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Scaling up essential services in African cities

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Bajpai, A, Stratton-Short, S, Adelekan, I

29 June 2022

African Development Bank, Cities Alliance/UNOPS


uKESA Librarian 3

Conference paper

Uganda, Tunisia, South Africa, Kenya

Being the fastest urbanizing region in the world, Africa requires innovative approaches in its urban centres to leapfrog to more sustainable development pathways. The paper 'Scaling up essential services in African cities' examines some of the challenges of providing essential services – such as water, sanitation, renewable energy, waste management, and information and communications technology services – in African cities. It also looks at some of the current approaches to addressing these challenges and provides recommendations for closing identified gaps in services, considering sustainability and resilience.


The paper was officially launched at a World Urban Forum event organized by UNOPS in partnership with Cities Alliance and the African Development Bank. During the event, a panel of speakers from each of the three organizations discussed challenges, successful initiatives, innovative approaches and delivery models for providing critical infrastructure services in African cities.


UNOPS contribution to the paper includes recommendations based on experience supporting local governments with infrastructure planning and implementation in Africa, including The Gambia’s Greater Banjul 2040 project.


The paper (available in PDF here) is one of six supporting the Sustainable Urban Development Action Plan 2021-2025. The African Development Bank adopted the plan to guide investments into African cities to improve citizens’ quality of life.


Abstract based on source.


Website References

Basic services

Built environment

Community facilities and services


Human settlements




Solid waste

South Africa






Water and sanitation

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