Written by Adriana de Aguinaga
“Bemvindos à Cidade das Acacias,” “Welcome to the City of Acacias.” With these words Mr. David Simango, President of Maputo’s City Council, opened the Policy Advisory Forum on “Financing of African Cities” organized by Cities Alliance in Maputo on November 7, 2011.
Mr. Simango provided an overview about the growth of the city of Maputo since the independence of the country and the various needs of the city deriving from its rapid growth, such as the provision of water and sanitation and the need to address informal settlements. He also indicated the city’s desire that this learning forum enable the exchange of experience on aspects related to financing urban investments.
Ms. Carmelita Rita Namashulua, Minister of State Administration, thanked the Cities Alliance for selecting the topic of the forum, as it responds to the rapid urbanization of the country, the need to mobilize the public and the private sectors, and the role of cities to reduce poverty.
Ms. Zoubida Allaoua, Director of the Finance, Economics and Urban Development Department of the World Bank, also confirmed the importance of the topic for the forum, and indicated that her department has various instruments to support the financing needs of cities, including through public-private partnerships and private sector participation in infrastructure.
With around 100 participants, various speakers, including various mayors of cities in Mozambique, shared Mozambique’s experience in fiscal decentralization and the challenges faced by various cities to finance basic urban services and to improve the cities’ financial performance. Other speakers shared insights on various aspects and instruments available to finance urban investments.
The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) and the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) participated in this event at the invitation of Cities Alliance. In her opening comments, Ms. Adriana de Aguinaga, Manager of PPIAF and Acting Manager of GPOBA, indicated her pleasure to participate in this forum, and mentioned that a partnership with Cities Alliance maximizes the synergies between the programs and will enable to leverage more resources to support the urban development of African cities.
Cities Alliance is supporting urban planning to meet future needs of populations; both PPIAF and GPOBA can support the development and implementation of specific infrastructure projects which are identified in this planning process so that, together with Cities Alliance, these trust funds can contribute to improve the access of populations from African cities to basic infrastructure services by:
- Structuring public-private partnerships
- Supporting improvements in the financial capacity of public utilities, whether providing water, electricity, urban transport, waste collection, etc.
- Providing subsidies so that poor populations have access to these services