gender issues. The goal is to identify transformative infrastructure projects that can attract public and private sector investments.

The committee also reviewed the Fund’s progress and approved its 2024 work program, allocating over $4.7 million to identify and develop urban infrastructure projects and bring them to maturity.

Mike Salawou, Director of the African Development Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, committed to strengthening the Fund’s operational effectiveness and capacity to mobilize more funding and partnerships for greater impact.

“The question of urban development is at the heart of the Bank’s new ten-year strategy for 2024-2033, of which the Urban and Municipal Development Fund is a strategic implementation mechanism,” he emphasized. The Bank ten-year strategy 2024-2025 ( includes data and research from publications ( financed by the Fund and its partners.

It is hoped that the Fund will act as a catalyst in boosting access of African municipalities to public and private finance, a priority defined by the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, at the Africa Investment Forum ( 2023 Market Days in Morocco.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

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About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is the premier multilateral financing institution dedicated to Africa’s development. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NSF). The AfDB has a field presence in 41 African countries, with an external office in Japan, and contributes to the economic development and social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: