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Kenya’s Kisumu hosts Africities 9, meeting of Africa’s local govts

The city of Kisumu in Kenya will host the 9th edition of the Africities Summit from May 17 to 21, 2022, under the patronage of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The theme of the summit is: “The role of intermediary cities in Africa in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063”.

UCLG Africa
A view of participants at the East Africa Regional Caucus of UCLG Africa that ended in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Organised every three years over a five-day period, alternately in the different regions of Africa, the Africities Summit is the largest democratic gathering organised on the African continent. This flagship event of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) organised in partnership with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya (CoG), and the County of Kisumu will for the very first time be held in an intermediary city.

More than 5,000 participants are expected to discuss the 2030 and 2063 Agendas which call for urgent reflection on resilient and sustainable urbanisation in Africa, given that by 2050 most of the African population will live in cities, and that most city dwellers will settle in intermediary cities.

The improvement of the living conditions of the African populations and the economic and social structural transformation of the African continent are therefore closely linked to the way in which the achievement of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas will be approached in the African intermediary cities, which are undoubtedly the places where Africa will have to invent its own approach and its own development trajectory.

The challenge is to learn the lessons from the serious health crisis that the world has just experienced, the limits of the planetary ecosystem, the warnings of the International Group of Experts on Climate (IPCC) on the impact of climate change, and the extent of the disorders and instabilities that will result, in order to reflect on the definition of a new development trajectory for Africa.

From the outset, this trajectory should take into account the need to shift towards a mode of production and consumption that is more restrained in terms of consumption of natural resources and discharges into nature, a mode of production and consumption that is low carbon, respectful of the balance between human beings and other living species, socially more inclusive and fairer, ecologically more sustainable, and overall more resilient.

Kisumu is therefore the place chosen by the community of local authorities in Africa to initiate this healthy reflection, which will be addressed during the thematic sessions, sessions on local policies and strategies, and open sessions organised during the first three days of the Summit.

This reflection will also be at the heart of the debates and proposals for specific days organised on the major subjects that mobilise the attention of mayors and leaders of local authorities on the continent: Climate Day; Diaspora Day; Digital Day; Culture Day; Urban Planning Day; Housing Day; Women’s Day; Youth Day; and Africities Investment Forum.

The Africities Summit includes a political segment on the last two days, during which meetings of ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments, Regional Economic Communities, and development partners take place. These meetings will consider proposals and recommendations from thematic sessions, sessions on local policies and strategies, and open sessions.

They end with a tripartite political dialogue meeting between ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments, and development partners with the aim of defining and adopting a roadmap on the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and of Agenda 2063.

At the same time as part of the Summit and at the same location will be held the International Exhibition for Cities and Local Authorities. The Africities Exhibition offers to institutions, economic operators, academia and research, civil society organisations the opportunity to exhibit their experiences, know-how, methods, tools, products, in response to the requests and needs in terms of support to local governments for the implementation of their mandates. The Africities Exhibition also makes it possible to organise B2B meetings with local governments, which could possibly lead to the conclusion of contracts between protagonists.

The Summit ends with a gala dinner during which the attributes of honorary members will be distributed to the personalities selected by the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa as well as the Africities prizes awarded to local governments that have made remarkable achievements that can inspire their counterparts.

The 9th Africities Summit will also serve as a framework for the elective general assembly responsible for appointing the members of the organisation’s governing bodies. The elective general assembly of UCLG Africa will be held on May 19, 2022, preceded on May 18 by the general assemblies of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and the Network of Young Local Elected Officials of Africa (YELO).

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