UK international development secretary Alok Sharma, on a visit to Kenya, pledged new UK aid support to build the African cities of the future. He announced he would set up a UK Centre for Cities and Infrastructure, which will turbo-charge investment in fast growing cities across the developing world.
UK international development secretary Alok Sharma. Image by Chris McAndrew, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
The centre plans to provide British expertise to African governments and city authorities to improve the way cities are planned, built and run, including making them more environmentally friendly. It will focus on improvements to infrastructure, including water and energy networks.
During his trip, Sharma also announced an expansion of the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) Cities and Infrastructure for Growth programme to Ghana, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The programme helps UK businesses invest in quality, resilient infrastructure, boosts access to reliable and affordable power and creates construction jobs.
"Infrastructure is the backbone of economic growth. It helps the poorest people access basic services such as clean water and electricity, creates jobs and boosts business.
"I’ve seen this first hand as I’ve travelled across Kenya and am proud to see British companies thriving here. This will benefit people and businesses across Africa, but also back at home in the UK, creating a successful future for all of us," said Sharma.
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