Interviewed during the annual conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (Femise-Malta, 7 to 9 February 2018) Ndiouga Sakho, President of the Commission for Urban Development and Sustainable Development of the City of Dakar, discusses the actions of the Territorial Energy Climate Plan implemented in the capital of Senegal thanks to European and Mediterranean partnerships.
econostrum.info: How does the city of Dakar deal with the issues of sustainable development?
Ndiouga Sakho: For a few years now, the city has been engaged in the fight against climate change. Our capital is home to 80% of the country’s industrial activities in 3% of the country’s size.
We have begun to make a diagnostic of the vulnerability of the city, the environment, the social sector, the economy, and so on. Starting from 2013, we have put together an action and environmental management plan. This enabled us to mobilize €1M on a Territorial Energy Climate Plan financed by the European Union over three years, with a global vision around three points: an adaptation and mitigation strategy, a platform of the actors to cooperate and share lessons and failures, and finally, energy efficiency projects to strengthen the share of renewable energy in public lighting, for example, as in municipal infrastructure, and energy savings. Dakar, along with ten other cities benefiting from this plan, is a laboratory test in Africa with a goal of replicating our experience.
I insist on the city-to-city cooperation and the major role of the territories with the local actors, which are in the same time, the places of emissions as well as of the solutions. This is where we have to experiment.
On what points Dakar can serve as an example?
N.S. : The city has a lot of experience in the field of urban mobility, for example, a system of remote control of all traffic lights to regulate car traffic in case of pollution peaks, paving and street improvement to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using their vehicles. We are also developing public transportation with the BRT, a fast transport bus, and a TER. As well as the relocation of administrative services to be able to limit the concentration of activities in the city center.
Vegetable gardens in urban and school environments
What actions have you taken with the population?
N.S.: We have raised awareness of environmental culture in schools and with the promotion of eco-citizen behavior, but also by developing eco-neighborhoods. One of our projects is based on the installation of vegetable gardens in urban and school environments with training and capacity building activities that we have initiated. We are doing all this through a technical partnership with FAO (Editor’s note: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in Milan, where we have also been able to find partners within a city university. We have shared this experience with other neighboring countries.
Are you also trying to adapt solutions from Mediterranean countries?
N.S.: Our partnerships in the Mediterranean are unfortunately not very well developed. But, we did several missions in Paris to study the implementation of their climatic plan. Similarly, with the city of Marseille, we have developed our master plan for beach development. The city of Marseille has helped us install pilot projects for our eight beaches.