30 August 2022

Cement and concrete industry accelerates decarbonisation in Africa

  • Global Cement and Concrete Association and UCLG Africa sign Memorandum of Understanding to promote sustainable and resilient cities
  • Advocacy and local government action are at the centre of the agreement, with an aim to cooperate in five pilot cities
  • Agreement makes stimulating demand and making low-carbon cement production investible key missions

(Libreville, 30th August 2022) – The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) and the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Africa Climate Week 2022 that will see increased collaboration towards decarbonising cement and concrete industries on the African continent, to build sustainable and resilient cities and communities.

The MoU was signed by UCLG Africa’s Secretary General Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi and the GCCA’s Director Concrete and Sustainable Construction Andrew Minson. The agreement was made during Africa Climate Week 2022 in Gabon and sets out how both parties will work together to strengthen stakeholder advocacy towards net zero and encourage local governments to take policy action towards decarbonisation targets.

A key target will see GCCA and UCLG Africa to drive decarbonisation in the cement and concrete industry across the African continent. Through this agreement the two organisations will work together towards building sustainable and resilient cities, with a focus on an initial first five pilot cities to scope out opportunities and challenges. The two parties will jointly organise events that strengthen advocacy for the involvement of local governments in decarbonisation.

The MoU also includes agreements on joint efforts to accelerate net zero across Africa and the cement and concrete industry. Both parties will aim to help make low carbon cement manufacturing investable in Africa, as well as stimulate demand for low-carbon concrete products and to cultivate a fruitful environment for circular and Net Zero manufacturing across Africa.

To reach these objectives, both parties will work to ensure African cities have more capacity to embrace innovative cement products and that these cities can be mobilised effectively to join the Net Zero by 2050 efforts. GCCA and UCLG Africa will also look to build stakeholder support for multi-level governance in urban planning and housing across Africa.

The MoU meets a key pillar of the GCCA’s 2050 Net Zero Roadmap, launched last year, which outlines the central role that policymakers must play for the industry to decarbonise and the wider net zero ambitions of industry.  

Thomas Guillot, GCCA Chief Executive, said: “As the world faces an unprecedented climate crisis, the need to accelerate decarbonisation efforts becomes clearer with each day. Last year our industry made a milestone net zero global commitment to reduce our carbon footprint to zero by 2050. Crucial to this commitment is supporting and driving change across the African continent. Our MoU, signed today with UCLG Africa at Africa Climate Week, marks an important next step in tailoring efforts to ensure a greener concrete future.”

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, UCLG Africa Secretary General, said: “With the ever-growing need for greener construction methods, we’re excited to enter this agreement with the GCCA to accelerate action towards a decarbonised cement and concrete industry. Through this collaboration we will be able to align the actions and ambitions of local government with industry to create demand for low carbon concrete and maintain our path to net zero by 2050.”


Notes to editors:

About the GCCA

Launched in January 2018, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is dedicated to developing and strengthening the sector’s contribution to sustainable construction. The GCCA aims to foster innovation throughout the construction value chain in collaboration with industry associations as well as architects, engineers, and innovators. In this way, the association demonstrates how concrete solutions can meet global construction challenges and sustainable development goals while showcasing responsible industrial leadership in the manufacture and use of cement and concrete. The GCCA is headquartered in London, England. It complements and supports the work done by associations at the national and regional levels. 

About UCLG Africa

UCLG Africa is the umbrella organisation and the united voice and representative of local government in Africa. It was founded in 2005 in the City of Tshwane, South Africa as a result of the unification of three continental groups of local governments, namely the African Union of Local Authorities (AULA); the Union des Villes Africaines (UVA); and the Africa Chapter of the Unao dos Ciudades y Capitaes Lusofono Africana (UCCL AFRICA). Established as the African section of the world organization UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), UCLG Africa now boasts a membership of 44 national associations of local governments from all regions of Africa, as well as 2000 cities that have more than 100,000 inhabitants. As such, the organization represents nearly 350 million African citizens.

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Paul Adeleke

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