Africa’s urban realities
The SWAC Secretariat and AUDA-NEPAD launched the new SWAC/OECD flagship report, “Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2020: Africapolis, Mapping a New Urban Geography,” on the sidelines of the 33rd African Union Summit on 9 February 2020 in Addis Ababa. In his opening statement, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA NEPAD and SWAC Honorary President, highlighted the need for developing mindsets, tools and public policies that are able to quickly catch up with Africa’s urban revolution. The continent is projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world. By 2050, its cities will be home to an additional 950 million people. This urban transition is profoundly transforming the social, economic and political geography of the continent. Urban management is a key development challenge and policy agendas need to refocus on the opportunities and challenges that cities and urbanisation present. This was stressed by Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, who called for more accurate data to design better policies that can support transformative action. Covering the entire urban network — from small towns and secondary cities to large metropolitan regions — the Africapolis report contributes to filling this knowledge gap. The launch event brought together some 80 people, including mayors from Dori, Burkina Faso and Freetown, Sierra Leone, who shared first-hand experiences . The event is part of a broader effort to develop a network of stakeholders active in Africa’s urbanisation agenda. The SWAC Secretariat notably presented the Africapolis report at the 10th World Urban Forum on 10 February 2020 in Abu Dhabi. It will also participate in the 2020 Africa-France Summit on sustainable cities and regions, which will be held from 4-6 June 2020 in Bordeaux.