Africities Summit: Kenya’s President Calls for Sustainable Solutions to Urban Problems

  • 10,000 delegates attending
  • Africa adversely affected by climate change – US Special Envoy John Kerry
  • Half of Africa’s rural population will migrate to cities by 2050 – Maimunah .M. Sharif

By Evance Odhiambo

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged African nations to find tangible solutions to various urban problems ranging from those linked to health and lack of food security.

Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru told the Africities Summit participants that proper planning will create smart cities that there is an urgent for adequate and affordable health facilities.

Speaking when he officially opened the ninth edition of Africities Summit in Kisumu on Tuesday, President Kenyatta noted that a larger population of urban dwellers in Africa live below a dollar per day making it difficult to afford proper healthcare services.

‘’Today, I call upon African cities to be solution oriented. Our health care services are still not up to the standard. As Africans, we need to join hands and ensue our people have access to better health care,’’ said President Kenyatta.

The President said that a developing city should have well equipped health facilities to carter for its ever growing population.

‘’The need for proper health planning was evident at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. It became necessary to support those living in informal settlements to access health services as well as in addressing food security. This calls for proper planning of the intermediary cities and municipalities in Africa to address future challenges,’’ says President Kenyatta.

The need to address the effects of climate change was emphasized during the first day of Africities Summit. Speaking virtually during the Summit, US Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry noted that about 40 sub-Saharan Africa counties are adversely affected by climate change.

John Kerry addressing Africities

Kerry said that there is need for Africans countries to come up with measures that can address climate change. According to him, African cities must be in a position to have a cleaner, healthier and safer environment. He urged African countries to find solution for their problems.

‘’Africa has the opportunity to address global warming. This is a serious cause of climate change and it can only be addressed by coming up with quick initiatives such forest conservation among others,’’ said  Kerry.

Maimunah .M. Sharif-Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Addressing the Summit, the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), said it is estimated that 50% of rural Africans will migrate to urban centers by 2050.

She therefore urged those in charge of African urban set-ups to fully develop the intermediary cities in readiness for this major rural-urban migration.

About 10,000 delegates across Africa and beyond are registered for the Africities Summit that ends on 21st May 2022.

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