The City of Joburg is set to score a double this year in continental agenda setting roles with the African Union (AU) Summit currently underway this week at the Sandton Convention Centre, clearing the path for the 7th Africities Summit to be held later this year.
The 7th Africities Summit is well positioned to be informed by robust debates set to take place during the AU Summit, and mainly to handle a freshly updated African development initiative tilted Agenda 2063.
Anchored by the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union of African States, the AU Summit is taking place from the 7th to the 15th of June 2015 with a promise to significantly advance the African development course.
This historic gathering is supported by the presence and participation of heads of AU member states including Heads of state from close allies of the African continent such as Cuba and Palestine.
“This is the first time the AU Summit is hosted in Johannesburg and, as a city; we are honoured to host an event of this magnitude – to purposefully unite Africa leaders,” says Parks Tau, City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor.
He says the AU Summit, not only confirmed the confidence that Africa has in Johannesburg, and South Africa as a whole, to host such an event, but it also serves to cement the social, political and economic integration of the country to the rest of the continent.
“I am sure that Johannesburg will be remembered for many generations to come for hosting an AU Summit that made an extraordinary contribution towards the development of the African continent,” says Tau.
The AU Summit comes on the eve of the 7th Africities Summit organised by the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa). The gathering will also be hosted in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 29th of November to the 3rd of December 2015.
Mayor Tau describes Africities as a well-positioned event to continue the progressive rhythm established at the AU Summit.
However, Africities will be anchored on the theme, Shaping the future of Africa with the people: the contribution of African local authorities to Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
It will be particularly focused on the role of local governments and taking forward their developmental ambitions.
“The selection of Johannesburg as the host city by UCLG Africa gives us, as a city, an opportunity to show and fine tune our wide-ranging developmental programmes as outlined in our Growth and Development Strategy 2040 to create a liveable and sustainable city,” says Tau.
The Africities Summit is held every three years to look at issues affecting urban and economic development in African cities with a particular focus on finding ways to share best practice, new innovations, experiences and explore possible solutions.