The Future of Eastern African Cities: How Do We Want to Live in 2050?

Urbanization is inevitable and irreversible. Globally, around 3 billion new urban dwellers are expected to arrive in cities and towns by 2050. In contrast, it took the entire history of humanity to reach the 3.5 billion urban dwellers that live in cities today. Now, the urban population is expected to almost double in less than 40 years. This process cannot be halted through restrictive policies or legislation. Instead, we must rise to the challenge of making our cities places where our citizens can live decent, healthy and dignified lives. If managed well, urbanization can be both a product of and force for human development and economic growth. Acknowledging the pressing reality of rapid urbanization, the UONGOZI Institute organized a regional roundtable discussion on 19-20 February 2015 to engage urban leaders to envision how we would like to live in 2050. The objectives of the round table were: To enhance understanding and appreciation of the urgency of responding to the challenges of rapid urbanization facing the region; To paint a picture of what inclusive, sustainable African cities would look like; and To identify the top priorities and key ingredients of success.