Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) Phase II

The UMDF is a key instrument of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support integrated urban development in African countries. It has introduced a Cities Program and established itself in the fields of urban infrastructure project preparation, municipal finance and capacity building. Phase II is expected to scale-up UMDF operations to 35 cities.

Country/region Period Budget
South Africa
01.11.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  4’900’000

Population in Africa is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2050, with 80% of growth in cities where economic opportunities are best. But growth and rapid urbanization are aggravating infrastructure gaps which restrain the economy. African cities are in dire need of urban planning and development capacities, diagnostics, project preparation and financial support to address these widening gaps and gear-up for economic growth in line with their potential. The AfDB has recognized the challenge, operationalized its urban development strategy and successfully set-up the UMDF, which now requires additional donor financing to scale-up its operations.


The overall impact of the UMDF is to support cities in Africa to become more productive, more liveable and more resilient by improving their governance, including municipal finance and fiscal management, and basic infrastructure services. The UMDF therefore supports African cities in four strategic and two transversal outcome areas through the underlying activities and expected key outputs:

Medium-term outcomes

Improved urban planning through urban diagnostics and action through the African Cities Program.

Improved urban infrastructure and essential services across four relevant sectors (transport, water and sanitation, waste management and energy) through project preparation leading to increased investments.

Improved urban governance, including municipal finance and fiscal management, through capacity development and finance reforms.

Improved capacity on integrated urban development for African cities and the AfDB through capacity building.

Increased climate resilience and low-carbon urban development.

Increased gender equality and women’s empowerment.


Expected results:  

30 additional city action plans and 15 city masterplans and sector plans validated by city administrations.

40 bankable projects prepared across the four relevant urban infrastructure sectors, whereof 8 projects with sizeable non-AfDB financing.

5 cities with improved financial capacity investing in sustainable urban development.

5 cities with access to national or international capital markets.

100 AfDB staff members co-leading or cooperating on urban development projects.

20 signed partnerships with key urban development stakeholders active in Africa.

500 urban decision-makers trained in matters of integrated urban development

200 urban decision-makers trained to develop bankable projects in urban resilient and/or low-carbon infrastructure development.

Results from previous phases:  

During its phase I (2019-2022), the UMDF was set-up, funded with USD 5.3 million (USD 0.2 million from SECO) and adequately staffed to address the subject of integrated urban development in AfDB regional member countries. It contributed to the development of the AfDB’s Sustainable Urban Action Plan and now supports ten African cities with diagnostics, the elaboration of action plans and capacity building, in the framework of its Cities Program (launched in September 2020). UMDF also funds urban infrastructure project preparation in five countries and delivered two bankable projects. Furthermore UMDF supports improved municipal finance and fiscal management and launched the CFO Network of African Cities with C40 Cities. Finally, UMDF enabled the AfDB to increase its capacity to support integrated urban development, reached out to other urban development initiatives and started several promising partnerships (including with the European Space Agency and the Global Center for Adaptation).

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’900’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    38’000’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.11.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)