- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
The event will be based on the guidebook titled, 'An Urban Lens in National Development Planning in Africa: Guidebook for Policymakers', which has been prepared by UNECA based on extensive research on this topic, including in Africa. The training will focus on cities not merely from the demographic or social dimensions, but rather as a pathway to structural transformation and inclusive economic development, with the main aim to harness cities for job creation and poverty reduction. All functional aspects of urbanization such as informality, housing, infrastructure, sustainability and inequality will also be addressed, but in an integrated manner as issues which affect the potential of urbanization to act as the engine of prosperity. The strategic integration of urbanization in National Development planning is a necessary prerequisite to inform National Urban Policies, and related strategies linked to national growth priorities.
The main aims of this training will be to assist national urban policy makers better appreciate and incorporate a spatial lens in national development plans and national urban policies to establish linkages with national development plans. Although the focus will be on how to fuse the role of cities in development planning, cities would not be viewed in isolation but rather as nodes within the larger geographical ecosystem. This training will be organized around four substantive themes that link cities with national economic development and contribute directly to both the New Urban Agenda and the SDG 11. These include, economic sector targeting, productive cities, national spatial systems as well as coordination and finance.
With regards to economic sector targeting, policy makers will be given a general orientation on how to answer the following questions:
• Which economic sectors will create urban jobs and generate structural transformation?
• Which economic sectors will leverage and harness urban demand for domestic sector growth?
• How can cities add value to rural products through forward and backward linkages?
In terms of national spatial systems, a focus will be on assisting policymakers in answering the following in their countries:
• What are the biggest barriers to the productivity and competitiveness of urban firms?
• What level of investment in urban infrastructure is needed to make cities drivers of structural transformation?
• How can urban investments and programmes be prioritized to best leverage urban economic advantages and aligned with national development priorities?
For national spatial systems, an emphasis will be on assisting policymakers in terms of understanding the following:
• Where within the national spatial system can investments most cost-effectively achieve economic growth?
• Where within the national spatial system will target economic sectors generate growth?
• Which cities and towns require which types of investments in order to support target economic sectors?
Finally, policymakers will be trained on addressing the following issues in their countries regarding coordination and finance:
• What mechanisms can be established through the NDP process to allow for coordination between the many public and private actors engaging in the development of cities?
• How can subnational authorities be better supported to manage cities in ways that align with the NDP?
• Within cities and the national spatial system, how well are public and private investments currently coordinated and how can they be better aligned?
This event is fully booked