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Launch of STRIVE Cities

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— 2 minutes reading time

STRIVE Cities is an exciting new global initiative that will support Strong Cities’ engagement with cities and local leaders in East and Southern Africa and the MENA region, in particular, to respond to the complexities and challenges of violent extremism and related challenges.

In September, with generous support from the European Union’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, the Strong Cities Network launched STRIVE Cities, a three-year initiative that will support 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. Channelled primarily through new Regional Hubs in East and Southern Africa and the MENA region, STRIVE Cities will support Strong Cities’ engagement with cities and local authorities by strengthening their capacity to address an increasingly complex threat environment.

Managed by the Strong Cities’ Central Management Unit, the Regional Hubs will provide cities and local authorities with access to a consistent and sustained resource, led by small, dynamic teams of local staff in each region. The Hubs will harness the Network’s global resources and expertise at the local level, access local perspectives, respond to specific city needs, and engage often overlooked local prevention stakeholders. Mayors and local authorities (big and small, urban and rural) will have opportunities to collaborate nationally, regionally, and globally through exchanges, workshops and dialogues. Participation in these activities will enable the sharing of knowledge and access to expertise and resources that support them in pursuing solutions that increase social cohesion and community resilience.

In East and Southern Africa, the early work of the Regional Hub will be guided by the needs and priorities identified in the Strong Cities Network’s new report on Addressing the Overlooked Role of African Cities in Preventing & Countering Violent Extremism, which provides a series of practical recommendations for improvements to policy and practice. Leveraging the findings and recommendations from this report, the Strong Cities Network Central Management Unit and East and Southern Regional Hub will convene the inaugural regional workshop in Uganda in late October.  This will allow local authorities across the region to inform the Hub’s priorities, including by identifying concrete steps to guide their prevention efforts.

Learn more about how the Regional Hubs in East and Southern Africa and the MENA region, funded through STRIVE Cities, will connect with Hubs funded by the US Department of State to support cities in South Asia and the Western Balkans.

For more information on the Strong Cities Network Regional Hubs, contact Allison Curtis, Head of Partnerships & Networks, [email protected].