Challenges facing cities in Africa

Posted on December 29, 2012 03:14 pm

This year, I made a fewer trips than last year but to the towns and cities in Africa I managed to visit I found similar problems in almost all of them. Most of them are confronting problems, ranging from crime and pollution to poor town planning and slums. I was concerned by the problems and challenges that lie ahead for those towns and cities. Similarities like sexual diversity and crime are common in various parts of the world. However, very few draw up similar policies in these categories that affect the city’s social, economic, political and environmental aspects. I think cities should develop a mechanism that functions in a similar manner in order to foster relations among cities in the world.In my travels, I learned that most cities lack clearly defined identities and were more of a mixed pot of cultures and religious beliefs. Cities across the African continent have failed to promote their identities by urging their dwellers to accord utmost respect to the cultural, religious and linguistic differences of others. Such initiatives could allow cities in Africa to retain their own unique identity even as they embraces diverse cultures that call the city their home. Very few of these cities have ample public parks, sports fields, public libraries and cultural buildings because of land grabbing and illegal occupation by the so called foreign investors who are fully backed by corrupt political leaders and rogue local business partners.This is a worrying trend especially in East African Community countries.

Cities administrators have willingly failed to raise awareness among city dwellers about environmental concerns. All those occupants of administrative posts knows too well the effects of degraded environments and the least they should do is to encourage communities to initiate projects aimed at creating a green and low-carbon societies. Apart from Kenya government, others have failed to come up with a law that demands designs of houses and office buildings be in line with the low-carbon concept. Another clear problem that was common among all the cities I visited was cities leadership that was clearly wanting. Very few cities administrators possessed good management skills and have a creative mind that can take their respective cities to the next level.Moshi town where I visited mid this year, is the home to Mount Kilimanjaro and has the reputation of being the cleanest in East Africa and among the cleanest in Africa.This according to locals i spoke to was about an efficient and corrupt free administration.Regarding sexual diversity, the rights of people of different sexualities and gender identities must be respected.Am one of those who believe representatives of minority groups should join politics in a bid to break down existing prejudices among the majority groups. When it comes to labour very few cities administrations are adequately prepared to deal with cultural and linguistic differences in the business and education sectors to mention but a few. Some have even failed to groom the next generation of labour workforce despite the fact that elderly workforce is also growing as most countries in the world are increasingly becoming ageing societies and because of ignorance or neglect few cities administration are prepared to take care of the elderly. In conclusion, city administrators in Africa must be able to deal with changes in city innovation and and have a good understanding of the most important concerns, such as disasters, safety and other security issues. Policies drafted can be realized if people sharing the same vision joined hands to push for them in cities management.

Contador Harrison