African Sustainable Cities Initiative (ASCI)
The overriding objective of African Sustainable Cities Initiative (ASCI) is to enhance the access to finance in order to enable investment for secondary cities in Sub-Saharan Africa; and thereby contribute toward the delivery of several SDG’s, including SDG 11, along with the New Urban Agenda. Localizing the SDG’s is key for their implementation and given the increasing rate of urbanization, cities are at the centre of the UN 2030 Agenda. ASCI will support this goal through focusing on secondary cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secondary cities have been chosen as the focus for this technical assistance operation because they generally have high needs with lower capacities and the donor funds usually tend toward the larger cities.
Within the context of this operation, finance for investment for secondary cities refers to a wide range of credit structures. These structures can be made possible through the use of sovereign or donor-funded guarantees as well as blended finance instruments such as first loss grants or investment grants. The purpose of ASCI is to enable a selected number of secondary cities in Sub-Saharan Africa to enhance access to finance for their sustainable urban infrastructure needs via an integrated, planning-led, multi-sector approach. The TA operation will provide capacity development support for selected secondary cities; develop municipal financing strategies; foster greater access to investors; and provide advisory support targeting specific projects. In future some of these projects could potentially be financed by the EIB or others after the subsequent later-stage technical assistance.