SOUTH AFRICA: Symposium on sustainable cities scheduled for November 2018

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AFRICA: Nine research projects on sustainable cities, promoted by LIRA 2030 Africa©/ Rich T Photo/Shutterstock

Johannesburg and Cape Town will host a conference on "Sustainable Cities" from November 5 to 8, 2018. The meeting to be held in South Africa will serve as a platform for French know-how in the field of urban development, mobility and urban services.

The date and location of the Sustainable Cities Symposium are already known. It will take place from November 5 to 8, 2018 in South Africa. During 4 days, participants will exchange on themes related to the management of sustainable cities. They will revisit the following aspects: water cycle, electricity distribution and smart grids, building energy efficiency, mobility and urban planning. Several activities will be on the agenda: B to B meeting, workshops and plenary session… The most important part of the conference will be the presence of Mauritius smart city developers who will take part in the exchanges.

The symposium is organised by Business France in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe).  Business France is a national public operator that serves the internationalisation of the French economy. It supports “French and international companies from the beginning to the completion of their projects.” The objective here is to help companies to be more efficient and produce better results for an offer that is truly adapted to the needs of African countries, by developing local co-production of value.

Urban development, a major challenge in Africa

In Africa, the urban population is estimated at nearly 472 million inhabitants, a figure that could double by 2040, according to World Bank estimates in its report “Opening African Cities to the World” published in 2017. In fact, by 2025, the Breton Woods Institution forecasts an increase of 187 million people. In East Africa, urban population growth rates will be among the highest in the world by 2050, assessments that suggest that it is time for African cities to turn green.

However, the problem of successful city management remains a concern in several African countries. South Africa, for example, has 16 municipalities with nearly 1 million inhabitants each. However, there is a housing shortage for nearly 4 million households in this southern African country. South Africa is currently experiencing an urban boom. This growth implies taking into account several challenges, in particular those related to the protection and sound management of the environment. The November 2018 meeting will be an opportunity to put all these elements back on the table for discussion, in order to come up with resolutions that will benefit South Africa and other African countries.

The organisation of the meeting is also part of the broader framework of the next France-Africa summit scheduled for 2020, which President Macron wanted to place under the sign of the “Sustainable City”, as he announced during his trip to Bamako (Mali).

To register or contact Caroline Olivier of Business France, who is organising the event, follow the link: “Sustainable City” conference in South Africa.

Luchelle Feukeng

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