UNCRD and UN-HABITAT Forum for Mayors and Senior Urban Officials on Sustainable Urban Development and Management in Africa
27 Nov 2013 - 29 Nov 2013
UN Complex, Nairobi, Kenya

African cities and urban centres are growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. According to UN-HABITAT, by the year 2050, more than 1.2 billion Africans will be living in urban areas. This will bring both opportunities and challenges to African planners and policymakers. The growing urban population, expanding urbanization and globalization, environmental degradation, corruption, poverty, lifestyle changes and many other urban problems are complicating urban challenges and thus aggravate the risk potential. It is important to clearly understand and address the drivers, causes and impacts of these problems. To discuss and examine these challenges and also come up with policy prescriptions, UNCRD and UN-HABITAT organized the above forum for about 60 participants from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The official opening of the Forum was attended by the Director for the Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Axumite Gebre-Egziabher who represented the UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos; Ms. Chikako Takase, the Director of UNCRD; the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Mariamu El Maawy; and the Governor of Nairobi City, Mr. Evans Kidero. The Forum was officially opened by the Governor of Nairobi city, Mr. Evans Kidero who underscored the importance of a cohesive approach to urbanization and said “An interdisciplinary team including engineers, urban planners, computer scientists, economists and sociologists will have to work together to develop dynamic system solutions geared toward this sort of mobility and the cities of the future.” The Forum focused and discussed issues such as urban poverty and inequality; urban governance including corruption; urban service delivery; affordable housing; urban environmental and disaster risk reduction management; 3Rs and resource efficiency; urban mobility; and green economy, green building and sustainable energy. Following a thorough discussion of these issues, the participants indicated the following challenges as their key priority areas that require urgent intervention: Water and sanitation; solid waste management; energy; road infrastructure; and housing.

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