Africa-Communities-Africities-Summit

Africities 9 advocating for intermediate cities’ development

APA - Kisumu (Kenya) Special correspondent: Edouard Toure -

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tuesday 17 May, opened the ninth edition of the Africities Summit in the western Kenyan city of Kisumu.

The 2022 edition of the Africities Summit, organized every three years by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), has started. The meeting will be held from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya after Mombasa, located nearly 400 km from the capital, Nairobi. The theme of this year's event is: “The role of Africa’s intermediate cities in the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”

All speakers at the opening ceremony called for public policies that take intermediate cities into account. They must “be considered as factors of development,” the Kenyan head of state pleaded.

“Political leaders, academics and economic actors must all mobilize for intermediate cities to accelerate Africa’s development. It is time that our intermediate cities are taken as factors of development because they contribute 20 percent to the GDP of the continent,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.

According to him, public policies must take into account the intermediate cities by planning to meet the emerging needs of populations. “That is why, he stressed, the Africities 9 Summit must result in a roadmap and a decade of actions to benefit intermediate cities.”

Stressing the importance of an urbanization policy for intermediate cities, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, noted that these cities are experiencing rapid population growth.

“Yet, our public policies are focused on the main cities to the detriment of intermediate cities. However, intermediate cities have enormous potential,” he noted.

“Middle-sized cities are a reflection of our level of development. They must be assets to promote the socio-economic development of our countries,” said, for her part, the president of UCLG-A, organizer of Africities and to which 16,000 local governments and 51 national associations of local elected officials are affiliated.

This makes John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State, say that “intermediate cities must be the locomotive of development.”

The Africities 9 Summit, which is held every three years over a period of five days, alternating in different regions of Africa, is according to its organizers, the largest democratic gathering organized on the African continent. This year’s edition, organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya (CoG) and Kisumu County, is being held for the first time in a mid-sized city.

More than 5,000 people are attending to discuss Agendas 2030 and 2063, which call for urgent consideration of resilient and sustainable urbanization in Africa. By 2050, most of Africa's population will be living in cities and the majority of city dwellers will be living in intermediate cities, according to statistics.

TE/cgd/odl/fss/APA

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