The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat will participate in the Africities Summit to be held from 4 to 8 December 2012 in Dakar, Senegal.
Organized by United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLGA), the meeting will examine the theme: Building Africa from its territories: what challenges for local governments?
Dr. Joan Clos, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat will be present at Africities to support the region in mobilizing local authorities and their partners towards sustainable urbanization.
He will address the opening session and two events, focusing on the themes of urban planning and urban prosperity.
UN-Habitat is coordinating six sessions at Africities to address the issues of youth in local governance, improving urban safety through urban renewal and slum upgrading interventions, local strategies for planning and programming, participatory urban profiling, urban planning and energy efficiency, and the Water Operators’ Partnerships for African Cities. The agency will also launch a new campaign entitled “I’m a City Changer in Africa" www.imacitychanger.org in order to promote those who deliver positive change in African cities.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Towns and cities are growing today at unprecedented rates setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, both good and bad. Cities are now home to half of humankind. Cities are the hubs of much national production and consumption - economic and social processes that generate wealth and opportunity. In many cities, especially in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50 per cent of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water, and sanitation, education or health services. It is essential that policymakers understand the power of the city as a catalyst for national development. Sustainable urbanisation is one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community in the 21st century.
UN-Habitat’s programmes are designed to help policy-makers and local communities get to grips with the human settlements and urban issues and find workable, lasting solutions. UN-Habitat’s work is directly related to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, particularly the goals of member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020, Target 11, Millennium Development Goal No. 7, and Target 10 which calls for the reduction by half of the number without sustainable access to safe drinking water.