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Building resilience for Africa’s urban future

Time (GMT +01) 11:30 13:00

Contributing chair

Arabella Fraser - Research Fellow, Risk & Resilience Programme, ODI


David Satterthwaite @Dsatterthwaite - Senior fellow, IIED and visiting professor, Development Planning Unit, University College London, UK

Mtafu Manda @MtafuManda - Urban ARK Malawi, Land Management, Planning Unit & Researcher, Urac, Mzuzu University, Malawi

Meggan Spires @MegganSpires - Senior Manager, Climate Change, Energy and Resilience, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, South Africa (via video link)

Skye Dobson @skyedobson - Deputy Manager, Slum Dwellers International (SDI) Secretariat, Uganda (via video link)


By mid-century, the urban population of Africa is likely to triple. This rapid urbanisation is transforming sub-Saharan Africa and changing the nature of risk related to both disaster and climate change across the continent.

In 2016, African ministers endorsed a more holistic and forward-looking disaster risk reduction agenda. Some local governments are also actively engaging with international climate change and disaster risk agreements and networks, while other actors are devising innovative urban solutions. But African towns and cities face unique challenges, with limited financial resources, fragmented urban governance, tense relations with national governments, and large infrastructure deficits.

This event considers the implications of new research on the nature, scale and distribution of risk in sub-Saharan Africa for urban policies and governance. Our expert panel discusses entry points for building resilience when local government is weak or unresponsive and the possibility of planning urban development to better account for risk today and into the future.

203 Blackfriars Road London