The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) organized the fourth session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Dakar, Senegal, May 2-4, 2018 with the theme: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.”
UCLG Africa took part in the workshop of experts and was represented by Dr. François Yatta, Director of UCLGA Programmes. Other participants in the workshop included members of the United Nations ; ministries responsible for urban planning and housing ; ministries in charge of economic and/or spatial planning ; Universities ; the Pan-African Parliament ; and sub-regional and pan-African institutions.
The meeting of Experts focused on the role of ECA in achieving the sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11) and the new Urban Agenda in Africa (NUA) in order to achieve the objective of the ECA urbanization programme. The programme aims to assist member States in integrating SDG11 and the new urban agenda into national development planning frameworks and processes.
The purpose of the workshop was to validate a practical guide prepared by ECA (Guidebook for decision-makers: an Urban Lens in National Development Planning in Africa) which was tested in several African countries, including Chad, Zambia and Ethiopia.
Participants recommended that the expert meeting be chaired by UCLG Africa in recognition of its experience and expertise on issues of urbanization and economic development in Africa, particularly on the measurement of cities’ GDP.
The exchanges allowed participants to comment on:
-The relevance of the ECA handbook for their respective countries;
-The links and synergies of the data monitoring framework of the new urban agenda and the city’s set of indicators;
-Identify opportunities for collaboration and technical assistance with member states and other stakeholders, including universities and local authorities;
-How to generate specific recommendations for the discussions and results of the forum.
Three issues of collaboration between UCLG Africa and ECA have been selected:
(1) The development of a training module from the ECA guide and its holding within UCLGA’s African Local Goverment Academy (ALGA),
(2) Carrying out the city’s GDP assessment exercises to finalise a methodology, which will then be taught in the context of ALGA,
(3) The participation of ECA in the Africities8 Summit to be held from November 20-24, 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco.