Press Release

$7.2 Million to Boost Sustainable Transport in East African Cities

February 4, 2011

Photo Courtesy by RogiroPRESS RELEASE


Washington, DC, February 4, 2011 - The GEF approved $2.85 million with an additional $4.32 million in cofinancing to address transport challenges of three major cities in East Africa, in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Kampala.

The project will increase awareness and build support to implement sustainable transport solutions for policy makers and stakeholders in the region and around the world. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will implement in coordination with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) by providing technical assistance.

It is expected that through GEF funding, this project will eventually result in 2.5 million tons of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2035. Further, there is a potential of leveraging an additional 9 mega tons of GHG reductions per year once the entire network would be built. Up to 8 million people in these cities combined will potentially benefit from improved public transport.

Monique Barbut, the CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility said: “With African cities growing rapidly, sustainable transport becomes crucially important for Africa not only for climate change mitigation but also for poverty alleviation, air quality improvements, and economic growth. We expect this important project to become a springboard for Africa so that ultimately the GEF intervention will set the stage for more environmentally friendly transport in cities all over Africa.”


The governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have recognized the importance of efficient, low-cost public transport and of non-motorized transport as a means of helping in poverty alleviation, spurring economic growth in the urban centers and providing alternative and affordable transport. In recent years, the three countries have been working on developing and implementing urban transport policies and initiatives in order to develop integrated, balanced and environmentally sound urban transport systems that integrate all transport modes.

Consequently, sustainable transport planning does not need to start from scratch. However, most of these policies and plans so far have not yet found a practical implementation and require additional technical and institutional support to reach a higher level of usefulness for their cities. The governments of the three countries thus are keen on undertaking this GEF project because this will enable them to access the expertise and capacity building support needed to design and implement sustainable transport solutions.

The project includes 4 components that will be implemented from 2011 to 2035:

  1. Designing an overall network that outlines a full scale sustainable transport system and blueprint for complementary transportation demand management (TDM) and urban planning measures for each city.
  2. Highlighting the feasibility of the proposed system in a demonstration corridor.
  3. Promoting Clean Air Technologies.
  4. Capacity Building, Exchange of Knowledge and Building Political Support


Media contact: Christian Hofer, Senior Communications Officer, GEF,, +1 202 413 4185

About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector — to address global environmental issues. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. These projects benefit the global environment, linking local, national, and global environmental challenges and promoting sustainable livelihoods.

Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. The GEF has allocated $9.2 billion, supplemented by more than $40 billion in cofinancing, for more than 2,700 projects in more than 165 developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 12,000 small grants directly to nongovernmental and community organizations, totaling $495 million.
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