The mayor of Dakar, Senegal, Mr. Pape Diop, has called on leaders of African cities to invest more in infrastructure and public services to boost the municipal economies.
Speaking at a seminar last week on implementing UN-HABITAT-backed City Development Strategies in West Africa, Mr. Diop demonstrated how the city was hosting a huge percentage of Senegal’s population. UN reports estimate that West Africa will be 50 percent urban by 2019. Current estimates show that approximately two-thirds of the urban dwellers still live in informal settlements in the sub-region.
The three-day meeting brought together key government’s officials, members from the local authorities, civil society and the private sector from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal and Togo.
The meeting aimed at sharing ideas on how to implement the City Development Strategies in the region as well as deliberating on the best ways to deliver on projects to be funded by the Cities Alliance in future.
Officials at the meeting also included UN-HABITAT representatives, Mr. Daniel Biau and Mr. Alioune Badiane, as well as officials of the World Bank and the Cities Alliance. The UN-HABITAT team highlighted the urban issues facing the African countries and the expected role to be played by national and local authorities.