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East & Southern Africa Regional Hub

East & Southern Africa

The ESA Regional Hub is working with local governments to identify their relevant needs and priorities, and provide them with the support, resources and access needed to become leaders in prevention, ensuring their perspectives inform relevant national, regional and global policy and programme conversations.

Mapping City Needs

In 2022, Strong Cities led an European Union-funded project mapping the prevention needs and priorities of cities across Africa, a project which engaged more than 800 government and non-governmental national and local stakeholders across the continent. The project produced a mapping report with recommendations for greater local government involvement in preventing and countering violent extremism in Africa, and has guided the ESA Regional Hub’s engagement across the region.

The ESA Regional Hub is delivering considerable impact in the region, including inter alia:

  • In Entebbe (Uganda), the Hub convened the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other national government representatives, as well as mayors and city officials, to address gaps in prevention-related National-Local Cooperation (NLC). As a result, national officials committed to ensuring that local governments are actively involved in imple­menting the national P/CVE strategy.
  • In Bujumbura (Burundi), as part of ongoing outreach to local governments and other key stakeholders, the Regional Hub held a roundtable on the role of cities in Burundi in prevention, bringing together more than 20 mayors and city representatives in a first-of-its kind convening.
  • In Cape Town (South Africa), in May 2023, the Hub convened more than 50 representatives from South African cities to enhance peer learning on the role cities can play in prevention as part of wider city-led efforts to promote public safety, build resilience and enhance social cohesion.
  • In Johannesburg (South Africa), the Hub convened more than 65 mayors and other city officials from across the region to share experiences in addressing hate, extremism and polarisation. Following the workshop, border cities, including Busia, Koboko, Trans Nzoia and others, formed a ‘Border Cities Network’ to support cross-city learning and sharing of best practices. After learning about Cape Town’s newly established prevention framework, Busia city representatives visited Cape Town to learn more about their approach and have since drafted by-laws and a draft prevention framework.

Hear from Cities in East & Southern Africa

In 2022, I attended a Strong Cities conference in Nairobi. An extremely informative experience. There is much more South African municipalities can do. Following the event, I wrote to the Head of Disaster and Risk Management … to create an intervention response focused on countering extremism. I realised we needed to step up and do more and anticipate a larger role for local governments in this space.

JP Smith, Alderman, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security, Cape Town—South Africa

Our project, supported by Strong Cities, has brought together more than 200 women from different counties who are now peace ambassadors. We have also trained them to be community counsellors.

Salma Ebrahimi—Mombasa, Kenya

We are appreciative of Strong Cities convening representatives of national and local authorities from Uganda to discuss these important issues. This is the first time we have been in the same room with representatives of national government ministries to exchange views on preventing extremist violence in our country.

Senior Local Government Representative—Uganda

About the ESA Regional Hub

Strong Cities launched the ESA Regional Hub in October 2022 at an event in Nairobi that brought together local, national, civil society and multilateral stakeholders to identify priorities across the Hub’s five pillars. The team is now driving forward an ambitious work plan, informed by the priority themes identified by cities across the region, with a particular focus on leveraging existing city-level frameworks, resources and structures.

The ESA Regional Hub is funded by the European Union’s STRIVE Cities Initiative, a three year project supporting Strong Cities’ efforts to provide cities and local authorities with context-driven, evidence-based, city-level extremism prevention policies, programmes and technical assistance within a human rights framework. The ESA Regional Hub is catalysing the Strong Cities’ GLOBAL mission with LOCAL impact.

ESA REgional Hub


The ESA Regional Hub is managed by the East African Local Governments Association (EALGA), based in Arusha, Tanzania, under the direction of the Strong Cities Central Team

Gertrude Rose Gamwera Buyinga


Kudzai Mukaratirwa

Programme Lead

Geofrey Ochieng

Network Officer


Strong Cities in ESA

A global network of cities in different national and local contexts ensures that wherever a city is located, there will be other cities facing similar challenges and with similar capacities and needs