CSCI Official Side Event at CHOGM 2022

This Official Side Event provides an important opportunity to convene key Commonwealth stakeholders, to present the Call to Action, share good practice and explore opportunities to mobilise the Commonwealth, to identify priorities and actions to advance the Call to Action at the CHOGM and beyond. The Side Event will directly contribute to the overarching CHOGM theme of ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’ and will complement the work being undertaken in other forums. People are at the heart of the Commonwealth agenda and this event will focus on approaches that ensure citizens are at the heart of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Recognising the reality that 60% of the Commonwealth population is under 30 there will be a particular focus on integrating the voices of young leaders and professionals into the dialogue. This interactive programme will provide a natural segue into the closing segment of the Business Forum on Thursday 23 June, which is being organised by the Rwanda Development Board, supported by the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council. For more information on this event email For more information about CHOGM 2022, click here

programme – tuesday 21 june


Ms Eleanor Mohammed, President, Commonwealth Association of Planners

Hon Dr Ernest Nsabimana, Minister, Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure

Master of ceremonies

Mr Richard Grubb, Head of UN, Commonwealth and Strategic Partnerships, ACU


Ms Lucy Slack, Secretary General Commonwealth Local Government Forum

With 95% of the projected growth in cities to 2050 forecast to take place in Africa and Asia and over 60% of the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa already living in slums and informal settlements, how will Commonwealth partners come together to engage with the challenge of rapid urbanisation, leaving no one and
no place behind? This session will consider these issues with particular reference to responsive and inclusive
planning and provision of basic services, affordable housing for all, and the importance of multi-level action to meet critical needs and leave no one behind.


Ms Astrid Haas, Urban Economist, Uganda

Case Study

Green City Kigali, Ms Teddy Mugabo, Chief Executive Officer, Fonerwa


Dr Beth Chitekwe Biti, Director of Secretariat, Slum Dwellers International, Zimbabwe
Mr Joakim Nyarangi, President, Kenyan Institute of Planners
Mr Harjeet Singh, Climate Action Network, India
Ms Gertrude Rose Gamwera Aijuka, Secretary General, East African Local Government Association

10.45 Coffee and Networking

With 70% of global carbon emissions attributable to cities, 95% of the world’s cities most affected by climate
change and considered at extreme risk situated in Africa and Asia and SIDS particularly affected by climate
change, how will Commonwealth partners work collaboratively to deliver development that achieves climate objectives while creating communities which are safe and resilient? This session will consider integrating the urban dimension to these approaches with particular reference to the provision of accelerating climate action
and advancing resilience, and profile actions and initiatives proposed / emerging to meet these critical needs.


Ms Hellen Njoki Wanjohi Opil, Resilience African Cities Lead, UNFCCC Climate Champions


Ms Elizabeth Chege, Chair, World Green Buildings Council, Africa Region
Prof Peter Clegg, Senior Partner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, UK
Prof Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, International, University of Waterloo, Canada
Dr Lucy Stevens, Acting Director, Influence & Impact, Practical Action, UK


Mr Aklilu Fikresilassie, Director of Thriving Resilient Cities at WRI Africa
Mr Pudence Rubingisa, Mayor of the City of Kigali, Rwanda
Mr Janvier Ramuli, Mayor of Musanze District, Rwanda


Mr Richard Grubb


Ms Astrid Haas, Urban Economist, Uganda
Ms Hellen Njoki Wanjohi Opil, Resilience African Cities Lead, UNFCCC Climate Champions

13.00 Lunch and Networking

The effective planning and management of rapidly urbanising cities and human settlements requires sound, evidence-based policies underpinned by good governance and informed by reliable data. In this session, participants will be invited to consider how Commonwealth partners can work together to collect data, share good practice, use new technology, and develop scalable solutions to better support city leadership and the role of universities and other partners. This session will consider these issues and profile actions and initiatives proposed / emerging to meet these critical needs.


Dr Shipra Narang Suri, Chief Urban Practices Branch, UN Habitat


Mr Shah Rukh, Urban Economist, International Growth Centre, Pakistan
Mr Matthew Goodman, Head of External Affairs, Ordnance Survey, UK
Mr Ladislas Ngendahiman, Secretary General, Rwanda Association of Local Government
Ms Kelley Moore, Secretary General, Commonwealth Association of Planners, Canada

14.45 Breakout 1
15.15 Feedback and Discussion

Recent surveys and the consultations that led to the Call to Action highlight a critical lack of professional and leadership capacity in many of the Commonwealth countries which are urbanising most rapidly and are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, especially secondary cities. In this session, participants will be invited to consider the different ways in which Commonwealth partners can come together to address the capacity gap. This session will consider these issues with particular reference to understanding and addressing capacity gaps, enabling policy and legislation, institutional and professional development, strengthening career opportunities, training and skills development; and a focus on the changes and partnerships required to improve the ability of cities to deliver.


Mr Richard Grubb, Association of Commonwealth Universities, UK


Ms Raphaelle Vignol, Capacity Development and Training Unit, UN Habitat
Mr Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council
Ms Haja Halimah Lukay, Development & Planning Officer, Bo City Council, Sierra Leone
Hon George Elanga Obam, Minister of Decentralization and Local Development,

16.30 Breakout 2
17.00 Feedback & Discussion


Mr Peter Oborn, Senior Vice President, Commonwealth Association of Architects

expected outputs

  • A shared understanding and vision for the Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth
  • Recommendations and key messages that support the ambitions of the Call to Action
  • Agreement and announcement of commitments to practical action
  • The beginning of an inclusive Commonwealth dialogue towards accelerating collaborative action across the
  • Commonwealth that addresses the sustainable urbanisation agenda.

the partners

The Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth has been developed jointly by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA), the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure, the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government and The Prince’s Foundation, with support from other Commonwealth organisations, governmental, professional and technical partners. To read and download the full version of the Call to Action click here.

join us

If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved with a Call to Action on sustainable urbanisation across the Commonwealth, or any of the activities referred to on this page, then please contact us at


The organisers would like to extend their thanks to all those supporting our activities at CHOGM, be that moderators, panelists, participants and particularly those supporting logistics