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InfoPoint conference: Urban displacement trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: what is the role of secondary cities?

Experiences from an EU Trust Fund-funded pilot project in Ethiopia and Uganda

Forced displacement and involuntary migration have increasingly become urban phenomena. Globally, UNHCR estimates that more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are currently living in urban areas. This is further accelerated by climate change and related factors.

By 2045, over 70 percent of the world population will live in cities. This rate will be the highest for African cities, and especially for secondary cities. Today there are nearly 900 secondary cities in Africa with little capacity to plan urban expansion. UN-Habitat defines a secondary city as an urban (and peri-urban) area usually having a population of between 100,000 and 500,000 (see UN-Habitat 1996, An Urbanising World: Global Report on Human Settlements in 1996). In the context of Sub-Saharan Africa, secondary cities are urban centres whose rapid urban and peri-urban development often presents enormous immediate management problems, but also mid-to-long term opportunities.

In recent years, the EU has worked together with partners to support cities and local governments hosting displaced populations. Through its EU Trust Fund Programme “CRRF: Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility Action” (2019 – 2023), the EU, along with partners in Ethiopia and Uganda, helped strengthen the capacity of local authorities to deliver services and undertake contingency planning, support refugees and cities’ host communities and improve their livelihoods. Cities Alliance, a global partnership fighting urban poverty and promoting sustainable urban development, has implemented part of this Action. Through the technical support component, seven municipalities from four partnering countries in the Horn of Africa were selected to address the dual challenge of rising number of displaced people and unplanned urbanisation.

  • the EU's international role | international cooperation
  • Wednesday 7 June 2023, 15:00 - 17:00 (CEST)

Practical information

Wednesday 7 June 2023, 15:00 - 17:00 (CEST)
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