THE AFRICA-CHINA URBAN INITIATIVE brings together knowledge and expertise to increase positive outcomes of Chinese engagements in Africa and African partnerships with China and promote more inclusive, pro-poor and sustainable development.
Africa and China have urban growth rates that far exceed the global average. Both are undergoing rapid urbanization and dealing with its challenges: inadequate infrastructure and basic services; rising housing prices; environmental degradation, and increasing poverty and inequality. But these cities are also generating new ideas and innovations in governance, finance, service delivery, transport solutions and increasingly productive uses of technologies to manage urban development. While urban growth presents challenges, it also presents opportunities for citizens in African and Chinese cities to enjoy a better quality of life.
Trade volumes between China and Africa have grown twentyfold since 2000. China’s trade with Africa exceeded $200 billion in 2013 from just $9 billion in 2000. Chinese financing is now a key influence on development in African cities. New models of bilateral cooperation and strategic public-private partnerships are being forged with African countries that affect urban growth from planning, to building transport infrastructure, to financing large residential developments. These have increased scrutiny of ‘Chinese’ projects in Africa with negative impacts at times getting more attention than successfully implemented projects.
There are currently few avenues where the most positive policies, practices, experiences and innovations from both China and Africa can be highlighted, disseminated and learned from. The Africa-China Urban Initiative aims to fill this gap.