ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe today attended the African Cities Urbanising conference hosted by the UN Habitat, where UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said African urbanisation is an engine to sustainable development on the continent and fulfilling the development goals of the post 2015 period.
Mugabe is in New York, US for the 70th session of the UN General Assembly which will adopt the new programme of development for the next 15 years, the Sustainable Development Goals Vision 2030, which replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are expiring at the end of this year.
Mr Ban said if managed well, urbanisation can be a great engine to sustainable development including in rural areas.
The UN chief noted African growth over last 15 years despite economic problems in most parts of the world.
Speaking at the same occasion, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma underscored the role played by modernisation of the cities in the general programme of African Development Agenda 2063.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said most African countries are facing rural-urban migration which has caused a lot of pressure on urban facilities such as water, electricity and accommodation.
Minister Mumbengegwi said load shading in Zimbabwe has become regular, leading some young people to create a joke that a romantic dinner by candle light is compulsory in Zimbabwe.
He said despite proper plans by urban authorities, it is difficult at times to restrict the movement and time of migration for the people hence the challenges faced by African cities.
African Development Bank (ADB) President, Akinwumi Adesina, said the bank will establish an Africa Municipals Development Fund.