Pretoria, June 13, 2017 - “As we talk about infrastructure development and sustainable cities, we should always take into account our youth and women. It is crucial to think about creating employment for them and harnessing their entrepreneurship skills,” said Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, NEPAD Agency’s Principal Programme Officer for the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme
Dr Nyirenda-Jere was speaking during the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum hosted by the City of Tshwane in South Africa, from 13-15 June.
The forum brought together mayors from over 28 African capital cities and their senior officials to discuss and identify key opportunities and threats posed to their cities’ growth, sustainability and wellbeing. It was a platform for knowledge exchange among African Capital Cities on best practices with regards to city sustainability.
Speakers included the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Mr Solly Msimanga, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Former Minister of Finance of South Africa, Mr Pravin Gordan, President of the South African Local Government Association, Mr Parks Tau and others who addressed issues on water security and transition to sustainable mega-cities.
Dr Nyirenda-Jere spoke on the NEPAD Agency’s role in infrastructure development on the African continent. Guests heard that through the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), NEPAD Agency aims to address Africa’s infrastructure deficit, trans-boundary infrastructure implementation, corridor development, public-private sector partnerships and mobilisation of high level support and championing of selected infrastructure projects.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Mr Solly Msimanga spoke on the need to address issues related to low carbon, resource efficiency and a climate resilient future for African cities. He identified these issues as being directly linked to food security, youth and the green economy, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure, transport and mobility, slum reduction and urban sprawl, as well as water resource management.
“The African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum is the most important gathering of the year for the leaders of Africa’s capital cities. It is a time to meet, gain insight, exchange best practices and make resolutions for the future - resolutions that will impact the future of every African citizen,” said the Mayor.
One of the outcomes of the forum included the development of a clear agenda on the continental initiatives required to mainstream sustainability and effective climate change responses.
Source: NEPAD Agency