Africa might not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because climate change will exacerbate poverty and inequality in the region. Moreover, many African cities are characterised by poor urban planning, gaps in public services and infrastructure and settlement in hazard-prone areas leading to increased climate change vulnerability as city governments/local governments fail to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation into local planning. However, social innovations are practices that bring about changes in attitudes, behaviour, or perceptions, resulting in new social practices, new institutions and new social systems, hence social innovation can potentially enable local governments and city dwellers to correct their structural inequalities and address the issues that exacerbate climate risks.This paper presents an assessment of how social innovation can be used to foster transformative adaptation in cities and promote new social practices that can enhance climate change resilience in SSA cities. The methodology for the paper included analyses of research articles, case studies and policy briefs on climate finance disbursements and the implementation of sub-national climate change policies. The paper highlights that SSA cities have many entrepreneurs that can provide services to enhance climate change resilience but they are marginalised due to inappropriate regulatory systems. Consequently, policies that promote microfinance and social innovation have the potential to reduce climate change vulnerability in cities by improving climate finance flows to local non-state actors and small businesses in the informal sector.
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