Executive Director, UN-HABITAT public lecture at the University of Nairobi
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On Tuesday 8 November 2011 Dr. Joan Clos, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN-HABITAT delivered a public lecture at the University of Nairobi. The lecture on “Challenges of urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa and the role of universities” was an initiative of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi and UN-HABITAT. The function was attended by among others, University of Nairobi staff and students, including invited guests from UN-HABITAT, Kenyatta University, City Council of Nairobi, Mazingira Institute and Institute of French Research in Africa (IFRA). The lecture highlighted and discussed three major issues. These are (1) global trends of population growth and urbanisation; (2) the challenges of urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa; and (3) the role of universities in sustainable urban planning and management.

As much as cities in sub-Saharan Africa experience a number of challenges as a result of high rates of urbanisation, Dr. Clos was particularly concerned with the high proportion of the urban population living in slums, increasing inequalities and urban poverty, as well as the rising youthful population vis-a-viz low economic growth and employment opportunities. Dr. Clos suggested that sustainable urbanisation should be embedded on better planning and design that embraces optimal density, diversity, mobility, equity, efficiency, scale of expected growth and the concept of a vibrant urban economy. Besides their mandates, missions and visions, African universities should be encouraged and facilitated to play a major role in achieving sustainable urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa. This calls for structured collaboration between universities and other stakeholders, including UN-HABITAT. The lecture drew stimulating debate from the discussants and audience. The discussants were Prof. Peter Ngau, Prof. David Mungai (University of Nairobi) and Mr. John Barre (Director, Policy Implementation, Nairobi City Council). Dr. Clos punctuated his lecture and discussions with a wide range of experiences from his distinguished career in public service and diplomacy. He has been a city councilor, mayor of Barcelona, a government Minister and an ambassador, among other appointments and positions. Furthermore, he has won several local, national and international recognitions and awards.

Expiry Date: 
Mon, 2018-12-31 (All day)
Pictures of the Event (DO NOT USE): 
2011-11 PUBLIC LECTURE.pdf602.59 KB
Joan Clos Biography.pdf72.53 KB
Programme.pdf165.75 KB