Urban Dialogues Berlin, October 1, 2019

Urban Africa Dinner

Global Perspectives Initiative and Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft host a dialogue event addressing African urbanisation dynamics

The steady growth of our world population and the increase in migration has accelerated the emergence of mega cities. With its urban population more than doubling to 360 million last year, the African continent accounts for the fastest growing rate of urbanisation in the world. This boom is both promising and troubling.

Urban development is a significant indicator for economic growth, with 80 percent of the global GDP being generated in cities. At the same time, cities account for more than 70 percent of energy consumption and carbon emissions. Moreover, the provision of housing, social services, and jobs represent a major challenge: 38 percent of Africa’s urban population is currently living in slums, which surpasses any other point reached during the last 20 years.

In order to address the dynamics of African urbanisation, the Global Perspectives Initiative and Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft host an Urban Africa Dinner on 1 October in Berlin. Here, leading international researchers and advisors from the fields of urban and economic development, foreign policy, and development cooperation will come together with the objective to discuss how German partners can be more strategic and better aligned in advancing sustainable urbanisation policies towards the attainment of both the SDGs and Agenda 2063, while appreciating the necessary investment approaches that will work in an African context but require external support.

The Urban Africa Dinner will be enriched by key note speakers Edlam Yemeru (UNECA, Addis Ababa) and Edgar Pieterse (African Centre for Cities, Cape Town), who will talk about the role of a sustainable urban transition in a larger context.

Achieving a more sustainable and inclusive world depends on Africa succeeding in the 21st century. This event brings together experts from sub-Saharan Africa and from the Global North for a fruitful dialogue, not shying away from addressing the great challenges of our common future.

Participation is by invitation only. For any information, please contact Elisabeth Mansfeld, Head of Cities Program.

Urbanisation can foster a sustainable transformation in Africa. Dr Edlam Yemeru, Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven and Sebastian Granow discussed the possible role of politics and industry.

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