What’s Africa’s approach to the New Urban Agenda?

by Developed Africa 25. January 2017 11:14

Bolstering urbanisation efforts

  •  In 2016, Africa was the only region to provide a coordinated response to what should go into the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda. The action-oriented document set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development.
  • Regional leaders must resist parochialism— understanding that collaboration with neighbours is imperative at a time when competition is global, not local.
  • Once proven in one region, innovations in governance and policy must be spread—adapted and tailored for other areas and other cities.
  • Sanitation delivery in Africa continues to be a problem, though urban areas offer much more access to vital services such as water, sanitation and electricity.
  • Without a clear vision for how to grow cities to accommodate half a billion people over the next 20 years, Africa’s cities will continue to sprawl.
  • Africa’s urban future will benefit from better planning, but the risk is that the pendulum swings too far and that cities are over-determined, unable to adapt to change, and lacking in creativity.
  • Many experts—pointing to examples like the Chinese-built city of Kilamba outside Luanda—believe Africa’s cities will be built by foreign interests. The lack of skills, institutional capacity, and finances present a significant challenge to Africa’s urban agenda.
  • Successfully managing Africa’s urbanisation involves finding the balance between getting the basics right in megacities and promoting population and industrial de-concentration into secondary cities.
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