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UN initiative aims to rethink African cities

A street in Kampala, Uganda, where a workshop on urban development in Africa took place last week. (Sarine Arslanian /

The United Nations is launching an initiative intended to make African cities more inclusive and sustainable.

According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the project seeks to strengthen the ability of African policymakers and urban planners to pursue strategies and designs that mitigate poverty and pollution.

The initiative was formally unveiled at a workshop last week in Kampala, Uganda, the announcement says. The campaign’s long title captures the enormity of the mission: Strengthening Member States’ Capacities in Designing and Implementing Strategies and Policies for Inclusive and Sustainable Cities in Africa.

Another goal is to better integrate urbanization planning into national development schemes, the commission says. Cameroon, Cape Verde, Morocco, Uganda and Zambia are among the nations that will participate in the UN project. The initiative dovetails with goals outlined in multilateral agreements such as Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda that emphasize safety, resilience and sustainability, UNECA notes. 

UN Economic Commission for Africa

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