Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda appealed to Members of parliament from Europe, Pacific, Africa and Caribbean to find solutions that come as a result of urbanisation.

The Speaker made the remarks in Lilongwe on Friday during the opening of the 8thAnnual Conference for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Pacific, Africa and Caribbean (Adelpac), whose theme was “Africa and the challenges of Urban Sustainability”.

Banda said the conference provided an opportunity for the MPs from the countries to share experiences.

“The theme of this conference is a clarion call to share experiences, learn from each other and find solutions to wide-ranging social challenges that come as a result of urbanisation. As esteemed delegates to this conference, you are being challenged to pull your thoughts together to find possible practical solutions to the problems at hand,” Banda said.

He specifically cited problems like slums, poor sanitation, urban poverty, environmental degradation, poor housing, and declining social services as visible in almost all cities in Africa.

Banda said rural-urban migration continues to make the bad situation worse, with news that between 2010 and 2025 some African cities may account up to 85 per cent of the population of their respective countries.

Niccolo Rinaldi, Co-President and Aldepac Vice president this year’s theme was chosen after noting that governments and international institutions have put emphasis on issues such as agriculture, fishing, education and transport, among others.

“Somehow, the urban development has been neglected by international institutions and governments. There is little about urban dimension. Nevertheless, many people are moving to cities and the cities are becoming bigger and bigger. There are all kinds of problems there, like problems of education, security, running the city and transparency. These are issues which need to be extremely addressed,” he said.

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