A UCLG-A delegation led by the secretary general, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, and comprising the director, West Africa regional office, Mrs. Juliet Mekone, participated in the Africa Regional Meeting on Habitat III in Abuja, Nigeria, from February 24 to February 26, 2016.
The objective of the meeting was to define the African priorities for the New Urban Agenda to be adopted by the international community at the upcoming United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to take place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.
The meeting was attended by ministers, leaders of local governments, civil society and private sector organizations, professionals and experts, the academia, UN agencies, among which UN Habitat and the Habitat III Secretariat.
The meeting included a technical segment, a political segment, as well as side events.
The technical segment was marked by the welcoming remarks by Mr. Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; opening statements among which that of the UCLG-A secretary general (available here) (tu peux attacher le discours de SG que Fatima a envoyé), and of the secretary general of the Habitat III conference, Mr. Joan Clos, executive director, UN Habitat.
The opening statements were followed by a panel discussion on African priorities for the New Urban Agenda.
The political segment was opened by a keynote statement by His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. After the official opening, the meeting received ministers’ statements. Three high level panels were further organized on:
1. Imperative for urbanization in Africa: the New Urban Agenda; 2. Urbanization and human settlements: institutions, policies and practical measures in the implementation of the Agenda 2063; 3. National urban policies, urban planning and governance: think national, act global.
The UCLG-A secretary general took part in this last panel, which also included Professor Akin Mabogunje, chairman of the Foundation for Development and Environmental Initiatives (FDI).
The meeting included 8 side events as follows:
- •Many voices make a city: community media, urban design and sustainable development.
- •Safer cities for children and youth.
- •Advocating for access to affordable housing finance for the poor in East and Southern Africa.
- •From slums to integrated, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable neighborhoods.
- •Public spaces: the identity of African cities (UCLG-A secretary general prepared the attached presentation for this side event).
- •Adequate housing – an approach to poverty reduction.
- •Grassroots women driving sustainable urban growth.
- •Planning for Africa’s informal economy workers in the New Urban Agenda.
The meeting was also marked by the adoption by the ministers of the Common Africa Position for Habitat III(attached); the general assembly of partners for Habitat III statement; and the adoption of the Abuja Declaration(attached) read at the closing ceremony by Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, Nigeria.
More on the Habitat III Africa Regional Meeting in Abuja here.
To know more about the upcoming Habitat III Conference and its process, click here.