The New Urban Agenda, which is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 11 on cities and human settlements, reflects the importance of urbanization globally, in particular in Africa, where the urban transition process is moving faster than in any other region of the world. African countries have shown their commitment to harnessing the urbanization process for development through their common position towards the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), which was endorsed at the highest political level by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union Assembly in July 2016, prior to the adoption of the New Urban Agenda at Habitat III in October 2016. That same momentum has led to the development of the present Harmonized Framework for the New Urban Agenda in Africa.
The framework will guide member States in the region in adapting their plans to the existing context at the subregional, national and subnational levels. It encourages coherence and harmonized implementation of human settlement commitments along the urban-rural continuum, in alignment with African priorities and multiple global commitments. The linkages to the vision of the African Union, which was articulated in Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and to other global commitments, are reflected in the framework, with a view to supporting sustainable development in the region without leaving anyone behind. The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) believe that the framework, as a planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting tool, will support member States in harnessing the urban dividend through leveraging cities and human settlements for inclusive growth.