This report documents the progress made in the implementation New Urban Agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2018 and 2021. The report is based on desk review and analysis of a wide range of data sources, including the Voluntary Local Reviews for cities in the region and national reports on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
The report discusses; the progress made in the three transformative commitments of the NUA, which are social inclusion and ending poverty; inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all; and environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development; the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda in terms of the urban governance structure and the planning and managing urban development; and the means of implementation of the NUA with respect to the mobilisation of financial resources; capacity development; and information technology and innovation.
The report shows that rapid urbanisation across Sub-Saharan Africa persists, accompanied by poverty and inequality – which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. With involuntary migrations to urban areas increased due to conflict and climate change issues and many unable to effectively integrate, new typologies of urban poverty and homelessness are emerging. There is, therefore, an urgent need to establish platforms for accurate evidence gathering as a precursor to the design and development of practical approaches for urban integration of migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees. Nevertheless, governments at local, regional and national levels have made considerable progress in addressing various SDGs through policy formulation, collaboration, programme development and implementation. However, the geographic focus of many of these programmes remains the primate cities – with issues affecting secondary cities which are experiencing the highest population growth rates not sufficiently attended to.
While progress has been made across all sectors, there have also been significant shortfalls regarding investments for infrastructure required to address climate change impacts and build resilient futures. While remittances have been an important buffer to households, larger-scale investments for enhancing systemic resilience have been limited. Though internet penetration is increasing in many countries, the digital divide remains a geographic manifestation.