AFRICA: in September, three fairs to think about the city of tomorrow

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AFRICA: in September, three trade fairs to think about the city of tomorrow in the face of the climate © Innopolis Expo

The climate crisis currently facing the African continent requires the development of more sustainable cities. This requires better management of resources, particularly water and electricity, but above all the reduction of pollution through the adoption of more sustainable modes of transport. These different themes will be at the heart of three international fairs organised in co-location from 19 September 2023 in Paris, France, in partnership with AFRIK 21. These are Innopolis Expo, Aquapolis Expo and the Committee of African Cities.

Cities in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) are now evolving at the pace of water shortages. And the forecasts of various organisations give cause for concern. In its report Economic Aspects of Water Scarcity in the Middle East and North Africa: Institutional Solutions, published a few weeks ago, the World Bank estimates that by the end of this decade, the amount of water available will fall below the absolute scarcity threshold of 500 m3 per person per year. The report states that an additional 25 billion m3 of water will be needed annually to meet the needs of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2050.

This and other issues related to water in the city will be at the heart of the Aquapolis Expo in Paris, France, from 19 to 20 September 2023. The aim is to discover the most relevant innovations to improve water management in the territories. It will also be a space for meetings and exchanges between experts who will explore the ways and means to make water an opportunity for the development of sustainable cities and territories. Aquapolis will also feature round tables and presentations on water governance, the large and small water cycle, as well as water and the territorial project.

The Innoplis trade fair: innovating for the sustainable city

With at least 3,500 participants expected at the Espace Champerret in Paris, the event will bring together local authorities, industrialists, hydrologists, drinking water and sanitation syndicates, urban planners, hydrologists, etc.  Following on from Aquapolis, the Innopolis exhibition will be held from 19 to 20 September 2023. The event dedicated to the development of sustainable and connected cities is organised around three themes. These are: Energy Transition and Sustainable Mobility, Planning and Environment, Governance and Attractiveness, and Sustainable and Connected Territories Villages.

The African Cities Committee

Innopolis 2023 will bring together associations of elected representatives and local government officials, including the Association of Elected Representatives of France, Les Eco Maires and the Association of Rural Mayors of France. African elected officials are also expected at the Espace Champerret in Paris for the Committee of African Cities from 19 to 25 September 2023. Co-organised by Urbaniste sans frontière (USF), the Committee of African Cities mobilises city networks, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private companies fully involved in territorial projects on the continent.

The event addresses current issues including access to water, waste management, energy and mobility, smart cities and digital infrastructure, training, technical assistance and financing. Participating countries include Egypt, Tunisia, Niger, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Morocco, and Gabon. In 2022, several African decision-makers discussed the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Committee on African Cities. This was the case for Désiré-Cashmir Kolongele Eberande, the Congolese Minister of Digital Affairs, Bodom Matungulu, technical advisor to the presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Wilfred Lauriano do Rego, the coordinator of the Presidential Council for Africa, a French state organisation founded by President Emmanuel Macron in August 2017, which brings together personalities from civil society, whether or not they are members of the African diaspora.

For more information on these co-located events, click here.

 Jean Marie Takouleu

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