After 5 Days of engagement and keynotes from different speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions and exhibitions, the closing ceremony focused on evaluating gains and mapping steps forward post the conference. According to CS Eugene Wamalwa in his closing address, attendance surpassed the 8,000 delegates mark from across Africa to attract over 11,000 attendees. Kisumu Business Bazaar Exhibitions at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex grounds remain open as the sun sets.
No Hand-outs, It is Time For Africa to Arise- Governor Nyong’o Retorts
In scriptural wit, the Governor quiets those who anticipated handouts saying that,
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6) We sitting here are like Peter. We have heard these stories from our leaders. In the name of heroes, we have to stand up and walk.” Let Africa stand up and walk. Jesus met a beggar and in John 5:8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” In Kenya we say, it can be done: Inawezekana. And in Luo we say Tich Tire. It calls us to pick up ourselves and change the life of our intermediary cities: a life worth living.
We can not do it unless if on our daily basis, work is done. Philosophers have interpreted life in various ways, but the point however, is to change it. In this conference we have interpreted, analyzed problems of cities, and local governments, in various ways. The point however, is to solve the problem, not to keep thinking about it.
Thank you; from CS Eugene Wamalwa
What we taking away really, is that the experts are telling us by 2050 we will have over 60% of the world’s population in intermediary cities. These intermediary cities are generating over 40% of Africa’s GDP. But are we reciprocating in terms of investing in these engines of Africa’s transformation? We need to “see how we can invest more in our intermediary cities so that we are able to realize the UN Agenda 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.”
Doing this is not really an option, it is an imperative over our time as Africa, if we want to see Africa rise. We want to give true meaning to the concept of Africa rising. We will live to see more rising stars like Kisumu across Africa. We will live to see rising cities from the Cape to Cairo, Lamu to Lagos; we need to invest more in our intermediary cities.
As we take stock of the conversations we have had for the past 5 days, I wish to appreciate all of you that made this possible. For the last 5 days, delegates we engaged on how to make our urban areas livable. We look forward to having you a little longer beyond these five days. Don’t be in a hurry to go back. Enjoy this great city of Kisumu. We are all in agreement that our urban areas will require decentralized resources and finances.
We need concerted efforts towards strengthening leadership for our local governments. This will inform Africa’s decisions and interventions, solutions to address these various gaps. 2063 is to transform Africa into a global powerhouse. Intermediary cities are economic engines of Africa. Leaders also must prioritize to channel resources needed for the realization of these targets towards 2063.
Let us continue with this dialogue. It really has been an honor having you hosting this Africities here in Kisumu. Thank you for making history with us as the first intermediary city to host this Summit.