What can we expect from the 12th World Urban Forum in Egypt in November 2024?

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What can we expect from the 12th World Urban Forum in Egypt in November 2024? © UN-Habitat

In 2022, participants at the World Urban Forum (WUF) parted ways in Katowice, Poland, with the promise of returning with concrete solutions to improve the urban living environment. The 12th edition, to be held in November 2024 in the Egyptian city of Cairo, promises to be decisive.

It’s been over twenty years since the World Urban Forum (WUF) was last held in Africa (Kenya in 2002). Now, for its twelfth edition, the event considered to be the world’s urban mecca will be hosted by Egypt. From November 4 to 8, 2024, representatives of local governments, financing mechanisms such as the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, and key companies involved in the taxation of metropolises, will gather in Cairo.

The aim is to reinvent housing, rethink the management of basic services (water, sanitation, education) and the planning of territories that are confronted with climatic hazards and demographic growth, particularly in Africa and Asia. These issues are in line with the theme chosen by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat): “It all starts at home: local actions for sustainable cities and communities”.

To discuss these issues and find appropriate solutions, the UN organizer is counting on the expertise of numerous organizations active in decentralized cooperation, such as the International Association of Francophone Mayor’s (AIMF), which is supporting concrete projects such as drinking water supply in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, and the Climate Chance association, whose “Yaoundé roadmap” will lead the reflections of WUF2024 in Egypt.

“Resilient cities where innovation reigns”.

In this six-page document drawn up in 2023, a hundred or so non-state actors identify the current challenges of urbanization, including the shortage of decent, affordable housing, the lack of available, reliable data to draw up appropriate urban planning policies, insufficient coordination between the local and national levels, as well as responses to be explored including the promotion of local building materials, the mobilization of financial resources from the private sector to accelerate the energy transition in urban areas.

Read also-For 4 climate actors, sustainable housing is the key to successful urban development

According to Maimouna Mohd Sharif, the sole aim is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, for which cities are the main levers. The Executive Director of UN-Habitat, herself a native of a Malaysian city where socio-economic disparities have long been the norm, now advocates the empowerment of women (ODD5) and “resilient cities where innovation reigns” (ODD11). Cairo, host of the 12th World Urban Forum, is beginning to position itself in this respect by integrating women into all economic clusters and promoting technological solutions to improve the well-being of some 23 million inhabitants (metropolitan population).

For more information on the event, click here.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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