Development Planning: Urbanisation Deficiencies Under Review

By  Victorine BIY, Cameroon Tribune
Résultat de recherche d'images pour "African development planners yaounde"The High-Level Policy Dialogue convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is holding in Yaounde.

African development planners are in Yaounde to discuss lapses in urban planning hampering the development drives of countries of the continent. A three-day High-Level Policy
Dialogue organised by the United Nations Economic Commission (ECA) on the theme: “Integrating Urbanisation in National Development Planning in Africa,” opened in Yaounde yesterday June 7, 2016. The meeting will focus on promoting coordination and coherence among planners in the delivery of development policies.
The dialogue, the fourth in a series that started in 2014, comes at a time when the continent is experiencing demographic transition. Africa in 1950 had a population of 228 million people and the figure moved to 808 million in 2000. In 2016, Africa’s population is about 1.2 billion inhabitants and is expected to climb to 2.4 billion by 2050.
The continent’s economic performance and future prospects are impressive, ECA reports, stating that real GDP growth rate will stand at 4.3 per cent, considerably higher than the world growth rate that is projected at 2.9 per cent. The continent is therefore the theatre of rapid urban transition that comes with a lithany of multidimensional development challenges - social; economic; political; cultural and environmental.
The Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze, recalled that Africa’s growth in the past decades was not sufficiently inclusive and hinged on the exploitation and exports of raw materials. The role of urbanisation cannot therefore be understimated, reason why it is part of the UN’s 2063 Sustainable Development Goals agenda, Louis Paul Motaze said. He however expressed regret that the policy was not sufficiently inscribed as national policy by many countries.
The Yaounde confab is offering development planners an opportunity to share notes on the policy implications of mainstreaming urbanisation concerns into national development planning. The Director in charge of the Capacity Development Division at ECA, Aida Opoku-Mensah, underscored that data from remote sensing could act as catalyst to facing the challenges.
The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Jean Claude Mbwentchou, revealed that the country has a balanced urban frame with nearly 312 towns spread throughout the national terrirtory, accounting for 65 per cent of GDP. It however faces challenges of poor management and imbalance, but lofty programmes are underway to change tides, the Urban Development and Housing Minister pointed out.


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