SESA at World Urban Forum 11th Session

SESA at World Urban Forum 11th Session

Building sustainable, secure and resilient energy systems at scale through local action

Global warming brings harmful consequences to communities, and ecosystems around the world, and low carbon solutions to mitigate the effect of climate change, and increase the resilience of our communities are increasingly crucial. Incentivising community-owned RES is pivotal to securing energy access in remote vulnerable areas, helping the energy system to bounce back following extreme climate events, strengthening energy security, and increasing resilience to economic shocks. Implementing innovative local energy solutions promotes the economic development of communities retaining investments and revenues locally, fighting energy poverty, creating jobs and enhancing local engagement.

Building sustainable, secure and resilient energy systems at scale through local action session aims at showcasing and bringing together the experiences of cities, local businesses and communities in transforming the energy system through innovative and sustainable local solutions. Its focus will be on both technologies and innovative solutions developed to support sustainable energy action planning on the ground, presenting gaps, challenges, and replicable solutions implemented. Speakers will discuss technologies and solutions for sustainable energy systems, with the goal of accelerating energy access and increasing resilience to climate change.

The event will be in a format of an open dialogue with different stakeholders: solutions providers, solutions enablers, and solutions implementers allowing the audience to raise questions, share experiences and exchange on the best practices. Everybody will be invited to share their ideas and interest to establish the foundation for future partnerships, testing solutions presented, and join future knowledge-sharing opportunities. For engaging with our external audience we will use SESA official social media channels, using #SESAProject and #WUF11.


  Moderator: Ms Giorgia Rambelli, ICLEI European Secretariat

14:30 – 14:35 

14:35 – 14:45

Welcome –  Ms Giorgia Rambelli, Coordinator Climate Policy and Energy 

Governance, ICLEI European Secretariat

Welcome participants, objective of the workshop, agenda, speakers (5 minutes)

Setting the scene  Ms Lea Ranalder, Associate Programme Management Officer, UN-Habitat 

14:45 – 15:45 

Building sustainable, secure and resilient energy systems at scale through local action


Mrs Lea Ranalder, Associate Programme Management Officer, Human Settlements, UN-Habitat 

Mrs Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21

Mr Rohit Sen, Head, Sustainable Energy ICLEI World Secretariat 

Mr Joseph Oganga, Chief Officer Department of Energy and Industrialization, Kisumu County, Kenya 

Mr Prof. Dr. Oliver LahHead of Research Unit Mobility and International Cooperation, Energy, Transport and Climate Policy , Professor at Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

Q&A session with audience

15:45-16:00 Closing remarks – UN-Habitat 

During the Workshop, participants will discuss the following questions:

  • Which solutions can be implemented to accelerate sustainable energy access and climate resilience of vulnerable communities?
  • Which are the main challenges in developing local development projects? 
  • What kind of measures and policies are necessary to overcome the main barriers and  scale up these solutions?
  • Which are the financial burdens that SMEs face in implementing innovative business solutions, and which solutions can be provided to support them scaling-up? 

The event will take place on the 29th June, 2022 from 14:30 to 16:00 CEST at Workshop room 14. For more information visit World Urban Forum official website.

What are the SESA Living Labs?

What are the SESA Living Labs?

The SESA project involves a modular living lab demonstration action in Kenya, 4 validation demonstration projects in Morocco, Ghana, Malawi, and South Africa; and 4 replication demonstration projects in Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Nigeria. SESA draws upon thematic experts from Europe and Africa from relevant fields of application to provide insights and guidance to the support co-development of the living labs.

Each site has an implementation plan, the guiding roadmap for the living lab to achieve its sustainability goals. The plans describe the context needs and innovative energy solutions activities across the identified thematic areas in the different locations. The identified thematic areas include:

  • Solar energy: Kenya (test), Ghana (validation), South Africa (validation), Morocco (validation), Namibia (replication), Tanzania (replication), Nigeria (replication), Rwanda (replication).
  • Clean cooking/ Waste to energy (Biogas for cooking): Ghana (validation), Malawi (validation), Rwanda (replication).
  • Second life EV (Li-ion batteries) batteries: Kenya (test), South Africa (validation),Morocco (validation).

The highly skilled experts, that are part of the project consortium and are involved in the development of the implementation plans, will share their specific experience and provide technical advice related to feasibility, costs and benefits, and monitoring for good performance over the project lifetime. Experts will also support replicability of innovative measures. The direct involvement of international networks and initiatives will ensure a high level of visibility and replication for the innovations tested in this project. A brief summary of the actions from SESA first phase follows:

Kenya: The demonstration implementation activities will be carried out at two project sites, Kisegi, a rural village in Homa Bay county, and Katito a peri-urban community in Kisumu County. Both demonstrations are solar charging hubs that houses PV modules, central Li-ion battery storage, and balance-of-system (BoS) to increase energy accessibility for a range of electrical needs within the local community. Learn more about the Kenya Living Lab. 

Morocco: The demonstration implementation activities will be carried out in urban location in Marrakech and low socioeconomic rural region currently without access to grid electricity. The urban demonstrator will make 40 electric motorcycles available for use by female students. The rural demonstrator will install 10 mini grids with Li-ion battery storage for use by families in remote and energy impoverished locations.

Ghana: The demonstration implementation activities are located in the Ga North Municipal district, which is an urban settlement, and Atwima Nwabiagya Municipal Assembly, which is a rural community. The innovation tested is biogas cooking systems to improve the knowledge, skills, trust and capacity of stakeholders in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of this clean, cheap cooking technology. Fuel will be sourced from waste feedstocks.

