Tau, who spoke exclusively to CNBC Africa at the Africities launch held in Johannesburg, said urbanisation should be seen in a positive light as it allows people to bring their skills into the city.
“Let us not look at the poor urbanising as a problem, let us look at it as an opportunity because all cities have grown and all civilisations have grown at the back of urbanisation. So it’s really an opportunity, and you need to help people gain access to opportunities that an urban system provides,” said Tau.
The summit – themed, “Shaping the future of Africa with the people: African local government contribution to the Africa 2063 vision” – will address urban and economic development issues in Africa such as water, sanitation, electricity, job creation, skills development and housing to name a few.
“Africa is getting more and more people living in urban centres and African cities are assuming the responsibilities for the habitation of people. It is where people will be living, where people are looking for opportunities and we need to provide solutions for that,” he said.
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Tau says the people relocating to urban areas are looking to better their lives.
“You must remember when you leave your city and country in search of opportunity it takes a particular person who stands up even in poverty to wake up and say ‘actually I am going to a different place I’m going to start a different life’,” he added.
The Africities Summit will take place from 1 – 5 December 2015 in Johannesburg.