WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
The Future African Cities Institute (FACI) is a Registered Trust in the Republic of Zimbabwe under registration number 0001832
The challenges facing most cities in Africa continue to revolve around urban planning, governance and financing. These challenges can only be addressed by the revisiting of old and present day methods of urban planning, governance and financing through the adoption and embracement of new and emerging spatial planning, governance and financing strategies as well as continuous research and learning.
Advancements in technology, paradigmatic developments in urban administration and improvements as well as innovations in spatial planning continue to influence changes in the study and practice of urban governance, planning and financing especially where critical issues of resilience, smart cities, renewal and sustainability are progressively gathering momentum.
In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in their generic form and particularly SDG 11 aimed at “sustainable cities and communities”, FACI undertakes top notch research and advocacy work towards finding sustainable solutions and building resilient smart African cities. In the process, it strives to be at the forefront fronting emerging trends that transform cities and towns so as to improve governance, planning and financing and ultimately liveability
FACI aspires for the building of smart, inclusive and resilient African cities which are
liveable and attractive to citizens and businesses.
FACI seeks to recommend well researched strategies that transform African cities based on new and emerging trends in urban governance, planning and financing.
- To enhance the efficient and effective governance, planning and financing of African towns and cities.
- To secure a paradigm shift in the planning, financing and governance architecture to a transformative process that build resilient and liveable smart cities in Africa.
- To provide continuous research and practical solutions to distressed cities in Africa and elsewhere.
Human Rights Statement
FACI affirms the international statements vested within the International Bill of Human Rights and maintains that the right to development “is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized”.
(Universal declaration of Human Rights) FACI vows that within the uniqueness and diversity of our activities, our partners and our membership, it will work towards a strengthened awareness of human rights to meet the challenges of sustainable human development and global awareness.
Research and Development
Research and Development programmes at FACI provide the primary framework for a comprehensive understanding of African cities’ increasing population, accompanying challenges and its implications to issues concerning governance, planning and financing.
The output of this research and development anchors the lobby and advocacy work undertaken by FACI and its stakeholders.
On this front and most importantly, research and development are the bedrocks for advocating long term solutions to Africa’s urbanisation dilemma and its impact thereof, on sustainable development.
To this end, partnering with our stakeholders and partners, astute researchers and even consultants, FACI seeks provide robust and up-to-date research and analysis providing techniques, international best practices, critiquing policy and facilitating dialogue on key issues and networking with willing institutions involved in the processes of urban governance and development.
Lobby and Advocacy
FACI seeks to engage in Lobby and Advocacy programmes through engaging policy makers as well as key stakeholders and for the purposes of transforming cities at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels on the issues of urban development and resilience.
Building on its research strengths, the Lobby and Advocacy Programmes enables informed dialogue and interaction between and amongst local government stakeholders.
These programmes are aimed securing the strategies, policies and initiatives by African Cities for the embracement of emerging and new concepts in urban governance, planning and financing to move towards inclusive, smart, sustainable and resilient cities.
Information and Communications
Knowledge, research and information are important components in influencing constructive change. To this end, FACI believes that access to, dissemination and effective utilization of these components can never be overemphasized.
FACI’s undertakes to have an efficient and effective Information and Communications Department that timely collects and disseminates information on all issues relating to future cities produced by FACI and strategic partners.
The Department’s key roles include the packaging and/or repackage information and intellectual material in various ways appropriate for maximizing the reach on target audiences.
Maximizing the use of new Internet Communication Technology and social media platforms, FACI commit to attract and employ conversant staff and up-to-date technology that can work towards the design and provide a variety of communication tools to achieve its goal.
FACI has three main portfolios namely: Urban Governance; Urban Planning; and Urban Financing.
Urban Governance Portfolio
Governance remains the key issue for FACI. The paradigmatic shifts in governance over the years necessitate changes in nature and scope of urban city governance.
Network forms of governance and new approaches are now at the centre of smart and resilient cities. Unlike traditional approaches that crowded out the contributions of communities and citizens to relegate them as rate payers or clients, new approaches are acknowledging their input as value creators and co-producers of public goods.
This necessitates for a democratic urban governance architecture that incorporates changes in the practice of public administration, particularly through putting communities and citizens at the centre of urban governance and administration.
Main objectives for this portfolio are as follows:
- To contribute to finding democratic and sustainable solutions to the phenomena of urbanisation;
- To contribute to the creation of smart and resilient cities; and
- To promote inclusive and responsive future cities
Areas of focus:
- Urban governance – that ensures inclusivity, responsiveness and transparency through adopting strategies and approaches that puts citizens on the frontiers of their cities’ development
- Devolution – that ensures that cities are empowered to chart their development agenda and mobilise locally based resources to build resilience
- Co-production – to ensure cities incorporate the contributions of citizens, private sector and non-governmental organisations in planning, development and financing
- Constitutional and legal frameworks – that respond to emerging issues in urban governance (for example, on issues of greater citizen participation and Urban Planning and Urban financing as espoused in the portfolios below)
- Institutional frameworks – strengthening of local government stakeholders in ways that inclusivity, sharing of responsibilities and resilience building
- City profiling
- City adaptation, regeneration/renewal/regentrification
- Disaster management and distress response
- Citizens charter and public relations
- Capacity building
- Policy analysis
- Programme and Project evaluation
Urban Planning Portfolio
Urban planning is one of the main pillars of FACI. According to the UN, by 2050 half of the world’s population will be living in cities and this entails high rate of urbanisation and migration among cities therefore stressing on existing infrastructure. Urban planning is more vital to have sustainable cities which will accommodate everyone despite the issue of race as well as ensuring that everyone has access to basic services.
Main objectives of this portfolio include:
- To create and promote health conditions and environments for people
- To ensure orderly urban development
- To make right use of the land through proper zoning
- To preserve the aesthetics in the design of all elements of urban planning
- To promote inclusive, smart and sustainable cities
- To advocate for planning that take on board special groups of society such as the disabled, elderly, women and children
Areas of focus:
- Urban conservation
- Urban development
- Cities and Migration
- Environmental planning
- Real Estate development
- Sustainable development
- Transport and land use planning
- Technology and planning (GIS), urban design
- Public safety
- Affordable Housing and community development finance
- Global and comparative planning – interconnected of cities in the Global North and Global South through global economic, environmental and migratory patterns. The focus is on understanding these issues and opportunities and formulating appropriate interventions, working with communities on achieving social justice and redistribution of development benefits.
Urban Financing Portfolio
Cities in Africa continue to suffer from under-financing and ultimately resource challenges. The main problem emerging from the financing architecture of most cities that is dependent on traditional financing mechanisms such as taxes, loans, central government transfers etc, most of which have proven to be inadequate given the competing demands. The private sector has also been touted as the saviour for cities, however, the reality is that private capital has remained shy in city financing or on many occasions either selective or sceptical. To this end, calls for creativity and innovation continue to gather momentum.
The main objectives of this portfolio are:
- To contribute to sustainable and effective urban financing architecture
- To advise on strengthening of existing financing methods through securing leakages and adopting technology
- To lobby for the embracement of emerging alternative financing methods to complement the existing revenue heads
Areas of Focus:
- Internal sources of revenue,
- External sources of financing,
- Alternative financing methods,
- New and emerging financing instruments,
- International best practices,
- Disaster response financing,
- Accountability and corporate governance,
- Corruption, fraud and risks