Bordeaux in Unison

Seeing Further from the Summit !

The 28th Africa-France Summit will take place in Bordeaux from 4 to 6 June 2020, placing the spotlight on the city and the metropolitan area. So that regional players can play a part in the event, there will be an effort to get local people involved through a series of special events in association with the summit. This is the Bordeaux à l’unisson (Bordeaux in unison) campaign.

Bordeaux has what it takes to be the city of the future

An attractive city, committed to sustainable development and fortified by its close relationship with Africa (read “Chemins inspirés Bordeaux Afrique” here (in French), Bordeaux has been chosen to host the 2020 Africa-France Summit.  For this occasion, the city wants to encourage other French regions to reinvent new regional Franco-African alliances. For the first time, the event will bring together almost 15,000 African and French political, institutional, economic and financial speakers and participants to discuss the challenges of “sustainable cities and regions”. It is a vital topic, at a time when urban densification is increasing and will continue to rise, in France and in Africa, where the population is expected to double by 2050.

Bordeaux à l’unisson: a unique opportunity

In addition to the key environmental aspect, the Africa-France Summit provides a rare opportunity for many local stakeholders to create ties or strengthen economic, cultural, sporting or academic partnerships with Africa. By organizing a vast grassroots campaign, called “Bordeaux à l’unisson” (Bordeaux in unison), all regional stakeholders and residents of the city of Bordeaux and its metropolitan area are encouraged to get involved in the 2020 Africa-France Summit. This effort will be reflected in the many events organized around the region beginning in early 2020, and demonstrates the commitment to celebrating ties between Africa and Bordeaux.

Bordeaux moves to the rhythm of Africa

More than 50 events open to the public will take place between January and June 2020, across the greater Bordeaux area, including conferences, themed exhibitions, screenings, sporting events and more. These community events, supported by the city of Bordeaux and the metropolitan area, will be opportunities for sharing the many human ties between Bordeaux and Africa.

The eighth edition of the Journées Nationales des Diasporas Africaines (JNDA – national days for African diasporas), taking place from 23 to 25 April, will be one of the highlights of the programme. The JNDA is now a major national event for African diasporas in France, welcoming hundreds of participants from across France and Africa to highlight the talents of African diasporas in France and their contribution to the social, cultural, political and economic life of the country.

> Schedule of Summit events

During the Summit, Bordeaux will host an iconic football match at Matmut Atlantique stadium on 5 June, and a free concert will be held to pay tribute to urban music on 6 June on Place de Quinconces. Plenty of events where Bordeaux and Africa can come together in harmony!

Since the topics raised by the Summit concern all citizens, “Bordeaux à l’unisson” also encourages several initiatives, such as art projects in schools and African food menus to awaken students’ taste buds to new flavours.

Local expertise included in discussions

“Bordeaux à l’unisson” also means local people take part in the discussion on sustainable development during the three days of the Summit. Boosted by their student and academic ties with Africa, universities and higher education institutions will share their expertise. The Atlantic Port of Bordeaux, the So Coopération network and the Bordeaux Bar (Order of Lawyers) will also provide their input to the seven districts of the City of Solutions and at the Bordeaux Métropole stand.

Support to local businesses

The Summit will be an opportunity for French and African entrepreneurs to create business opportunities or build economic partnerships. That is an opportunity not to be missed for local business owners that receive financial aid from Bordeaux Métropole of up to €500,000 for businesses in the Gironde département, and from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region for businesses outside of the Gironde, to encourage their presence and display their expertise at the City of Solutions.

This support is provided in partnership with the Bordeaux Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Club d’Entreprises Bordeaux Afrique (CBSOA), and the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is based on the long-term work carried out to expand business relations with Africa and develop interconnected entrepreneurial pathways.

The sustainable city: a joint challenge

Cities are at the frontline of the collective challenge that is the environmental crisis. Urban sprawl, flooding, energy supply, transport and air quality all require cooperation between regions for the sustainable development solution to work. The quest for sustainable development requires “global thinking” and “local action”.

With its Action Plan for a Sustainable Region with a High Standard of Living, Bordeaux Métropole shouldered its responsibilities by setting the goal of becoming one of the first positive energy regions in 2050, in preserving and converting 50% of wild, agricultural and forest areas in the region, supporting everyone in the ecological transition and fostering buy-in, leaving no-one behind and by investing in experimentation, innovation and inter-regional cooperation.

State-awarded labels: “Positive Energy Region for Green Growth” (TEPCV) and “Cit’ergie”

Ces distinctions témoignent de l’impact positif des actions réalisées, avec notamment :

  • Decarbonised transport systems: tram voted for by the people (ground-level power supply, a world-first in 2002); ambitious biking programme (Bordeaux is the leading French metropolitan area for investment dedicated to expanding cycling practices).
  • A renewable energy mix: large solar farms, provision of solar map to encourage residents to equip their roofs, deep geothermal energy, biomass, waste recycling, everything connected to heat networks, biogas, heat recovery from wastewater treatment plants, and data centres; river hydro turbines, hydrogen plan, etc.
  • An incentive scheme to reduce energy use and encourage thermal renovation for homes and buildings: digital platform MaRenov, internet access to the maps of heat loss through roofs (produced using aerial thermography), third party financing offered by Bordeaux Métropole Energies, case-specific system for joint ownership properties (partnership with ALEC), scheme to combat energy insecurity, etc.
  • Sustainable urban planning that fosters biodiversity.
  • Sustainable food governance led by an advisory council: ‘Territoire bio engagé’ (French government label for biodiversity and organic farmlands); short food chains; urban agriculture; charter to combat endocrine disruptors, etc.
  • Several incentive schemes for “zero waste” approaches, zero single-use plastic charter, fighting micro-pollutants, etc.
  • Pioneering achievements in low-carbon construction: 25,000 sq.m. per year in timber frame or steel-timber frame building construction, with short supply chains from the local forest (biggest cultivated forest in Europe).
  • Proactive awareness programmes for citizens: Eco-Citizen House, Sustainable Development Juniors programme for schools, etc.
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