STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS VITAL FOR AFRICAN CITIES, SAYS UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says it is vital for African cities to establish strategic partnerships in order to achieve environmentally urban resilient development.

Addressing a forum on African Sustainable Development here this week, the head of the of the UNEP Liaison Office to the African Union (AU) Commission and UNEP Representative to Ethiopia, Samba Harouna Thiam, said African countries needed an integrated approach in building the green economy and climate resilience.

According to him, most African cities, including Addis Ababa, should adopt integral environmental urban policies and planning to achieve sustainable development.

Noting that Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent in the world with an average urban growth rate of 3.4 per cent per annum, Thiam said: "The African urban population is projected to reach 1.2 billion by 2050. This means 60 per cent of all Africans will be living in cities, compared with 40 per cent at present."

The rapid growth of the urban population on the continent posed significant challenges related to climate change, including access to water, energy, pollution and human vulnerability to natural disasters, Thiam said.

He added that the expansion of urbanization was also creating high demand for sustainable and modern energy and in order to meet all those challenges, Africa needed to develop a long-term plan for the energy sector.

As a result, the multi-stakeholders approach and strategic partnership among African countries are important so that the continent would find a long-term solution in domestic resource mobilization and private capital.

Noting the role of African youth, government and the academic community in building resilience of the continent's cities against climate change, he urged theme to pay prime attention to the issue.

Source: Nam News Network

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