As Africa’s economic growth has grown, so too has its rising slums, increasing poverty and social and economic inequalities. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of slum dwellers in Africa and its cities are marked by inadequate infrastructure. Other issues also hamper urban life. Only 53% of Africans have access to mobile phones, while 84% of the urban population have access to clean water and sanitation. Urban growth also bring the pressure on natural resources and the environment. The growth of cities has come with the destruction of forests and ecosystems.
Yet, the stories below are examples of Africa’s resilience. They’re the positive outcomes of cooperation between organizations, municipal leaders, agencies, and citizens working to make their communities a more equitable, sustainable place.
Bamako is experiencing rapid population growth, which is at the root of numerous problems, including urban pollution. The city’s 700,000 residents produce over 2000 cubic metres of refuse every day. Despite spending a third of its budget on garbage collection, the city only manages to collect half of the refuse.
Besançon, a French city with a population of approximately 120,000 and a member of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty, has been cooperating, since 1987, with the canton of Douroula in Burkina Faso. This began as a national programme of aid focused on the provision of safe drinking water until 1995 and became a broader, long-term partnership between the people of Besançon and the people of Douroula.