Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Renowned scholar and Professor of African economies at Oxford University, United Kingdom, Professor Paul Collier is to lead expert discussion as Keynote Speaker on the challenge of Africa’s future cities at the 2017 CVL Annual Lecture/International Leadership Symposium scheduled to take place in Lagos on February 6, 2017. The venue is Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos.

The 14th edition of CVL [Centre for Values in Leadership] Annual Lecture is also parading the following Speakers and stakeholders in smart city initiatives: Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez, CEO Smart City Dubai and Chairman, Smart City Lagos; Messrs Akinwunmi Ambode and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governors of Lagos and Enugu States respectively. Lagos and Enugu were named in the Rockefeller Foundation Listing of the world’s 100 most resilient cities.

The Speakers would be joined by a panel of Discussants made up of Dr. Fred Olayele, President, Global Economic Institute for Africa in Canada; Dr. Taibat Lawanson, Associate Professor, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Lagos; Mr. Kingsley Eze, Managing Director/CEO Private Estates International West Africa- developers of Enugu Centennial Lifestyle City; and Mrs. Udo Okonjo, CEO, Fine and Country West Africa.

The Chairman of the event is Senator Liyel Imoke – former Governor, Cross River State and Mr Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State is the Chief Guest of Honour while the Chief Host is Professor Pat Utomi, Founder/CEO CVL [Centre for Values in Leadership]. Utomi is also Chairman of Private Estates International West Africa and Vice Chairman, Smart City Lagos and the Lecture is on his 61st birthday.

The theme of the 2017 CVL Annual Lecture is Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge of Africa’s Future Cities.

The outcomes of the Annual lecture will provide Nigeria options to address the bulging urban population in the country and associated social and economic challenges. The United Nations has projected that the world’s population will grow from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050 largely in developing countries, including regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria is expected to contribute major share of the sub-Saharan regional population growth. In 1953, Nigeria’s urban population rose from 3.2 million to a staggering 70 million in 2007. Based on the threshold of 20,000 inhabitants as minimum required to define an urban centre by the National Population Commission, the number of cities in Nigeria rose by fifteen fold from 56 in 1953 to 843 in 2004 with 6 cities reporting population of one million or more!. The Lecture/Symposium will integrate challenges from these trends and help define CVL’s agenda for workshops in 2017.

Developed economies are already responding to the challenges of the population explosion with the introduction of smart cities. The United States and Dubai for example have launched initiatives to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services. Lagos and Enugu States have keyed into this global concern and it is expected that national consciousness will be aroused as an outcome of the CVL Annual Lecture.

A statement from CVL on the forthcoming Annual Lecture said that today, the world is faced with the promise and challenge of living well, together, in the face of globalization, migration, global warming, naturalization and urbanization. Many cities are growing on a daily basis; some have grown beyond the master plan of these cities, thanks to rural-urban migration, to the extent that their populations now exceed the infrastructural provisions – housing, transportation, security etc of these cities. Today, many countries and cities find it difficult to accommodate people from other civilizations in view of challenges that new population growth has thrown up. For Nigeria, it is projected that more than 65% of the population will live in urban settlements by 2020 at a time housing infrastructure is in deficit of about 10 million;

Overtime, urban planners have experimented different models and concepts, from mega cities, to satellite cities and legacy cities. Yet, the problems refuse to go. In an attempt to answer the question of how to make cities more efficient, experts have proposed smart cities, sustainable cities and resilient cities. These, are cities designed not only to cater to the housing needs of the inhabitants, but also to address the issue of how to live well, together in the face of the rapidly growing populist culture of rejection of globalization as can be seen in Brexit in the UK and election of Trump in the US and in other parts of Europe where this populist culture is manifesting itself like Italy and France.

The big question is this: Is the new model of smart cities, the solution to the challenge of efficient housing for all? Why are inhabitants of cities with the best planning and infrastructure not living well, together?

These among other things, are the issues for discussion at the 2017 CVL Annual Lecture/International Leadership Symposium, the 14th in the lecture series.

This 14th edition of the lecture series as the theme suggests, will look at issues such as:
*       Cities of the Future
*       Urban Renewal
*       Urban Governance
*       Promoting and developing well-planned and efficient cities around the world
*       Peaceful co-existence of people of different culture, religion and race.
*       Provision of adequate housing for all
*       Cities and Living Well Together
*       Developing habitable rural areas
*       Developing mega cities, smart cities, megalopolis, sustainable and resilient cities.

In partnership with Lagos State Government, Smart City Lagos & Private Estates International West Africa (PEIWA), CVL will lead a national discourse and initiative that will provide new knowledge on emerging urban trends and new thinking around building smart cities, efficient cities, functional cities and resilient cities in Africa.

This initiative will involve concerted efforts by the 4 collaborating organizations to drive nationwide activities aimed at challenging governments to build habitable rural areas, urban centres, cities, mega cities, mega regions, megalopolis, smart cities, sustainable cities and resilient cities. It will also look at issues such as urbanization, living well together, urban governance, human settlements and efficient housing development.

Both formal and informal surveys show that many of our citizenry lack adequate housing and infrastructure needed to live meaningful life, thus exposing them to a lot of health risks and hazards. Therefore, helping people get adequate housing and efficient habitation is a duty to which all citizens should feel called and which we at CVL feel particularly obligated to.

Senior Vice President
CVL (Centre for Values in Leadership)

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