Cities Alliance at Fourth Africities Summit

A side-meeting with Ghana delegation at Cities Alliance booth.The Cities Alliance had a very successful outing at the recently concluded fourth African summit for local governments, which was held in Nairobi from September 18 to 24th, 2006.

More than 6,000 participants representing local authorities, central government, the donor community, the media, civil society including the urban poor attended the triennial summit, which this time around focused on theme of "Building local coalitions for an effective implementation of the MDGs in African local governments."

In preparation for the summit and in keeping with its reinvigorated mandate for a stronger communications and knowledge outreach the Alliance Secretariat rented a booth during Africities and invited members to co-exhibit at the booth - an invitation which was taken up by members such as the German Development Cooperation, the South African Cities Network (SACN), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sida. These contributed to making Cities Alliance booth 819 easily one of the most popular at the exhibition, hosting a continuous stream of visitors enquiring about Alliance's activities and how to access Alliance grant funding.

The Urban Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa book launch.The booth was also a welcome venue for the well attended launches of the Alliance's recent publications: The Urban Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction; Guide to City Development Strategies: Improving Urban Performance, and the South African Cities Network State of the Cities Report 2006.

Clients and visitors were able to freely avail themselves of these and other publications which the Alliance prepared for Africities, including the 2005 Annual Report, a basic informational brochure on Cities Alliance and a popular Africities poster with the thought-provoking message: "More Urban Growth... Less Rural Poverty", which, as intended, generated heated discussions for and against the slogan.

Thematic session on "Rethinking Planning and Programming Processes."The Alliance also hosted, in collaboration with one or more of its members two thematic sessions - “Rethinking Planning and Programming Processes” with and “Rethinking Financing Policies” ; and two special sessions - “The Positive Impacts of Urbanization” and “Local Economic Development in Africa.” - at Africities 2006, all of which were very well attended.

Key messages from these sessions as well as the presentations themselves will soon be made available on the CA website.

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