Morocco-Africa-Habitat

Africities: Urbanization must be at heart of public policies - Minister

APA-Marrakech (By Special Envoy, Abdourahmane Diallo)

Morocco, like most African countries faces frantic urbanization and that is why the urban question must be placed at the centre of public policies so that the challenge of equity and demographic integration is met, the kingdom's National Territory and Urban Planning, Housing and Urbanism minister, Abdelahad Fassi Fihri suggested in Marrakech on Friday.

"In order to correct a certain number of negative effects of this uncontrolled urbanization, we must now adopt in a more proactive approach and not just react, correct and repair. And this presupposes that the urban question truly becomes a national priority once again, placed at the heart of public policies," Mr. Fihri added.

He was speaking at a panel on "Urban Planning and Territorial Development: Challenges and Opportunities for African Cities" organized on the sidelines of the 2018 Africities Summit (20-24 November).

In the same vein, the Moroccan minister called on African cities to ensure that their territories and urban settlements are open to all, safe, resilient and sustainable.

"Cities must be opened to all and we must work to reduce the urban divide, particularly through the economic and social inclusion of all people, especially the most vulnerable (women, young people, people with disabilities...)," Fihri urged.

He added: “We must avoid that African cities become breeding grounds on which extremism and radicalization can proliferate”.

He emphasized social justice and equity.

Mr. Fihri took the opportunity to reiterate Morocco's commitment to support African countries in their urbanization efforts by making available to them the experience of the Cherifian kingdom in that regard.

During the event several agreements were signed during between Moroccan cities and several local collectivities in sub-Saharan Africa.


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