Reaching the urban disadvantage

While Addis Ababa’s success gave a glimpse into the progress made by the country which achieved the MDG 4 three years ahead of the deadline, the challenges facing the city also reflect the priority both the country and city should focus on in the years to come, argues John Graham.

For the first time in history, over half the world’s population is living in cities. And the urban population will continue to grow in percentage and numbers. Six out of every 10 people will live in cities by 2030, and two out of three people by 2050.

This trend is deemed to offer opportunities for a better life. Better education, quality health care, reliable utilities, better jobs and so on. This is also seen as a positive indicator of development. But unless the world is prepared to accommodate the ever-increasing urban population, millions of lives would be at stake, and children and mothers would be increasingly be more vulnerable.