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Nation advises African states on urban growth

Update: February, 16/2012 - 10:33

HA NOI — African countries want to learn from the experiences of Viet Nam in urban development at a four-day international seminar held yesterday in Ha Noi.

"Like many other countries in the third world, African countries have experienced specific urban growth, due to the nature of the urbanisation process, it often involves young populations, an anarchical nature of settlement, a lack of investment and poor management and implementation," said head of the African delegation Samba Diouf.

Diouf added that important experience from countries like Viet Nam would help African countries improve the ability to deal with their own urban development.

"Participants agreed that Asian and African countries were facing common and complex urban problems and prompt action under strong government initiatives were required to cope with these problems," said Hisatoshi Okubo, chief representative of the Japan International Co-operation Agency's Senegal Office.

The event was co-organised by the JICA in co-operation with the Ministry of Construction and the Viet Nam Urban Development and Planning Association.

At the event, participants heard about remarkable achievements in urban planning and management in Viet Nam and discussed current urban planning problems facing African nations.

Delegations heard that Viet Nam currently faces rapid urbanisation, population growth, an increasing gap between rich and poor, insufficient infrastructure and social services, traffic congestion and flooding issues.

"Facing the same challenges and difficulties, what Viet Nam has learnt today will be a great help to African countries in planning future development," said vice director in charge of Ha Noi Architecture and Urban Planning Bui Manh Tien.

Fully aware of the above issues, the Government of Viet Nam has developed sustainable economic development policy, with a focus on green economic development.

Viet Nam also encourages localities to actively conduct studies and exchange learning experiences with other countries about models for urban development and management.

According to the Viet Nam Urban Development and Planning Association, Viet Nam has set the highest pace for urbanisation in Southeast Asia, increasing from 19 per cent in 1986 to 30.5 per cent in 2010. As of 2010, there were a total of 755 cities and towns in Viet Nam.

The seminar is a follow-up event linked to another seminar organised by JICA in Senegal in November 2011, which aimed to share experiences of urban development and planning issues among Asian and African countries.

Today, the African delegation, with representatives from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali and Senegal will visit Linh Dam, known as a good example of urbanised land in Viet Nam. They will also have a technical tour of Nam Son Waste Treatment Facility in the Soc Son suburban district of Ha Noi. — VNS

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