In order to survive human beings’ pressure of next years, African cities will have to face some challenges concerning some important development’s elements. Which challenges are we talking about? We have detected seven of them: food security, water security, energy supply, waste management, external shocks, health and sanitation, slums.
Let’s start talking about food and water security. African supply chain is still poor and traditional, lacking cooling chains which could carry for long distances. 70% of agriculture is managed by small producers who don’t have the means to create a suitable distribution chain. Today a lot of fresh food which is sold in cities is produced in those agricultural fields which are close to them, but which need to enhance the distribution chain in order to flourish.
The challenge consists in guaranteeing suitable transport and maintenance conditions of fresh fruit and vegetables – not an easy problem, in an equatorial climate.
Talking about water, the lack of this element characterises 25 in 44 sub – Saharan countries. Climate change has worsened the problem of water availability and has affected the parameters of rainfalls, which cities’ water supply depends on. However, lots of programmes have been swung in action: for example, the agreement between China Power and Italian Bonifica Spa, which in Congo relaunched the “Transacqua” project to fill the dry Chad basin in.
We could write a book about the need of water and food in Africa, only thinking about agriculture and irrigation which is available only in 7% of its land.
The planning of water supply to metropolis and the development of an agricultural system providing millions of people with fresh food will be two of the hardest tasks for African cities, growing in a chaotic and non–infrastructured way.