Prof. Fatma Mohamed | University of Dar es Salaam | Tanzania

The role of urbanization on global challenges and sustainable development

Which are the greatest global challenges ahead, and which role will urbanization play?

Whilst the World has been faced with a global pandemic of Covid-19 in the recent two years, climate change is expected to have a much bigger and lasting effect throughout the world. With its massive use of resources – many of which nonrenewable – urbanization is one of the major contributors to climate change.  These resources are used to serve urban dwellers with energy for power and fuel for mobility. Much more of a concern however, is the tremendous amount of energy and resources associated with the construction industry such as in the production of cementitious and plastic material, steel, aluminium and glass.  

Which challenges do you think are the most crucial ones with respect to African urban growth?  

Urban areas in Africa are growing a rapidly pace without a proper prior plan, resulting in unplanned settlements. Unplanned settlements render it difficult for authorities to provide proper and adequate infrastructures for services including clean water supply and sewage systems, power, health, education as well as mobility infrastructure leaving urban dwellers in economic and social disparity. As a consequent, governments found themselves in vicious cycles – using resources to make the cities functional while at the same time the cities are growing rapidly with the same set of problems in new areas.