The Cities Alliance at Africities
[10 December 2012] -- In keeping with our focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, the Cities Alliance had a strong presence at the Sixth Africities Summit, which was being held at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar, Senegal 4-8 December 2012.
Held every three years, the Africities Summit is the premier event on local government in Africa organised by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA). It was attended by some 5,000 participants—representing local authorities, central governments, the donor community, the private sector, academia, the media, and civil society—who came together to discuss the theme “Building Africa from its Territories: What Challenges for Local Government?”
The Cities Alliance hosted a large booth at the Africities Exhibition, which was a popular spot for members and partners to hold meetings, share information and catch up.
The Cities Alliance hosted several special sessions at Africities, including a workshop on how to implement our Quick Guides on Housing the Poor in African Cities.
Guests at the exhibition also had the opportunity to learn about the partnership, our programmes, and browse a selection of publications in English and French. We also launched two Cities Alliance publications at our Africities booth:
-- Financing Africa’s Cities by Dr. Thierry Paulais, which is the culmination of a four-year period of research and analysis jointly financed by Agence Française de Développement (AfD) and the Cities Alliance. (4 December)
-- The Quick Guides on Housing the Poor in African Cities, a series of practical guides that provide national and local officials as well as policy makers in African cities with tools and practical knowledge to help them enhance their understanding of low-income housing issues so they can make informed policy decisions that benefit the poor. (5 December)
In addition, the World Bank's Water Unit launched a new report on The Future of Water in African Cities at the Cities Alliance booth on 6 December. The timely report argues that it will take a concerted effort on the part of decision makers across sectors and institutions to find a way to provide sustainable water services to African city dwellers, and that these complex challenges require innovative solutions and a management system that can work across institutional, sectoral, and geographic boundaries.
Over the course of the week Cities Alliance also hosted three well attended special sessions:
-- Local Financing Strategies, co-hosted with AFD;
-- Can We Reach Scale?, which explored the Country Programme model; and
-- Quick Guides on Housing the Poor in African Cities, a workshop co-hosted with UN-Habitat to show participants how they could apply the information in the Guides.
Other interesting sessions hosted by Cities Alliance members included “I’m a City Changer in Africa” (UN-Habitat); “Peer Learning and Local Leadership: A Way for Changing our Cities” (UCLG); "Know Your City" campaign that brings local governments and communities together for enumeration (Shack/Slum Dwellers International and UCLGA); and “The Future of Water in African Cities” (The World Bank/ICLEI).
The launch of Dr. Thierry Paulais' book Financing Africa's Cities was a highlight at the Cities Alliance booth.