The Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast in collaboration with the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, (CIUCC) has organised a China-Africa Urban Development Forum.
The event which was sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, China was held under the theme: “Towards Building Resilient Cities: Opportunities, Challenges, and Innovations.”
Promoting Sustainable Urban Development
Speaking at the function, the Ghana Director, CIUCC, Prof. Ishmael Mensah, explained that the forum was organised to provide the platform for researchers and practitioners in urban development and related fields to exchange ideas so as to extend the frontiers of urban development. He noted that the conference would help inform urban research and promote sustainable urban development and also address climate change which has become the most prevailing environmental challenge in the world.
According to him, building urban resilience had become very imperative in the face of global warming and climate change. However, he stated that cities had to be equipped to face the future shocks and stress to enable the urban dwellers to survive the harsh realities of climate change and in fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which calls for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Prof. Mensah noted that though technological advancements had presented opportunities for building resilient cities, there were a number of challenges to tackle. He said the “delegates will seek to discuss issues connected with building urban resilience and offer solutions to some of the challenges confronting our cities” . The Ghana Director mentioned climate change, migration, renewable energy, transportation, leisure recreation as well as culture and livelihood, as some of the urban issues to be discussed in the forum.
Issues of Urban Development Remain Prevalent
The Vice-President, Hunan City University, Hanban, Prof. Lei Cunxi, observed that issues of urban development still remain prevalent comparing developed and developing countries. He, therefore, urged countries to come together to address these problems. “Countries should prioritise urban management and environmental development in order to build and make cities beautiful homes,” he explained
Tackling Global Warming and Climate Change
The Deputy Regional Minister, Mr. Thomas Yaw Adjei-Baffoe, spoke on the need to tackle global warming and climate change menaces and urged participating researchers to help develop the right systems to create enabling homes for both urban and rural dwellers. He encouraged collaborations between international communities towards building sustainable development.
Paying Attention to Urbanisation
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Shi Tin Wang, indicated that urbanisation should critically be given the needed attention because it was one of the areas to uplift the living standards of people in a country. He stated that “Championing globalisation has been the concern of China, so as to establish a harmonious coexistence, urban management and environmental development among all countries in the world.” The Chinese Ambassador indicated that China would continue to deepen developmental collaboration and cooperation with Ghana and other countries.
Develop Resilient Solutions
The Provost, College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof. Francis Eric Amuquandoh, commended CIUCC for its initiative to curb the world’s most challenging issues through the use of academic intellectual processes. The Provost appealed to researchers to work hard to develop and produce resilient solutions to help solve the world’s numerous developmental problems.
In attendance were the Vice-Chancellor, Cape Coast Technical University, Prof. Owusu-Sekyere, the China Director, CIUCC, Prof. Hu Liangcai, representatives from other sister universities, lecturers, teachers, as well as students from tertiary institutions, senior and junior high schools, Other participants were people very seasoned researchers from China, Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana.