The United Nations Human Settlements Programme-UN-HABITAT is gearing towards hosting the first ever assembly in Nairobi from 27-31 May 2019.
This even as statistics indicate that 34 percent of Kenyan population live in urban areas with a 5 per cent growth per annum.
The UN-habitat further indicates that 6.4 million Kenyans live in urban slums with the year 2050 projected as a period in which 50% Kenyans will be living in the urban areas.
The theme of this year’s assembly is “Innovation for a Better Quality of life in Cities and communities-accelerated implementation of the new urban agenda towards achievement of the sustainable development goals”.
The UN-Habitat Assembly which will bring together over 2000 delegates from 193 member states at the UN-Gigiri Nairobi is expected to adopt global norms and policies that will guide how cities and communities are planned, managed and governed.
Fernando Coimbra Brazilian Ambassador to Kenya and permanent representative to the UN-Habitat say “The Nairobi declaration will be focusing more on development from a sustainable perspective”.
The overall objective of the UN-Habitat Assembly is to unpack the challenges of urbanization including urban poverty, marginalization, unemployment, climate change and humanitarian crises.
This will also see proposals for innovative solutions alongside best practices to leverage the opportunities of sustainable urban development so as to leave no one and no place behind.
The UN-Habitat assembly is expected to deliberate on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda where opportunities to form strategic alliances to advance the sustainable urbanization and human settlement agenda while mobilizing strong political and financial support for UN-Habitat’s strategic plan.
Dr-Alex Awiti an academic researcher in Nairobi says journalists must be proactive in covering events on cities and urbanization.
He said “The world is expected to see 68% of its population living in the urban areas by 2050 with Africa already having a 40% its population in the urban places”.