By Jude Njoku & Ikenna Asomba
Accelerating the pace of urbanisation and migration and the disproportionate level of poverty and under development in Africa will top the agenda of the United Cities of Local Governments of Africa, UCLGA, summit slated to hold between November 29 and December 3, 2015 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The summit will also explore issues relating to public transportation, urban agriculture, informal trading, neighbourhood development, green buildings, parks and open spaces, and public safety in urban settings.
Green building, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, US EPA is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.
Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came up with a report which revealed that green buildings could be a key means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the report, green buildings could play an essential role in any efforts to reduce the impact of anthropogenic global warming, particularly given projected gains in the emission levels of the international construction sector.
The construction sector which is a key contributor to global warming is expected to undergo a doubling of energy consumption and related emissions by mid-century across the globe, if it proceeds along its current path.
The Johannesburg summit tagged Africities 2015, according to the Secretary General, UCLGA, Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi, would be attended by the representative head of local governments across the continent and will be used to push for the principles of Pan-Africanism as well as to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among African people and African States.
Elong-Mbass told newsmen that the Africities Summit which is now in its 7th edition, will create a platform for tackling issues affecting urban“and economic development across the continent with a sharp focus on“collaborative partnerships, best practices, innovative and strategic thinking and solutions to the challenges of development and urbanisation.
He said: “With a vision of building the unity of Africa and promoting “its development through the grassroots, the UCLGA’s dedication“throughout its history has been driven by its commitment to the empowerment of local people in local communities and their“participation in the development of Africa and its governance.
“We have been campaigning for the decentralisation of power, referred to as, ‘the second liberation of the continent,’ as well as advocacy for citizenship through participation and collaboration, best practice and transparency in local government. “The summit is held every three years. This year, more than 5,000 participants are expected from across Africa and the globe, and over 25 open sessions for stakeholders ranging from the World Bank on one side, to slum dwellers on the other.
The theme of this year’s summit is “Shaping the Future of Africa with the People: Africa’s Local Government Contribution to the Africa 2063 Vision.”
Those expected to participate in the summit include local and national government officials, Heads of State, economists, city and financial planners, as well as investors and other stakeholders.