According to the 2010 UN-Habitat forecast, more than half of the African population will live in urban areas by 2025, with an urban population growing almost twice as fast as the general population over the next quarter century. In the year 2025, the majority of the poor in Africa will be living in urban areas.
Currently, a large and growing number of urban dwellers live in poor and unplanned neighbourhoods. With incomplete or out-dated information about slums and informal settlements, local governments often design policies that ignore or unsatisfactorily address the social and economic deficits that residents experience in slum neighbourhoods. This leads to increased mistrust between communities and local authorities and exacerbates the extent of these needs.
Based on current trends, 75% of Africans will be living in slums by 2025. Unless something is done to close this gap, African cities risk becoming troubled regions, a situation that could put decentralization and democracy at risk.
In direct response to these projections and the already existing deficits and inequalities of urban development in African cities, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), as members of Cities Alliance (CA), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and implemented the Know Your City Program in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Lusaka, Zambia with the aim to catalyse urban transformation processes that promote more inclusive cities through partnerships between local governments and slum dweller communities.