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Development Account Projects

Strengthening Member States’ capacities in designing and implementing strategies and policies for inclusive and sustainable cities in Africa


Although cities have been associated with improved human development, rising incomes and better living standards, most African cities experience massive poverty and inequalities in terms of access to housing, services, job opportunities, public space, and participation in decision-making. While few countries have taken steps to transform urbanization as a source of wealth, reaping social and economic benefits and managing and reducing negative externalities, so far the policy response in the continent has been weak and inadequate due to limited capacities to formulate and implement policies and strategies that will improve the life prospects of millions of Africans. As urbanization is expected to be a growing trend, cities in Africa need planning processes to be strengthened using specific and action-oriented, well planned, integrated and cross-sectoral urban development strategies and frameworks that will bring about a desirable quality of life for most Africans.

This project, formulated jointly by ECA and UN-Habitat, intends to strengthen the capacities of African policy makers and experts to effectively design, reformulate and implement strategies and policies for inclusive and sustainable cities, taking into consideration the economic, physical, social and environmental dimensions based on a framework that links urbanization and social integration in the African context.

The project draws on ECA’s expertise in economic and social development and its mandate to convey to the Ministries of Social development as well as Planning and Economy. The project will make use of UN-Habitat framework for inclusive cities (2003) and the National Urban Policies framework.  The project will build on good practices from Africa, Latin America and Asia and will target Five (5) countries namely Uganda, Morocco, Cape Verde, Cameroon and Zambia.  


To strengthen the capacity of African Governments to design, reformulate and implement inclusive urban policies to address the critical problems of urban poverty and inequalities in the rapidly growing urban and peri-urban areas of Africa.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased awareness and technical knowledge among African policymakers on inclusive and sustainable cities and inclusive urban policies;
  • Strengthened capacity of policymakers in select African countries to formulate and implement inclusive urban policies.

Implementation status:

In progress.