Addis Ababa — The role of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in supporting sustainable urbanization in Africa was underscored during the 9th World Urban Forum, which took place on 8 February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The director of ECA's Social Policy Development Division (SDPD) - Thokozile Ruzvidzo - who represented the Commission at the Forum noted in her remarks that ECA supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) "through innovative and unconventional ways."
This, she said, will "ensure that the Agenda goes beyond a call for system refinement and reorientation and pave the way for urban and human settlements to contribute to the aspirations outlined in Africa's Vision, Agenda 2063, the Africa we want."
Ms. Ruzvidzo added that ECA was supporting countries like Chad, Cameroon, Morocco and Uganda to integrate urbanization into their National Development Plans, policies and programmes. She also stated that the Commission and its partners are "developing a programme on urbanization data and statistics to help build capacity and enhance monitoring and follow up of the implementation of varied agendas and national priorities."
During the Forum dubbed, "Implementing Global and Regional Agendas for Sustainable Urbanization:The Role of UN Regional Commissions," Lesotho's Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship, Habofanoe Lehana, thanked ECA and partners for supporting the development of a Harmonized Regional Implementation, monitoring and reporting framework, which will be used by countries to implement and monitor the NUA in Africa.
Mr. Lehana who chairs the Sub-Committee on Human Settlement and Urban Development of the AU's Specialized Technical Committee on Public Service, Local Government, Urban Development and Decentralization, cautioned that Africa needs to look critically at its rural-urban linkages, and that the implementation of the NUA aligns with the Ten Year Implementation plan of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.
The Forum was organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in partnership with all UN Regional Commissions to encourage and promote multi-stakeholder partnerships in sustainable urban development and substantially contribute to promoting the localization of the SDGs as well as the NUA transformative commitments and means of implementation.
Participants included representatives of regional, national and local governments; representatives of non-governmental and community-based organizations; academics; research and training institutes; the private sector; international organizations and donors.