From 29th November to 3rd December 2015, Johannesburg hosted the Africities Summit with the central theme of “Shaping The Future Of Africa With The People: The Contribution Of African Local Authorities To Agenda 2063 Of The African Union.”
Organized regularly every three years, by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the event has become a distinguished opportunity for the evaluation of the implementation of decentralization policies in Africa.
The event aimed to create a new Vision for Africa, captured powerfully in the Agenda 2063 – Towards an Africa we want, which incites everyone to play an active role to see an inspiring vision come to fruition. Part of the essence of such vision is captured as follows:
We aspire that by 2063, Africa shall be a prosperous continent, with the means and resources to drive its own development, and where:
African people have a high standard of living, quality of life, sound health and well-being.
A continent full of well educated citizens through a skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation for a knowledge society.
Cities and other settlements are hubs of cultural and economic activities, with modernized infrastructure, and people have access to all the basic necessities of life including shelter, water, sanitation, energy, public transport and ICT.
Economies are structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all. (Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want)
During the event, several questions were raised, such as the place of Africa in contemporary globalization and its crisis; the geopolitical, economic, social and cultural reorganization of the different world regions linked to their specific developments; and a reflection on the forms that democratization will take across Africa, with decentralization and the creation of regional levels, and how the activities, the ecosystems and the institutions will play a role in ensuring enabling environments for sustainable territories.
During the event, Cities Alliance hosted a large booth that promoted the work of the Joint Work Program, and hosted several events, including the session “Local Governance and the Role of Inclusive partnerships for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda”.