OECD Africa Forum on Cities


By 2035, more than half of Africans will be city dwellers. Rapid urbanisation represents immense opportunities for accelerating Africa’s economic transformation but also huge challenges in terms of planning, investment and inclusive development. During the 16th edition of the International Economic Forum on Africa, participants addressed the key questions of how to seize these opportunities and how to tackle the many disadvantages. Co-hosted for the first time by the OECD Development Centre and the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Forum was held on 29 September at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris on the topic of, “African cities for Africa’s development.” The event brought together some 500 participants and many prominent West African speakers including: Alain Marcel de Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission; Amadou Bâ, Senegal's Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning; Noël Akossi Bendjo, Mayor of the Abidjan-Plateau District; Alfred Oko Vanderpuye, Mayor of Accra. Laurent Bossard, Director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) moderated the debate of Session 1 on the theme, “Urbanisation: An Engine of Transformation for Africa?” The Forum also provided the occasion to renew the 2014 Memorandum of Understanding between the OECD and the African Union Commission, with a view to deepening high-level dialogue and co-operation on a citizen-driven pan-African agenda of integration and transformation. Areas of co-operation include a continent-wide, geo-localised dataset on African cities, known as Africapolis; increased ability to compare African revenue statistics; innovative policies for making the most of natural resources and insertion in global markets; and promoting Africa’s sustainable urban development.
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