Malawi: The living lab is located in Mchinji district, Traditional Authority Mawvere. It will provide affordable and reliable energy in one of the most energy impoverished parts of Africa where only 13.4% of the population are connected to the national electrical grid. The innovation implementation activities will involve a portable cooker, which will be fueled from compressed briquets of residual agricultural byproducts. The design will both reduce smoke emissions and provide by beneficial bio char as a waste byproduct for use in agriculture.

South Africa: The demonstration implementation activities are located in the Eastern Cape township of Alicedale and the semi-rural area KwaNonzwakazi on the outskirts of Alicedale. The demonstration innovation will include electric vehicle batteries and stationary storage applications, the demonstration will include the provision of infospots for Internet access. The off-grid community energy hubs will support a range of local community activities.

To support co-development of solutions, capacity building, funding and financing regional platforms are set up. Regional platforms will help organise regional teams and support partners coordinate with other relevant regional projects to maximise the potential for take-up and replication of the energy innovations tested in this project (ELICO, Leitat, RISE, UN-Habitat, UNEP, UEMI). A common implementation methodology will be developed, with the lead-partners for all regional teams (Europe, Africa). This forms the basis of detailed implementation plans, which include all the activities needed for preparation and execution of the demo, technical and operations issues, business model adaptation, stakeholder engagement and replication (Siemens, Green Energy Park, University of Rwanda, Going Green, Stockholm Environmental Institute).

The regional platforms and implementation teams are working closely with the capacity building team to support the training activities for the Living Labs and share their experiences with others to replicate innovation actions. The plans will be continually updated with input from project partners, so keep in tune for more information on the developments of the SESA Living Labs.

SESA at Africities 2022

SESA at Africities 2022

SESA will be present at the 9th edition of Africities will be held between 17th to 21st May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya with the theme “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063”. 

Africities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s flagship pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa. The aim is to strengthen the role of local and regional governments in the development of the continent and to help build the integration and unity of Africa from its territories. Africities summit is the largest democratic gathering organised in Africa. 

The session Smart Energy Solutions for Africa: Energy Access, Carbon Neutral Architecture and Electric Mobility will take place the upcoming Friday, 20th May from 14:30 to 16:00 EAT. The SESA project co-organises and hosts this panel discussion with UN-Habitat, ABC21, SOLUTIONSplus, and Urban Pathways

The session will bring together public and private sector stakeholders with experience in energy access, low carbon building designs, and electric mobility through sharing experiences from the world’s best practices which can be adopted and tailored for African countries, in order to advocate for low-carbon energy solutions in urban settings in Africa through enacting necessary conditions for adaptation of these innovations. 

The speakers (Caroline Vicini, Swedish ambassador to Kenya; Hon. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco; Vincent Kitio, Lead, Urban Energy Team, UN-Habitat; Prof. Asmae Khaldoune, Al Akhawayn University-Morocco; Prof. François Garde, Director, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieur, Université de La Réunion; Giorgia Rambelli, Climate Policy and Energy Governance, Coordinator at ICLEI European Secretariat; Eng. Ephrem Ouma, County Director in charge of Petroleum & Electricity, County Government of Kisumu; Kenneth Guantai, Autotruck; Stephen Omondi Ooko, We!Hub; ) will debate around necessary environmental policy changes including the establishment of supportive initiatives and incentives on energy and resource efficiency, and clean energy generation in cities.

During the event, SESA will officially launch the first co-development test site to be implemented in Western Kenya (in both rural (Homabay) and urban (Kisumu) locations). Self-sustaining solar hubs will be installed with the aim of achieving an integrated system for sustainable energy access, productive use of energy and a circular economy. 

Session agenda

  • 6 mins: Welcome by moderator, Vincent Kitio, UN-Habitat
  • 6 mins: Opening Remarks – State Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development and Public Works 
  • 12 mins Inspirational Statements:
  1. Smart and Low Carbon Energy for Africa, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco
  2. Green Energy Transition, Swedish Ambassdor to Kenya
  • 34 mins: Showcasing Energy efficiency and clean energy Solutions
  1. 8 mins: Bioclimatic Architecture: buildings providing comfort with low energy needs; Prof. ASMAE KHALDOUNE, Al Akhawayn University-Morocco; 
  2. 8 mins: Green Architecture; Prof. FRANÇOIS GARDE, Director, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieur,, Université de La Réunion
  3. 6 mins: Electric Mobility Innovations in Kenya (Kenneth Guantai, Autotruck) 
  4. 6 mins: Innovative energy solutions (Stephen Omondi Ooko, Head of Business Development and Innovation, We!Hub) 
  5. 6 mins: Financing the Energy Transition (SwedFund)
  • 15 mins: Q&A 
  • 15 mins: Introducing the SESA project – The Kisumu Living Lab (Georgia Rambelli, ICLEI; Eng. Ouma, County Government of Kisumu)
  • 2 mins: Closing Remarks by Moderator

Find more information about the Africities event here.

9th AfriCities Summit

9th AfriCities Summit

The theme of the 9 th Africities Summit is: “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063”. These two Agendas call for the urgent need to develop resilient and sustainable urbanization in Africa, cognizant of the fact that by 2050 the bulk of African population will be living in cities, and that the majority of city dwellers will settle in intermediary cities.

7th EU-Africa Business Forum

7th EU-Africa Business Forum

The 7th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF22) took place online (with limited on-site presence for speakers and moderators only). Co-organised by the European Commission, the African Union Commission, as well as EU and African business organisations.