FNAU: World Urban Forum 10 – Networking Event - Digital Transition, Affordable Housing, What Innovation For Inclusion In African Cities

FNAU: World Urban Forum 10 – Networking Event - Digital Transition, Affordable Housing, What Innovation For Inclusion In African Cities

TITLE OF THE NETWORKING EVENT: “Digital transition, affordable housing, what innovation for inclusion in African Cities”

DATE/VENUE: Wednesday, 12th February - 16:30-18:30 – Room 20


  • Underline the importance to build innovation for territories through the local context
  • Cross different views and share inspiring practices to enrich the tools for inclusive and innovative digital strategies and affordable housing
  • Provide a range of questions to address to UN-Habitat programs and to raise recommendations and solutions

The French National Network of Urban Planning Agencies (FNAU) associated with the African Smart Towns Network (ASToN) and the Habitat and Francophone Federation, will co-organize a networking event at the World Urban Forum 10 about “Digital transition, affordable housing, what innovation for inclusion in African Cities”. This association is obvious: all are working in networking territories, whether for tackling housing, digital or planning issues, diffusing the idea that networking carries actions of exchanging, connecting, and sharing in a partnership approach, thus acquiring a shared and global vision of urban challenges and tools which can be implemented.

In this context, the networking event will aim to underline problematics and will try to draw recommendations to address to UN Habitat about how to build innovation for inclusion with contextualized tools and strategies, focusing on two main fields; affordable housing and digital in African cities. 

The urban system tends to become more and more complex, the emergence of standardized solutions created a safe “umbrella” under which policy makers found prefabricated and bankable solutions to answer the needs for inclusive cities, thinking they would be easily implemented. In Africa, this problematic is mostly underlined in affordable housing and digital strategies for cities. The continent is facing major structural changing as cities are growing twice faster as European cities did, and 60% of the population of the continent is now urban. This growth leads to multiple stakes national and local governments have to take charge of, with the will to use innovative solutions.

Affordable housings are built upon models, which sacrifice the adaptation to social and urban contexts for economic and technical considerations only, justified by the considerable needs, necessary to answer housing crisis.

Furthermore, technologies and ICT represent incredible opportunities for the development and equal access of services for citizens; they also present risks to dig a digital divide between communities and territories. The emergence of technologies and the rush to create digital territories in Africa led to the fragmentation of innovation and solutions at a territorial scale.

Building adapted solutions taking into account the diversity of environment, society, culture and governance in order to create inclusive and sustainable cities lean on the effective needs of citizens and a cultural adequacy. It has now to be acknowledge as the condition for sustainable, innovative and inclusive cities.

The networking event will look specifically at city-to-city cooperation and networking tools to bridge those gaps between territories and more specifically cities. It will thus, give voices to a diversity of actors, both professional of urban issues in Africa and local governments.


  • Mr Hama Ould Sidi Mohamed ARBI, Minister of habitat, urban planning and affordable housing of Mali
  • Mrs Sarah KANYIKE, Deputy Lord Mayor, Kampala Capital City
  • Frédéric AUDRAS, Responsible of Urban development and planning and Housing, French Housing Agencies (AFD)
  • Bernard Binagwaho, Director Africa and Middle East, TACTIS Group
  • Prudence ADJANOHOUN, Habitat and Francophone Federation

Article by Marianne Malez
Photo Credits: Brigitte Bariol-Mathais (CC). Pixabay (CC)