UN-Habitat on campus to discuss rapid urban expansion in Africa

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Houses built by a beach of Agadir, in Morocco

Homes built by Chinese companies ont the sandy beach of Agadir, in Morocco
By Huhua Cao


The impact of rapidly expanding cities in Africa and China will be the focus of an event organized in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations division concerned with human settlement. 

On October 24 and 25, 2015, the University of Ottawa will host the International Conference on Chinese and African Sustainable Urbanization (ICCASU): A Canadian and International Perspective, which will discuss urbanization in China and Africa. 

The conference will explore urban challenges in China and various African states, as well as the complex issues surrounding Chinese investment in African urbanization, and will compare these challenges to  urban issues in Canada. 

Canada has a long history of engagement in Africa, and China is Canada’s second largest trading partner. The recent increase in Chinese involvement in Africa has created a real challenge for Canada and other Western countries as they strive to find ways of working together to help Africans. The conference will offer a chance to talk about Canadian and Chinese involvement in African states and ways to strengthen partnerships. 

Bringing experts together

More than 100 scholars, practitioners and policy-makers across multiple disciplines from 56 universities and institutions in 16 countries will gather at uOttawa to discuss urbanization. 

The University of Ottawa has a long-standing history of academic exchanges with African institutions, and a conference of this nature provides an opportunity for participants to contemplate the shifts in Canada’s approach to development and urbanization in African states. The conference will also examine how Chinese engagement in African states differs from, and even substitutes, decreasing Western engagement. 

This conference is an excellent opportunity for university stakeholders to participate in a high-level conference on the urban development taking place in two of the world’s most important regions. This opportunity will also help experts from around the globe establish networks. Moreover, the conference will foster and enhance partnerships between the University and institutions in both China and Africa. As a result, the University of Ottawa can look forward to ongoing cooperation with UN-Habitat. 

The ICCASU enjoys the support of prominent academic institutions, such as the Urbanization Centre at Tsinghua University, the Center for African Studies at Peking University, the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and the China Institute at the University of Alberta. The conference can count on strong support from the Office of the Vice-President, Research, the Office of International Research, the Faculty of Arts, as well as the School of International Development and Global Studies, and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the Faculty of Law. 

We invite you to learn more about this important event, and register to attend. 
University of Ottawa Professor  Huhua Cao will co-chair  the ICCASU Conference. He is a professor at the Department of Geography and at the School of International Development and Global Studies.


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