African cities, the torchbearers of globalization, have undergone tremendous growth. According to the U.N., Africa will have an urban population of 1.2 billion in 2050, compared to 450 million today, i.e. around 56% of Africa’s population versus 40% today.
While the demographic pressure which cities must respond to is also an economic growth lever fueled by a young and dynamic population, it will increase pressure on already strained networks (water, sanitation, transportation, etc.), a precarious habitat, and essential services that are often difficult to access.
Indeed, improving connectivity as well as access to energy, water and sanitation facilities are essential to Africa’s growth, but must be sustainably managed. Cities are thus confronted with two challenges: meeting multiple needs (access to water, energy and transportation), while having to become more eco-friendly and consume fewer resources than before.
Meeting this challenge will also enable cities to play a decisive role in the struggle against climate change. Indeed, cities represent 80% of global CO2 emissions and 75% of global energy consumption, making them critical stakeholders in the struggle against climate change.
Cities also seem to be a critical echelon due to their proximity to the African population: they are closer to people’s needs, more aware of citizen satisfaction levels, and more responsive in implementing concrete actions. In this regard, they are essential to pooling regional stakeholders and initiatives and serving as catalysts in sharing best practices and scaled up initiatives. Cities also seem to be the privileged participation echelon in creating public policies targeting citizens, civil society, and the private and institutional sectors. They can also implement effective and differentiated inclusion strategies in function of the various recipient groups or stakeholders, especially those targeting the most vulnerable.
Kampala, a rapidly expanding city with a fast-growing population, must deal with many challenges to support its development. Its urban population will go from 3.5 million in 2015 to 10 million in 2030. Africa4Climate provided technical support to the Mayor of Kampala (KCCA) in order to foster an upstream integration of climate change-related challenges and to create a long-term definition of an urban development policy capable of making this capital city a greener and more inclusive sustainable development leader.