In the lead-up to the upcoming UN Habitat III conference in Quito later this year, delegates at an African regional meeting adopted a declaration outlining their vision of sustainable development in Africa.
The Abuja declaration sets out an African vision of sustainable urban development and human settlements development that delegates would like to see incorporated into the New Urban Agenda, which is expected to be adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. While urbanisation has become more complex worldwide, Africa in particular faces the emerging challenge of forced urbanisation brought on by conflicts, terrorism and natural disasters – and the resulting insecurity and poverty, reports Nigeria’s The Guardian.
According to the article, the declaration calls on African leaders to allocate sufficient financial resources for sustainable urbanisation so that all citizens may benefit from economic growth, employment opportunities and improved living standards. Its vision includes smart cities with improved urban systems to better deliver basic services and positioning urbanisation and human settlements as a driver of competitiveness. It also reiterates the importance of Nairobi as the headquarters UN-Habitat.
The Africa regional meeting in Abuja was attended by government officials from African nations as well as a wide range of stakeholders such as local and regional authorities, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, professionals, academia, the private sector and civil society, including women, children and youth.
Image credit: © UN-Habitat