Nairobi,KENYA: Kenya has hosted yet another major international event, The Global Resilience Week, which takes place from 5 Dec 16 – 9 Dec 16.
The conference taking place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, under the leadership of the Rockefeller Foundation, is a week-long forum bringing experts from around the globe to explore shocks facing Africa and addressing the solutions.
“We need to form partnerships where we can identify and surface innovative solutions that will help create resilience to critical challenges, “said Dr. Zia Khan, Vice President, Rockefeller Foundation.
Mamadou Biteye who is the Managing Director for the Foundation’s regional office in Africa, said that this continent had experienced its fair share of shocks and stresses over the years.
“Resilience is required in all sectors from agriculture, to trade, infrastructure and ICT.Resilience is a mindset of actions as well as practice and behaviours which can be taught. Over the last decade the foundation has invested over half a billion US dollars to help cities build their economic, social and climate resilience. Closer home Nairobi was recently selected to join the 100 Resilient Cities network, through which the city can receive support to address issues it is facing,” Mr. Biteye said.
During the forum Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero said population increase affected the well-being of his people.
“When we got independence in 1963 Nairobi’s population stood at 300,000.This has grown to 5 million people. It is estimated that by the year 2050 this figure will reach 13.7 million and by the year 2100 it will be 28.7 million,” Dr. Kidero remarked.
He noted that these numbers were influenced by rural-urban migration with people seeking employment opportunities and good life chances.
“With 1.2 million people who come into the job market every year, two thirds migrate to Nairobi for opportunities. Employment opportunities have dwindled leading to insecurity. Housing numbers have been overstretched leading to formation of informal settlements,” he said.
Dr. Kidero said that this growth is being faced with a variety of shocks against which various efforts have been taken to mitigate to ensure achievement of Sustainable Development Goal SDG 11, which calls for cities and human settlements be made inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
“Nairobi City has embarked on an urban renewal program to ensure slum upgrading. Nairobi needs to maintain its status as the hub of East Africa. Nairobi is at the centre of connectivity between East and Central African countries. The city connects with the rest of the world by road and by air,” he added.
According to Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities the bustling capital of Kenya looks to modernize its aging infrastructure and better prepare for the risk of terrorism.
Other challenges Nairobi faces is disease outbreak and infrastructure failure.