• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Settlement devt practitioners gather to explore emerging African Urban Agenda


Efforts to tackle Africa’s growing urbanization challenge is being revisited as settlement development practitioners have gathered in Lagos  for three days to explore the emerging African Urban Agenda. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Lagos in Nigeria is hosting professionals and students from around the world in a conference to discuss the continent’s human settlements trials.

The conference with the theme, ‘The Urban Agenda for Africa: Realities, Challenges and Potentials’, is aimed at providing a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder platform to discuss and debate the subject.

The conference is being attended by distinguished guests, presenters and audience from both within and outside of academia. Four key-note addresses will be delivered by the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni; Tunde Agbola, Chairman of the Association of African Planning Schools; Ibrahim Aliko of Etisalat; and Ibrahim Dikko of the Dar al Handasah Group. Vanessa Watson of the University of Cape Town, Co-chairman of the Association of African Planning Schools, is making a video presentation.

Also, there is a special panel session on urbanisation, trends and patterns in Nigeria titled ‘Urban Research Nigeria’. This panel is chaired by Bunmi Ajayi, a renowned Urban Planning professional in Nigeria, with  J.B. Falade, formerly of the UNDP and UN-Habitat as the discussant. The presenters of this session are Robin Bloch and Nikolas Papachritodoulou, both from ICT International; Andres Rigon, who is affiliated with the Development Planning Unit; and Jessica Lamond from the University of the West of England.

Over 60 peer reviewed academic papers are scheduled for presentation in parallel sessions during the three-day conference. The conference dinner speech will be delivered by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Orelope Adefulire.

This year, two separate gatherings in Chad and Columbia examined the urban agenda issue. In February in N’djamena at the fifth session of the African Ministerial Council on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD), African ministers tabled housing finance and related topics for discussion.

The meeting, which had “Case Studies in Financing Human Settlements in Africa: Appropriate Legislative Frameworks and Innovations in Implementation” as its theme, essentially developed an enhanced operational compendium for legislative framework and innovative practices for human settlements financing.

It also defined ‘Africa Urban Agenda 2063’ that will serve as an input into the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063 as well as to the Post-2015 Agenda and to Habitat III, and adopted the N’Djamena Declaration on Financing Human Settlements in Africa.

Chuka Uroko