Many people in Africa live in substandard housing

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Close to 900 million people in Africa live in informal settlements where there is no safe water, decent toilet, title deeds or rental agreements, a report reveals. An estimated 60-70 percent of urban households live in slums.
The 14th Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS 2019), began on Thursday at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa in the presence of over 500 participants from 52 countries across the globe.
The two-day event is taking place under the theme “Sustainable Development of Cities and Human Settlements in the Digital Era.”
The Forum explores how to harness the huge opportunities arising from the digital revolution to upgrade the planning, construction, and management of cities and human settlements, making them greener, smarter and more sustainable.
“Human settlement must be thought of in terms of quality of life and levels of satisfaction of basic needs,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Africa Centre for Statistics.
“This is a large share of the population that live in overcrowded, unhealthy and risky environments,” he said.
Chinganya said discussions on smart cities and digital citizenry must be done with the understanding that only a third of Africans are on the Internet, and that the digital infrastructures are far from the world’s best in terms of speed, volume, and reliability.
The meeting is co-organized by the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS), ECA, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Urban Campaign (WUC).
Sileshi Bekele of Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy stated that Ethiopian’s effort to use modern and digital technologies offers tremendous opportunities to improve efficiency.
“We are trying to upscale the use of innovative technology to transform the quality of life in cities and in the nation at large,” he adds.

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