Kenya has sent one of the largest delegations to the World Urban Forum that started on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The 740-member team to the 10th session of World Urban Forum (WUF10) would have been larger had the Anti-Corruption Court not blocked Nairobi governor Mike Sonko who had planned to take part, accompanied by at least 32 MCAs.
Other governors, including Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, Anyang’ Nyong’o of Kisumu and Josphat Nanok of Turkana are attending the event that ends Thursday.
Last week, the court declined to release Mr Sonko’s passports and other travel documents held in connection with a pending Sh357 million corruption case.
Housing and Urban Development principal secretary Charles Hinga is leading the Kenyan team to the forum that seeks to find the solution to rapid urbanisation and its impact.
More than 18,000 policy makers, mayors, academics, business people, community leaders, artists and urban planners are taking part.
According to UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif “Urbanisation is now recognised as one of the defining trends of the times. But ultimately the aim has remained constant to promote transformative change to improve living conditions for everyone.”
The theme of WUF10 is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’.
Kenyan cities, led by Nairobi that keeps attracting top investors, is grappling with rising population, pollution, housing and cost of living.
Last year, Nairobi was back on the list of 100 most expensive cities due to the galloping prices of goods and services.
A Mercer Cost of Living index put Nairobi at position 97.