Welcoming address: City of Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga
Keynote: Lindiwe Mazibuko
Councillors in Conversation: ACCSF mayoral panel discussions Who better to discuss the salient issues of sustainable city development than those charged with leading African city dwellers into a prosperous and sustainable future – the mayors themselves? At ACCSF the mayors of Africa’s capital cities speak candidly about the hard choices, tough decisions, and spectacular successes that most directly impact the management of their cities and the livelihood of their citizens.
The call for responsive and responsible leadership has echoed at all levels around the world, from the World Economic Forum to the ACCSF. Sustainable development is simply impossible without leaders who understand what people want and act to benefit society as a whole.
• What do leadership and responsibility really mean in such a complex world?
• What does responsible leadership look like in a 'post-truth' paradigm?
• What leadership challenges do the mayors of ACCSF have in common?
• How can African capital cities encourage each other to do better?
Financing and bankability
Sustainable development projects always have to be funded – there’s no getting around that. Projects have to be bankable to attract funding, which means project developers and funders have to speak the same language. At the same time, there is more than one type of project banker.
• Which have been some of the most bankable projects in African capital cities of late?
• Infrastructure tenders and corruption all too often go hand in hand: what is the solution?
• Which funding models (World Bank, IMF, China) are the most appropriate for the needs of African capital cities?
City planning and Climate Change
What is the purpose of a city? Every administration has an implicit philosophy that speakers in varying proportions to the interests of citizens and private business. Some cities will lay down the red carpet for developers and expect the masses to be content with what trickles down to them. Other cities will have an inclusive approach that gets citizens involved in the planning and development process. To complicate matters further, climate change has disrupted “business as usual” so that leaders have to fundamentally reconsider how to chart the waters of the future.
• Investor-friendly or pro-poor – is it really either/or?
• Is climate change forcing cities to switch from linear to circular economic thinking?
• What are the short-, medium- and long-term challenges posed by climate change?
• What do Africa’s capital cities need to start investing in now to surmount these challenges?
Water and Sanitation
Universal access to safe water and dignified sanitation is widely identified as the most basic precondition for a decent life and fundamental to public health, yet water and sanitation infrastructure remains sorely underdeveloped in many cities throughout Africa. It is up to Africa’s mayors to ensure that their citizens can be assured of this basic right – by revolutionizing the way cities supply water.
• What are the most fundamental challenges in providing water and sanitation? • How has climate change exacerbated these?
• What are the most economical, agile, out-of-the-box solutions to these problems?
• To what extent can the private sector step in to assist?
Energy is about a lot more than switching the lights on. Reliable energy supply is also a gender issue: “In rural and peri-urban areas, women and girls are mainly responsible for procuring and using cooking fuels; they are disproportionately affected by the negative effects of limited access to energy.” Of course, large scale, capital intensive technology projects are also necessary to power the formal sectors of the economy, including cash crops and mechanized production.
• How can Africa’s capital cities secure their energy futures without falling back on fossil fuels? • What are the smartest interventions to light up ordinary people’s lives?
• How can the cities of oil-dependent countries wean themselves from the black gold?
• What are the most innovative power-generating projects devised by African capital cities themselves?
Transport infrastructure is the backbone of the economy and a key enabler for other infrastructure projects such as energy, communications, water and sanitation. Transport is also linked in important ways to urban health and social well-being. However, bringing transport projects to fruition requires meeting the needs of many stakeholders.
• What models of transport infrastructure development have proved the most useful in Africa’s capital cities – in terms of social welfare and productivitiy?
• Which transport infrastructure models are most easily implemented and climate resilient?
• What are the expectations of the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network project?
• What impact is the Single African Air Transport Market expected to have?