Africa is urbanizing very fast, though it is the least urbanised… it must get rid of slums
“The AU has prioritized the development of an African Charter on Urban Development and Human Settlements to lay down key principles and minimum standards towards facilitating sustainable urbanization and human settlements development.” The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said during the Presidential Dialogue on the African Urban Agenda, on 24 September 2015, on the margins of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The AUC Chairperson noted that it is projected that, by 2025, the total number of African cities with over a million people would have reached 64, overtaking the US, Europe and India in the next fifteen years. Africa is urbanizing very fast, though it is the least urbanised.
Citing the Goal 11 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal, the AUC Chairperson said we all must commit to make cities and human settlements inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable.
Given the rate of urbanisation in Africa, Dr. Dlaimini Zuma said the nexus between urbanization, industrialization, social transformation and economic development must be tackled together. She also emphasized the need for education and training of urban planners and engineers to meet contemporary African needs, as well as the use of latest and appropriate technology.
Also speaking at the luncheon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Goal 11 “places a high priority on the role of efficient urbanization as a tool for development.” He added that a profound change is required.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon added that, “the UN Conference for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development — Habitat III — which will take place in Quito, in Ecuador, next year in October 2016, is an extraordinary opportunity to help shape the Urbanization in Africa.”
Also speaking at the Presidential Dialogue was the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Adesina Akinwumi who challenged Africa to get rid of slums on the continent.