Africa sets 20 years agenda on urbanization.

Golfa Francis, Abuja

A three day Habitat 111 Africa Region meeting which normally holds after every twenty years has begun in Abuja, Nigeria.

The meeting in the next three days will focus on African Priorities for a New Urban Agenda.

The last meeting was in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996 where all regions of the world came together to develop a programme, plans and vision for the next twenty years.

Through these years, the regions agreed on what the urban sectors would look like in the next twenty years.

Just as all regions have their own conferences, Nigeria is hosting the African meeting.

The country is given the honour to host this meeting because it has supported nineteen African countries over the past twenty years to develop their own plans on National Urban policies.

The Abuja meeting will therefore make decisions on what the urban agenda in Africa will look like in the next twenty years.

According to the Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria in Kenya, Friday Okai, one of the things seen since 1996 globally was that the world was changing dramatically.

Such changes include Climate change, poverty and the inequality of people living in urban areas.

“Urban impacts are not the same in every region. For instance in Africa, about forty-two per cent of people live in urban areas, other regions have much higher figures”Mr Okai said.

He however added that in terms of growth, Africans has the highest growth rate of people living in cities than economy growth.

“Talking about depth of poverty, some countries in Africa are undergoing what is called jobless growth with economy growing but jobs are not growing,” Mr Okai added.

The High Commissioner said: “We have undertaken several studies and found out that the historical phenomena where economy situations move from agriculture to industry services, is not applicable in Africa. People are moving from low agriculture productivity to the low services sector.”.