Dakar hopes to accelerate its evolution to become a model African city, which will have successfully aligned its rich heritage to opportunities that the 21st century offers.
Dakar is a microcosm of the challenges that a majority of African cities experience, and could serve as a sandbox for local solutions to challenges posed by rapid and complex urbanization. Dakar thus foresees becoming a flexible and evolving city that adapts to be more robust, capable, and equipped to recover from socio-economic as well as climatic and environmental stresses.
The urban resilience strategy of Dakar offers possible opportunities for a sustainable city which will be able to respond to a catastrophe by recovering its operational functions quickly, and will have lessened the impact of dysfunctions caused by its population boom, geoclimatic disruptions, and environmental pollution by addressing them from the root.
We will put Dakar's citizens at the heart of the strategy in laying the foundation for active and sustainable citizen participation.
Citizens should be at the heart of the resilience strategy to bring out the strong link between human actions and their effects on the challenges the strategy seeks to solve. To do so, it will for instance be necessary to innovate methods of knowledge sharing, education, and city-wide communication channels to improve citizens’ comprehension of the problems they face and promote the concept of resilience as a tool to solve those problems sustainably. In addition to this, awareness campaigns will be conducted with religious leaders, traditional chiefs, and influential figures who play a thought leadership role in their community, whose voices are heard and respected.
We will make Dakar a pleasant city to live in by building more green spaces and ensuring a better system for waste management.
Dakar has witnessed the destruction of several of its green spaces, but also the lack of planning for housing, as well as rising pollution levels. 30% of the population doesn’t have access to sewage services; some call on manual emptiers who dispose of their liquid waste into the surroundings.
Improving the living environment of its residents should be one of the essential services that the municipality offers. This would range from improving organization of sanitation services to raising awareness about activities that can be detrimental to the environment. The municipality of Dakar has expressed a strong interest in improving the living conditions through the launch of programs such as the Environmental Action Plan, which will be strengthened through the resilience strategy.
We will foster and support the involvement of the private sector - both formal and informal - in building resilience.
The private sector has an important role to play in the resilience strategy of the city, not only by investing and forming partnerships for the delivery of the resilience initiatives, but also through the creation of employment opportunities for social stability. However, the private sector is not sufficiently empowered or associated to fully play its role.
The municipality will thus have to give an important role to the private sector in acting as a resilience partner by promoting a climate favorable to investments and economic activity, by engaging and coordinating the informal sector, and by promoting local products and services as means to generate local wealth and employment.
We will leverage the potential of energy saving technologies to solve long-standing unresolved electricity challenges.
Dakar incurs the costs of limited supply of energy and frequent power outages – 11.8 power outages occur every month on average. Focusing only on
developing electricity supply has shown its limits given the amount of investments required, against limited public resources and competing priorities in education, health and basic infrastructure.
Local authorities have a crucial role to support government efforts to ensure that the energy needs of all citizens are met. However, ensuring energy sufficiency is complex and requires interventions across various areas including policy and regulation, technology, and behavior change. Encouraging the adoption of energy efficient technologies among citizens is a simple and cost-effective way local authorities can engage to reduce energy waste.
We will put in place collaborative platforms that encourage all stakeholders to take part in initiatives which support resilience.
Governance institutions that are actively engaged and collaborate closely are essential to implement the resilience strategy. To overcome the city’s vulnerability and put in place an efficient resilience strategy, collaboration between the central power and municipality is paramount. This can go a long way in ensuring a shared understanding of the concept of resilience and its initiatives for the city, as well as the provision of quality services to citizens. The collective action spearheaded by the city’s Mayor, technical advisors in the public sector, and the central government will be necessary to carry out the resilience strategy of Dakar.