Global Perspectives | Roundtable | 1. October 2019

Africa Goes Urban

How to Support a Sustainable Transition?

Achieving a more sustainable and inclusive world depends on Africa succeeding in the 21st century.

The steady growth of our world population and the increase in migration has accelerated the emergence of mega cities. With its urban population more than doubling to 360 million last year, the African continent accounts for the fastest growing rate of urbanisation in the world. This boom is both promising and troubling.

The inputs of our keynote speakers Edlam Yemeru (UNECA, Addis Ababa) and Edgar Pieterse (African Centre for Cities, Cape Town) will address the role of sustainable urban transition in this larger context.

Urban development is a significant indicator for economic growth, with 80% of the global GDP being generated in cities. At the same time, cities account for more than 70% of energy consumption and carbon emissions. Moreover, the provision of housing, social services, and jobs represents a major challenge: 38% of Africa’s urban population is currently living in slums, which surpasses any other point reached during the last 20 years.

In a private environment we seek to discuss how German partners can be more strategic and better aligned in advancing sustainable urbanisation policies towards the attainment of both the SDGs and Agenda 2063, while appreciating the necessary investment approaches that will work in an African context but require external support.


  • Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Director African Centre for Cities
  • Dr Edlam Yemeru, Director Urbanisation Section Social Development Policy Division UNECA


  • Dr Ingrid Hamm, Co-Founder and CEO Global Perspectives Initiative
  • Elisabeth Mansfeld, Director of the City Department Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft

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Event Location:
Quartier Zukunft
Quartier Zukunft
Friedrichstraße 181
10117 Berlin


Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft 


Event Follow-Up

Contact Person:
Judith Ramadan, Project Management

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