Event Reports

The Demography-Urbanisation-Nexus as a 21st century challenge for politicians

1st Network Meeting for KAS Partners from East Africa

The population numbers in East Africa are steadily increasing. Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia together will see a two-fold increase in the population in the next 20-30 years, such that in 2050, Dar es Salaam city will have a population of nearly 30 million people and become the fifth biggest in Africa.

In response to demographic and urbanization challenges in the East African cities KAS Tanzania country office convened a three day meeting in Dar es Salaam for KAS partners in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia with the aim of identifying and synthesizing demographic and urbanization challenges encountered in urban development.

The “Demography-Urbanization- Nexus as a 21st Century Challenges for Politicians Network Meeting for KAS Partners from East Africa” brought together 16 participants drawn from researchers and academia, politicians, government, lobby, and advocacy representatives. It was facilitated by a mixture of local and international experts on demography and urbanization matters. The aim of the meeting was to build a network as well as to come up with common position on the nexus between demographic growth and sustainable urbanization as a political challenge of the 21st century. Another aim of the meeting was to pin-point the exact agenda on demography and urbanization in East Africa ahead of the upcoming Conference in Berlin in November 2021.

However, the three KAS country offices in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have already started to work with partner organizations to foster dialogue on the political topic. By taking into consideration important experience gained in Ethiopia, the experiences should be extended to regional level and be fed into the African and German/European political dialogue.

The opening keynote speech was followed by presentations from different experts on the subject matter. Key topics included: Demographic Growth and Urbanization in Africa: Political Challenges presented by Professor Edger Pieterse, Director, African Centre for Cities, Cape Town, Africa’s Demographic Challenge by Dr Oscar Otele, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Nairobi, Demographic Dividend or Disaster? Examples from Eastern Africa by Michael Mugisha, Director, centre for Development Alternatives, Kampala and Talking Urban Futures in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Prescription by Marielle Harris, Research Associate, Africa Program, centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington; Urbanisation in Africa: Introducing the KAS-Strong Cities 2030-Network by Tilmann Feltes, KAS Resident Director in Tanzania.

Other presentations covered: Africa’s Urbanisation Challenge by Ezana Haddis Weldeghebrael, Research Associate, African Cities Research Centre, University of Manchester; Sustainable Solutions to Urbanization-Economic and Social Aspects by Dr Hubert Shija, Senior Researcher, REPOA; What Makes a City Resilient? –Insights from Tanzania’s Urbanization Laboratory by Professor Fortunata Makene, Head of Strategic Research and Publications at the Economic and Social Research Foundation, Dar es Salaam and Introduction into Dares Salaam Bus Rapid Transport System by Lucy Joseph, Lecturer, College of Social Sciences, Department of Geography, University of Dar es Salaam.

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Anitha Kabanza Mwanga

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Admin and Project Assistant

Anitha-Kabanza.Mwanga@kas.de +255 222153174