WEDNESDAY February 9, 2022
By Patty Magubira
The Tranquility News Reporter, Tanzania
All African roads head for Kisumu, Kenya, in May this year when over 6,000 local government officials will gather to define the continent’s new development trajectory based on its intermediary cities.
The officials will seek energy efficient, low carbon, inclusive and resilient development models for Africa in the 9th Africities Summit themed: The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the AU Agenda 2063.
Both agenda call for the urgent need for developing resilient and sustainable urbanisation in Africa, as the majority of the continent’s population will be settling in intermediary cities come 2050.
The 44thUS president Barack Obama was scheduled to be the Chief Guest of the summit, but he has delegated someone else, Mr Julius Korir, the Kenya Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution, said in Arusha, Tanzania, on Wednesday February 8, 2022.
Kogelo Village where president Obama traces his routes is situated 40 kilometres east of the Kisumu City.
Mr Korir was reporting on the progress of preparations for the summit to delegates of a three-day East African Local Government Association Forum in Arusha on Wednesday.
“As for us Kenyans we want to showcase how devolution has built the capacity of other cities to host international functions,” said Mr Korir, explaining that the host country would, among other things, display how it was successfully governed before the colonial regime interfered with the traditional leadership.
The construction of a conference centre tailor-made for the summit is at 60 per cent; and is expected to be accomplished in April.
“For the first time the forum will be held in a sub-national city. We will soon send letters to all dignitaries because we want to have as many presidents as possible,” Mr Korir said.
Africities is a pan-African forum held every three years to hatch strategies for growth and unite and integrate cities and local authorities on the continent.
It brings together ministers; mayors, leaders and elected officials of local and regional governments; civil society organisations; traditional authorities; representatives of the African diaspora; economic actors; experts, researchers and academics; financial institutions; and development partners.
About 200 exhibitors from across the world are scheduled to showcase their products and services on the sidelines of the summit slated for May 17 to 21 which comprises business to business meetings and series of workshops and exhibitions.
United Cities and Local Government (ULGA) is organising the forum in collaboration with the government of Kenya, Kenya Council of Governors, the County Government of Kisumu, UN Habitat and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Also high on the agenda of the five-day forum include local policies and strategies, investments, climate change, women and youth.
While a whole day has been spared for deliberating on issues surrounding gender and youth; ministers, mayors and local authorities’ leaders will also spend one day on a dialogue with development partners.