Safety and security should be central to debates taking place in the African continent, according to Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A), Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.
He made the comments few days before the association hosts its Africities Summit.
The Africities Summit is the appointment for Africa’s Local Authorities, organised regularly every three years, by UCLG-A.
Mbassi said that placing focus on regional safety was critical considering that most Africans were moving into urban centres. Most terror attacks globally have been orchestrated in urban metropolis.
“We should recognise the fact that Africans are moving into cities at a time when the discourse is still rural centric. This has to change to reflect these dynamics,” he said
“When people are hit in Nigeria, Mali and Paris it shows us the bad face of human beings, such attack have effect on local authorities. For local mayors and leaders the attacks translate to a number of funeral ceremonies and not into statistics, “he said demonstrating the impact attacks could have on African cities.
“Our continent will triple in the number of urban dwellers between now and 2030.”
He also said this year’s theme was geared on shaping the future of Africa with the people taking centre stage.
“We need to bring along all the stakeholders to discuss the future of this continent and we have invited 18 key stakeholders to come and give input on Agenda 2063,” added
“This summit will not be won’t be a talk shop; it will be a meeting of engagements that will map a way forward about the future.”
He said the summit was the new beginning in this foresight perspective that the continent has lost after 20 years of IMF’s structural adjustment programmes.