Africa’s urban future

Lagos city skyline.

Research and policy dialogue

When: May 12, at 9.00 - 17.00
Venue: Porthania, Yliopistonkatu 3, Helsinki, Finland

The meeting brings together policy makers, researchers, Africa specialists, local authority representatives, civil society and the private sector to raise attention to rapidly urbanising African continent, its challenges and possibilities, and to explore Nordic collaboration and engagement with Africa’s urbanisation. The conference is in form of four workshops and two key note speeches.


Nordic cooperation with Africa in its urban futures is not new, a recent exhibition “Forms of Freedom: African independence and Nordic models” held in Norway in 2015 highlights this historical relationship. Just after several African countries gained their independence from colonial rule in the 1960’s there was a significant engagement from Nordic countries working hand in hand with the newly independent African country governments to chart Africa’s nation building and modernization programme. More than half a century on, Africa’s growth is posing significant urban challenges and opportunities leading several research, and policy thinkers to consider Africa’s urbanisation as an important trend. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Africa Development Bank have placed urbanisation high on the African agenda. It is in this vein that the Nordic Africa Institute, the Finnish government and other partners seek to re-engage on how to forge meaningful cooperative relationships with African governments, regional institutions, researchers, policy makers, civil society and the private sector in building resilient and sustainable urban settlements in Africa.

Key note speakers

Arranged in co-operation with

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