AFD is commited to sustainable cities [fr]
Faced with the urban explosion in Africa, it is necessary to innovate, technically but also socially and financially, to meet this challenge. In preparation for the Africa-France Summit on Sustainable Cities to be held in Paris in June 2020, the French Embassy in Tanzania and AFD co-organized a day-long conference on the subject on 9 October.
9 October, the French Embassy in Tanzania and the French Development Agency (AFD) co-organized with the tanzanian think-tank REPOA a conference on sustainable cities in Dar es Salaam. H.E. George Simbachawene, Tanzanian Minister of State for Union Affairs and the Environment, H.E. Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Tanzania and Stéphanie Mouen, Director of AFD in Tanzania, participated.
Dar es Salaam © Emmanuel Baudran / AFD
The aim was to bring together Tanzanian and French experts for a full day around four round tables ("Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Treatment", "Mobility, Transport and Infrastructure", "Peri-urban Agriculture" and "Energy Access and Efficiency") to discuss in detail sustainable cities and their possible application in Tanzania.
Since 2008, more than half of the world’s population has already been living in urban areas: a simple step in the urban transition, since half of the urban areas that will exist in 2030 do not yet exist. In addition, 95% of the increase in the urban population will be in developing countries and especially in Africa.
While Africa is currently poorly urbanized (about 40%), the combination of high population growth and rural exodus is already the driving force behind the world’s highest urban growth (+4% per year). It is estimated that 50% of the African population will be urban in 2035 and 58% in 2050. No other continent has been confronted with such an explosion.
This theme is particularly important for Tanzania. Indeed, in 2100, it is expected that the 3 most populated cities in the world will be African and that Dar es Salaam will be part of them (after Lagos and Kinshasa).
This extremely rapid growth poses major challenges:
• Continued growth in the number of people living in precarious neighbourhoods;
• Urban sprawl in the absence of sufficiently effective public planning policies;
• High gender inequalities;
• Adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change;
• Financing investments to meet the continent’s essential urban infrastructure needs.
To meet these challenges, AFD has been working for several years to promote sustainable cities by playing a pioneering role with donors. Its strategy is characterized in particular by its ability to offer a flexible financial offer to local public actors, as well as by its territorial approach and expertise in supporting the management of local works.
AFD has adopted a strategy for sustainable urban development based on the following objectives:
• Access to essential services to improve the quality of life of urban dwellers: by supporting local and national actors to improve the quality of life of poor urban populations, AFD aims to improve residents’ access to housing, employment and basic urban services (access to water, sanitation, street lighting, and mobility). Particular attention is paid to reducing the environmental, social, and health impacts of urban waste management.
• Promoting the sustainable development of urban areas. AFD supports local authorities and governments in the implementation of sustainable development programmes, such as the rehabilitation of city centres or the requalification of precarious neighbourhoods, so that they become a viable alternative to urban sprawl. The Agency also supports the creation of new eco-neighbourhoods or new eco-designed cities. It focuses on projects that increase the resilience of cities to climate change by promoting urban development and low greenhouse gas emission projects. AFD thus supports projects aimed at developing a quality public transport offer as a credible alternative to the car, and at promoting the energy efficiency of public infrastructure.
• Strengthening local actors in charge of cities and development: sovereign loans to States in their decentralization policies, non-sovereign loans directly to local authorities, support in terms of technical assistance or financing of master plans, for example. Planning is essential to the development of the territory in order to define a global vision of the future of the agglomeration and therefore to anticipate needs.
Since 2014, AFD has committed €9.6 billion in commitments to sustainable cities, including €3.2 billion for Africa. One example is AFD’s financing of a project to rehabilitate the most precarious districts of the Antananarivo urban area in Madagascar. AFD granted a €120 million loan directly to the city of Johannesburg in South Africa to finance the city’s investment programme for the implementation of its space transformation policy.
AFD is also very involved in neighbouring East African countries with two urban projects in Kenya aimed at rehabilitating disadvantaged neighbourhoods and public infrastructure in the cities of Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Finally, in Tanzania, AFD has committed more than €600 million over the past 10 years, with a particular focus on infrastructure: water, sanitation, energy, and transport. For example, it supports the cities of Mwanza, Bukoba, Musoma and soon Dar Es Salaam in the field of access to water and sanitation, the city of Dar Es Salaam for phase 5 of its BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and that of Dodoma for urban mobility. The objective is to double its financial commitment to around €100 million per year for the coming years in order to support the government in the implementation of its priority projects.
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