Towards Africities: The City We Need Now

Towards Africities: The City We Need Now

Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o made his presentation at the opening of the UN-Habitat, United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLGA) and the County Government of Kisumu launch The City We Need Now Africa Campaign. The campaign was initiated by UN-Habitat and 200 partners of the World Urban Campaign calling for urgent action to accelerate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda towards a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery to achieve the city we need.

“It is my pleasure to launch The City We Need Now Campaign for Africa today. Ladies and gentlemen, as team partners, city leaders in the African continent, I would like to invite you to join the City We Need Now. In 13 weeks from today, I will welcome you in Kisumu for the Africities Summit, the largest summit on African Cities organized with United Cities and Local Governments of Africa. The Summit will celebrate intermediary cities. But why?

Because Africa has the fastest growing cities in the world. We have exponential need for affordable housing, sanitation, solid waste, transport, and health care services. An estimated 3 billion people will require adequate and affordable housing by the year 2030. 

Large and mega cities will continue to attract people, but secondary cities will become more manageable with less congested areas and lower densities, reduced costs of land, better access to housing and services. As such, intermediary cities could boost African national economies as accelerators of regional development.

Gov. Anyang Nyong’o at the Maritime Summit hosted by Switch TV at Kisumu Impala Park | Photo by ViK Media

My City, Kisumu is one of the fastest intermediary and growing cities in Africa and the third largest city in Kenya after our capital City, Nairobi and the coastal City of Mombasa.

Kisumu, which literally means a place of batter trade is an intermediary inland port city on the Lake Victoria, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Kisumu is thriving with rich sugar and rice irrigation industries whose contribution to the national economy is immense.

Due to its natural resources and as the epicenter for business in East Africa, Kisumu will demonstrate ambition and achievement for African Cities during this (Africities) Summit.

By putting secondary cities at the heart of national urban strategies, we will give a second chance to Africa by engaging larger and balanced territories leaving no one and no place behind.

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Africans and mayors, City We Need Now Campaign will engage cities and game changers who can demonstrate that it is possible to accelerate change towards the African cities we need. By leveraging the right partnerships in intermediary cities, City We Need Now Africa Campaign, won’t stop at Africities in Kisumu in May 17-22.

Campaigners will continue spreading the word and raising ambitions for African cities towards the 11th session of the World Urban Forum convened by UN-Habitat in Katowice in June 2022, as well as towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 7-18.”

Kisumu City Skyline | Photo by ViK Media