Africa now! An urgent case for investment towards more sustainable cities and towns

Africa now! An urgent case for investment towards more sustainable cities and towns


Urban Africa needs an investment strategy for more sustainable cities grounded in evidence, that responds with urgency to the needs of urban residents and matched by the investment priorities of funding institutions.

Africa will undergo unprecedented levels of urbanisation over the next 30 years, with its population projected to double by 2050. This presents both growing challenges and huge opportunities for sustainable, prosperous African cities of the future. It’s time to have a realistic conversation about urgent needs and emphases for impactful investment strategies. Which sectors should be prioritised – renewables, e-mobility, housing? To match investment to these needs, we must also understand who is financing urban infrastructure, where, and why, to mobilise effective investment and cultivate an appetite for investment in the right places. This session will host industry experts and thought leaders in an exploration of the urban investment landscape in Africa and impactful strategies from governments and the private sector alike.


Saliem Fakir, Executive Director, African Climate Foundation

Collins Sekele, Projects Director, National Treasury of South Africa

Kecia Rust, Executive Director and Founder, Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF)

Kioi Wambaa, International Housing Solutions Kenya


L’Afrique maintenant ! Il est urgent d’investir dans des villes plus durables

L’urbanisation africaine a besoin de stratégie d’investissement qui réponde aux urgence des besoins des citadins pour des villes plus durables. Où sont donc les investissements réalisés dans les villes d’Afrique ? Sont-ils dans les énergies renouvelables, l’e-mobilité et le transport, l’atténuation du climat ou le logement ? Cette session accueillera des experts de l’industrie et des leaders dans une discussion sur ce que serait la meilleure stratégie d’investissement pour les gouvernements locaux qui se dirigent vers un avenir durable. Il s’agira d’examiner d’où viennent les financements pour les développements durables et comment ils sont obtenus. Plus précisément, il s’agit de savoir comment et où les investissements dans le logement et les infrastructures de transport sont destinés à façonner des villes durables.


Host: Our Future Cities

Moderator: Rashiq Fataar

Director, Our Future Cities

Saliem Fakir

Executive Director, African Climate Foundation

Kecia Rust

Executive Director & Founder, Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF)

Kioi Wambaa

Managing Director, Investments & Asset Management for International Housing Solutions – Kenya

Samantha Naidu

Lead on the Governance and Fiscal components of the Cities Support Programme, National Treasury RSA

Session Summary

This session highlighted the urgency of the investment and financial requirements of the housing sector in Africa in responding to the needs of Africans, especially the less advantaged. Rapid urbanization and the opportunities it brings for governments to work more closely and effectively with its institutions and communities was also emphasized. It was suggested that investment should happen in key areas such as e mobility, sanitation, and electrification. However, measuring the performance of these sectors including housing depends on which indicators one chooses to use. Data collection is severely lacking in Africa, but governments already have a wealth of data collected from regulatory practices and that should be utilized as well as creating open data platforms. There is also a great need to shake the misconception that green development is not affordable. There is a need to find ways in which to leverage non-state capacity in South Africa and make it easy for the private sector to invest. Municipalities have struggled due to several environmental crisis which compounds with their low credit ratings. Therefore, the focus should be on enabling policy and regulatory alignment along with fiscal reforms and spatial integration by investing in core infrastructure where densification is highest.