- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
To achieve inclusive and sustainable development, Africa needs to accelerate structural transformation, which core instrument is national development planning. Because Africa is urbanizing rapidly, its economic, social and environmental challenges will be increasingly linked to its cities. Realizing the vision of structural transformation cannot thus occur without transforming its cities into engines of development and without the full integration of urbanization in national development planning. However, despite the tremendous advantages of urban areas, the integration of urbanization in national development planning remains weak, representing a major obstacle in achieving the goals of the New Urban Agenda, the SDGs and Agenda 2063. In 2015, the Economic Commission for Africa has launched a project on “Strengthening Member States’ Capacities in Designing and Implementing Strategies and Policies for Inclusive and Sustainable Cities in Africa” , which some results will be presented at the side event on “Integrating Urbanization in National Development Planning in Africa” to be held at the WUF9.
This event will contribute towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs in Africa by apprising participants about the immense potential of urbanization that can be harnessed through its strategic integration in national development plans in Africa. It will also raise awareness on how a focus on urbanization can drive economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability. Three specific entry points, including economic sector targeting, urban productivity and national urban system will be presented. As a result, the participants will have a much better understanding of how urbanization relates to all other aspects of development and sector priorities, and how by treating it in strategic manner, countries can nurture inclusive, safe and resilient cities, and thus contribute to structural transformation in Africa.