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“Tomorrow, the African city”: Veolia and the Veolia Institute, partners of a cycle of debates organized by the French newspaper Le Monde

From 4 November to 9 December, 2021, Veolia is organizing a cycle of debates entitled “Tomorrow, the African city”, in partnership with the Veolia Institute and the French daily Le Monde.

From Rabat (Morocco) to Abidjan (Ivory Coast) via Windhoek (Namibia), follow the debates on African urbanization and its challenges: access for all to essential services, the future of so-called “intermediary” cities, and the circular economy. 

Launch in Rabat, synthesis in Paris

Comparing different views on the urbanization of the African continent and feedback from players in the field, the first debate in Rabat, on access for all to essential services, will bring together Moroccan personalities: Driss Benhima, ex-Director of Morocco’s National Electricity Board (ONE), Minister of Transport and Wali, Moncef Ziani, Head of the Moroccan Economic, Social and Environment Council, Sheryn Ziani, Director of the Coalition for Waste Recovery, Nabil Touzani, Secretary General of Renault Maroc, and Salima Naji, architect and urbanist. Researchers and experts will discuss the brakes and levers for the development of essential services for the greatest possible number of people.

The second debate, in Abidjan, will look at the challenges of so-called “intermediary” cities.

The third event will present, online, “the circular economy on the African continent”, with a report on the Windhoek plant in Namibia, a pioneer in wastewater transformation into drinking water.

A summary of the debates will be published in early December in the Africa supplement of Le Monde. On 9 December at the newspaper’s headquarters, a closing session will review the highlights of the debates. 

This cycle of debates follows on from the work of the Veolia Institute, after the publication of its Facts Reports review on “Water, Waste & Energy: Prospects for essential services in Africa”, followed by a conference on the subject in February 2021.

> These conferences will be relayed on the websites and social networks of Veolia, the Veolia Institute, and Le Monde Afrique.


The themes of the cycle “Tomorrow, the African city”

  • Thursday 4 November, in Rabat (Morocco): The city of 2030

According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, only 37% of the African population has access to water at home in sufficient quantity and quality. And less than 20% of the African population has access to a safely managed sanitation system. Access for all to drinking water, sanitation, electricity, waste management, etc. All these essential services are among the great African challenges. And this is true for both isolated areas lacking public services and the outskirts of large cities.


  • Thursday 18 November, in Abidjan (Ivory Coast): Shaping an Africa of cities on a human scale

Africa is set to experience the world's fastest urban growth rate between now and 2050, and most of this growth is taking place in small and medium-sized towns. These agglomerations are less visible but they play an essential role in structuring the urban network: they mitigate the secondary effects of the urbanization of metropolises and create balance with rural areas.

  • Wednesday 1 December, online: A continent based on a circular econom

With an estimated African population of 2.8 billion in 2060, adopting sustainable long-term consumption and production practices, compatible with the fight against global warming, is essential for Africa. The transition to a circular economy can be a source of opportunities for the creation of sustainable jobs: it can also limit health problems, improve the well-being of populations and slow down global warming by meeting growing needs.