Kisumu — President Uhuru Kenyatta has officially opened the 9th Edition of Africities conference in Kisumu with a call to sustain the development of intermediary cities across the continent.
Kenyatta says intermediary cities have the potential to host the influx of people migrating from rural to urban areas.
He says this is a continental moment to face the rapid urbanization by putting up structures aimed at making them habitable.
“The choice of Kisumu to be the first intermediary city to host this conference is a clear manifestation that smaller cities have the capacity,” he said.
He enumerated his government’s efforts to address challenges facing intermediary cities in the country.
“My government has been steadfast in addressing housing shortages by building low-cost houses in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru,” he said.
He says further planning is necessary to surmount challenges of health, water supply, shelter, and infrastructure in the intermediary cities.
President Kenyatta hailed the efforts that were enjoyed by smaller cities across the globe to fight the pandemic, covid-19.
Head of AU Musa Faki called for the recognition of the roles played by intermediary cities and urban centres.
Faki noted that too much attention has been given to Capital cities while ignoring smaller cities.
The event is also being attended by Raila Odinga, the AU high representative of infrastructure.