Inclusive growth, Slum Upgrade and Engendering Rapid Urbanization
The challenge in East and Central African cities is the increasing trends of Income Inequality and poverty. The rapid urbanization has tended to be distortional, resulting in increasing informal settlements, low value jobs youth unemployment and growth of slums. The region is rapidly urbanizing while becoming younger and poorer. The equalization transfers from central government have been slow and quite insignificant given the current youth unemployment challenge. The current social services in the region have only served as an attraction to rural urban migration, not as a foundation for industrial and service sector growth.
The promotion of inclusive growth that addresses youth unemployment, gender and supports the rights of the marginalized is the foundation for delivering shared urban prosperity. There is need for cities within the region to review and develop social inclusion strategies while promoting employment creation if the sustainable development agenda is to be realized.
Addressing slum improvement needs a comprehensive program that emphasizes employment creation and income generation, which frees idle labor into other gainful employment needed to enhance Labour productivity and deliver shared urban prosperity. Emphasis needs to be put on addressing structural supply challenges that hinder SME development, while streamlining urban demand structures that promotion of local economic development.
The forum will seek to address the following among others: