AFRICA: At the World Urban Forum, the AfDB advocates sustainable urbanization

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AFRICA: At the World Urban Forum, the AfDB advocates sustainable urbanization©ONU-Habitat

Faced with demographic growth that makes road traffic and access to housing difficult in Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recommends that African cities drive sustainable urbanization through green investments. This was on the occasion of the 12th edition of the World Urban Forum (WUF) which was held from 26 to 30 June in Katowice, Poland.

Mayors from all over the world met in Katowice, in south-central Poland, from June 26 to 30 for the 12th World Urban Forum (WUF). For this edition, the leaders of municipalities from Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America, addressed issues related to population growth, including housing and transport.

These two issues were the focus of the intervention of the African Development Bank (AfDB) which recommended that African cities implement sustainable urbanization. To do this, the financial institution based in Abidjan in Ivory Coast presented to local elected officials the initiative “Dynamics of Urbanization in Africa 2022, the economic influence of African cities. This is part of its Action Plan for Sustainable Urban Development 2022-2026, which it will implement with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

“Cities are a lever for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations. It’s about making them more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable,” explains Marcus Mayr, the coordinator of the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF), a new AfDB facility that aims to support African cities in their planning and financing strategies.

“Financing resilient and liveable cities”

According to the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), which took part in the WUF, this includes planning for more compact and walkable cities, support for improved national building codes, sustainable building practices, improved public and non-motorized transport, the introduction of electric mobility, and water supply and sanitation.

“We need to develop financing and revenue collection models that fit the diverse contexts in which we operate. This is to enable us to address the issue of informal settlements and create smart and sustainable solutions for our cities. This is a critical issue for Zimbabwe and for Africa as a whole,” said Daniel Garwe, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Housing and Social Amenities.

Read also-SOUTH AFRICA: uMhlathuze in the running for the IHPA Green City Award

For its 2022 edition, the World Urban Forum has honored the cities of Dodoma in Tanzania and Sèmè-Podji in Benin. In 2023, the event will be held in Egypt, where the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27) will be held in the seaside town of Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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