BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes THE Urban and Municipal Development Fund to drive sustainable growth in cities across the African continent has been launched by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The fund which was launched at the AfDB headquarters in Cote d’Ivoire was also meant to scale up interventions in urban development. AfDB’s vice president for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation Pierre Guislain, said the launch of the fund was a timely response to the challenges of rapid urbanisation in Africa. Mr Guislain also observed a strong need for integrated city planning expertise. “The fund is designed to improve resilience and better manage urban growth, by means of tailored technical assistance to municipalities and urban entities in the areas of urban planning and mobility, project preparation, and municipal governance and finance,” he said. The fund, he explained would focus on areas identified as being detrimental to accessing finance.
“The main areas of focus include the preparation, management and implementation of bankable projects by municipalities, updates to master plans, the review of the regulatory environment to facilitate access to market financing and the use of tools to manage and deliver municipal services.” Mr Guislain said