The Summit’s theme was “Shaping the future of Africa with the people: the contribution of African local authorities to Agenda 2063 of the African Union”. This theme is powerfully captured in Agenda 2063“Towards an Africa we want”, which calls on everyone to play an active role in making the African vision become a reality.
We aspire that by 2063, Africa shall be a prosperous continent, with the means and resources to drive its own development, and where: African people have a high standard of living, quality of life, sound health and wellbeing. A continent full of well-educated citizens through a skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation for a knowledge society. Cities and other settlements are hubs of cultural and economic activities, with modernized infrastructure, and people have access to all the basic necessities of life including shelter, water, sanitation, energy, public transport and ICT. Economies are structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all. (AU Agenda 2063)
This vision is premised on a clear acknowledgement and understanding of lessons of the past, the changing position and role of African states in the rapidly changing international landscape, and the distance still to be traversed to respond to the need of all the people of Africa. Africa is cognisant of the fact that strategic opportunities in the short to medium term need to be identified and harnessed to ensure a positive socio-economic transformation of Africa over the next 50 years.
The Summit’s theme linked this long-term vision for the continent with immediate priorities, given the key role that cities and local authorities have to play in implementing Agenda 2063 – by 2030, more Africans will live in urban areas than in rural areas, and in 2050 more than one billion Africans will be urban dwellers.