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A conglomerate of five
banks has released the Creating Livable
Cities: Regional Perspective report that digs deep into the issues facing
cities across the globe.
Here in Africa, the surge of population in the urban areas has brought in bigger problems and in most regions cutting the life expectancy numbers. East Africa recorded the highest number of life expectancy only second to Northern African countries.
Below is an excerpt of
what is affecting the cities across Africa and in turn cutting down the life
Africa has made considerable
headway in improving the health outcomes of its population, and as a result,
life expectancy at birth has steadily increased from 50 years in 2000 to 64
years in 2019 and is projected to reach 70 years by 2050. However, there
remains an evident need to establish robust health care systems and improve the
accessibility and quality of health care services.
Air pollution is estimated
to claim over 712,000 lives in Africa every year, and is believed to cause more
deaths than poor hygiene and malnutrition (Roy 2016). The number of deaths
caused by air pollution has increased by over 36% in the last 3 decades. Large
metropolitan areas rank among those with the poorest air quality in Africa.
Poor air quality is an issue both for indoor pollution, such as cooking indoors and electricity generators, and outdoor pollution, such burning rubbish and vehicle traffic. With reference to urban mobility, many African cities, such as Dar es Salaam, Casablanca, Tunis, Johannesburg, and Port Louis have adopted efficient public transport systems to help reduce per capita pollution substantially.
African cities lack the
capacity to respond to the current unplanned urban growth (World Bank 2015). They
suffer from regulatory bottlenecks and low skills capacity, which have created
an unsustainable growth model and resulted in urban sprawl of fragmented and informal
typically disadvantage local government. The effectiveness of African cities
depends on the extent to which powers and functions are devolved to them as a service
provider and authority. The municipality must:
(i) build a relationship
with its citizens and businesses,
(ii) be allowed to receive
tariff revenue from services, and
(iii) receive transfers
from central government funding and technical assistance associated with the
provision of infrastructure.
In reality, however, municipalities
are quite marginalized as service providers since a large proportion of
services are provided by state-owned entities (SOEs).
Creating Livable Cities: Regional Perspective is a
report by African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank.
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