The 9th edition of the Africities Summit on May 17-21 will focus on the challenges faced by more than 1,000 intermediate cities.
United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and CitiIQ, the architect of an innovative global standard for measuring cities, announced Wednesday, May 4, that 60 major African cities have been noted as contributing to the Africities Summit to be held in Kisumu, Kenya, May 17-21. Research shows that the African continent will experience unprecedented population growth over the next 30 years, with a dramatic urban surge expected to put pressure on its cities, large and small.
CitiIQ uses an evidence-based methodology to score 35 Key Considerations, within the five Dimensions of Basic Needs, Competitiveness, Opportunity, Livability and Future Trajectory. Using an intuitive online dashboard, a city’s metrics are easily accessible to clients via an annual cloud-based subscription.
Scoring for the 60 major cities models the importance of measurement for Africa’s intermediate cities. The collection of accurate and consistent data is critical to the growth and development of African cities.
The confidence of local, regional, national, and international investors grows significantly when progress over time can be reliably determined. Intermediate cities need to put in place accurate data measures to meet their needs, which is fundamental to building their capacity for growth. A consistent scoring system will accelerate the growth of effective data cultures for intermediate cities.
UCLG Africa’s membership includes 51 national local government associations from all regions of Africa, as well as 2,000 cities and territories with populations of over 100,000. As such, the organization represents nearly 350 million African citizens.
“We have specifically chosen the theme of the 9th Africities Summit to focus on the role of African intermediate cities in the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” said Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.
UCLG Africa mobilizes strategies, methods and tools to support its members under three pillars to accompany the development of local governments to better serve their communities.
The city of Kisumu, Kenya, is the first ever intermediate city to host the Africities Summit.
CitiIQ uses a wide range of technology tools and expertise to collect data for cities that are processed through its global city measurement algorithm. Comparable scores out of 100 are produced for the 35 most important considerations for any city. The data feeds into a dashboard that easily illustrates the scores and allows customers to explore the data in detail for the 114 city indicators used.
“Increasingly, the health and well-being of the world’s people depend on the effectiveness of their cities,” Don Simmonds, President of CitiIQ said, adding, “City leaders face tremendous challenges and benefit greatly when comprehensive and comparable data can guide their decisions.”
Most cities struggle to translate disparate data into actions that improve the lives of their citizens. The CitiIQ method standardizes data so that city elements can be easily compared within a given city or with other cities around the world. The service is provided as an application that can run on any website chosen by a client city. This can be seen on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
CitiIQ recognized the critical role played by intermediate cities that are home to more than half of the world's urban population. Often underserved, these cities play a key role in localizing the SDGs, empowering local governance, and ensuring policy coherence that connects higher-order priorities with local citizen priorities.
Accurate, frequent, and accessible data for local governments and their citizens promotes more effective decision making. The CitiIQ Dashboard is a common reference point that reflects the complex interactions of society. Data also plays an increasingly vital role as a currency for equity and support for vulnerable populations. CitiIQ provides a benchmark for the values of solidarity, accountability, transparency and service that characterize intermediate cities.
In Africa, 56 cities have a population of 500,000 to one million, 85 cities have a population of 300,000 to 500,000, 380 cities have a population of 100,000 to 300,000, and 564 cities have a population of 50,000 to 100,000. These 1086 cities need a solid data infrastructure to make their development effective in the decades to come.