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Bank Group Participates in Fourth World Urban Forum

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The Bank Group recently participated in the Fourth World Urban Forum held in Nanjing, China, from November 3-7, 2008. Speaking during the event, OIVP Lead Expert, Abou-Zeid, highlighted AfDB efforts to promote cities as engines of growth while providing access to basic services to the poor. She focused on AfDB social and physical infrastructure operations in urban areas and the Bank’s promotion of public-private partnerships and increased support to private sector development and involvement in infrastructure financing on the continent.

Ms Abou-Zeid also met with UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Inga Klevby, with whom she discussed issues of common interest and partnerships in operations, research and studies as well as cross-learning and exchange of expertise between both institutions.

The World Urban Forum is a biennial gathering established by the UN to examine rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies and policies. It is projected that in the next fifty years, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimize burgeoning poverty in cities, improve access for urban poor to basic facilities such as shelter, clean water and sanitation as well as achieve environmentally-friendly, sustainable urban growth and development.

The Fourth Forum attracted more than 12,000 participants representing a wide range of partners, including non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, urban professionals, academics, governments, local authorities and national and international associations of local governments.

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