The world’s urban population is growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, nearly half of the population of Kenya will be living in cities. As a result, the country will face numerous challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban population, including for housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy and employment, as well as for basic services such as education and health care. Getting this rights is key to Kenya’s development.
In recognition of this, more than 200 UK and Kenya researchers, policymakers, businesses and civil society delegates met this week in Nairobi to explore the potential for new innovative collaboration on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure.
Speaking at the event, Jaideep Gupte, IDS Fellow and GCRF Challenge Leader for cities and sustainable infrastructure said:
“Ensuring urban residents have access to affordable and adequate housing is one of the big issues in Kenya. Building new houses is only part of the solution which also involves providing access to health and education services, safe public spaces and to the jobs and opportunities that are replete in cities. Recent GCRF investments support Kenya-UK collaborations doing cutting edge and policy relevant research on issues ranging accessing healthcare to embedding disaster risk management into urban development.”
The two-day symposium was hosted by the UK and Kenya governments with support from the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Strathmore University.
A joint statement from the UK and Kenyan government following the symposium announced a commitment to continue working together on affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure research, policy and practice in Kenya.