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ICCCASU Newsletter (Spring) 2017
Second International Conference on Canadian, Chinese and
African Sustainable Development (ICCCASU II)

Dec. 12-14, 2017 Yaounde, Cameroon

Preparing for ICCCASU II: On the Road to Yaounde

Dear friends, colleagues and ICCASU 2015 participants,

What a beautiful time of year it is for those of us in Ottawa: Spring is arriving and we are now just eight months away from our second International Conference on Canadian, Chinese and African Sustainable Development, to be held in Yaounde Cameroon, December 12-14, 2017. Following on the success of the first conference held in Canada's capital in 2015, and building off of the New Urban Agenda established in Quito last fall, we are so pleased to see the second iteration taking place in Central Africa. We are eager to expand on the connections, learning and objectives established in 2015, and hope you will consider joining us, either online or in person this December. After all, YOU are a big part of why we believe ICCCASU II can play a role in improving evidence based practice and informing urbanization policy and practice in Africa and beyond. Click here to see the Call for Papers and other contributions.

Preparing ICCCASU II is no small task. Within the past ten months, ICCCASU representatives have hosted two roundtables in preparation for Habitat III; participated in Canada's official delegation to Quito; met with the Cameroonian Minister for Housing and Urban Development; participated in two meetings to gain support from Global Affairs Canada's Pan-African Affairs Division; met with IDRC representatives in Ottawa and laid the foundation for ICCCASU II. Along the way, we have earned the support of critical players including former Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and Cameroonian President Paul Biya, who in January signed a document endowing the Minister of Housing and Urban Development with the authority to oversee the conference on behalf of the Cameroon government.

Now, we are focusing our efforts more intently on finding conference sponsors and additional supporting partners, with expanded opportunities planned for private sector engagement, including an enterprise seminar, exhibition and Architectural and Urban Design Showcase. This month preparations are forging forward with meetings in Kenya, Cameroon and China. Notably, we will spend a week in Yaounde, meeting with Cameroonian government official and local organizing committee, as well as Canadian and Chinese high commissioners in Yaounde. We look forward to sharing even more exciting news and progress with you in our next seasonal update. Best wishes for a safe and happy Spring! 

- Alioune Badiane and Huhua Cao, ICCCASU Co-Presidents

Championing ICCCASU II: A Chat with the High Commissioner for Cameroon in Canada

His Excellency Anu’A-Gheyle Solomon Azoh-Mbi has spent nine winters in Ottawa, as the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cameroon in Canada. This is his first international posting, but having previously spent more than 20 years in the diplomatic division of the office of the President of Cameroon, he is beginning to look forward to the day when he will return home, and truly retire, in the highlands of northwest Cameroon. Though he feels the tug of familiarity, he is also fully prepared to go back to a somewhat different reality than he once knew.

Back in Cameroon, rural life is being displaced, and quickly, says Mr. Anua’A-Gheyle.
 
“The village of today is the city of tomorrow,” he says. “Issues of urbanization constitute a big part of the challenges facing many African countries today.”

That is why it is critical to help individuals and governments prepare the way for that change. While the gathering engendered by urbanization makes it easier to provide essential services and presents new opportunities to lift people out of poverty, it also changes the entire concept of community, and brings about new challenges from governance and social infrastructure to managing sewage and mass transportation; from pollution and environmental conservation to job creation and crime reduction.
 
“The whole concept of sustainable urban development is very important, very topical. There is a real need, not just for Cameroon, but for all of Africa, and elsewhere too,” says Mr. Anua’A-Gheyle. Even the most developed countries are not immune to urban challenges, he points out, noting that gentrification is a key contributor to urban poverty and deepening inequalities in North American cities.
 
“The biggest challenge in development is inclusivity,” he says. “A nation cannot develop by leaving behind the majority of its people.”

Keep Reading

 

Photo: ICCCASU II Secretary General Brooke Ward and Co-President Huhua Cao meet with
His Excellency
Anu’A-Gheyle Solomon Azoh-Mbi, High Commisionner for the Republic of
Cameroon in Canada. 

Support from Global Affairs Canada's Pan-African Affairs Division
Since last fall, ICCCASU has participated in two meetings with the Pan-African Affairs Division of Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. Initiated by former Minister Stephane Dion, the meetings explored the possibility of GAC involvement in ICCCASU II, and followed a supportive letter from Mr. Dion in which he expressed his belief that the conference could contribute to reducing poverty and inequality, promoting inclusive and accountable governance, consolidating peace and security and combating climate change.
 

ICCCASU Co-President Huhua Cao speaks with former Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion.

Through these meetings, GAC agreed to support women and youths' participation in ICCCASU II. This strongly reflects Mr. Dion's belief that, if managed sustainably, Africa's ongoing urbanization can be a powerful asset for transformation that cuts across issues, including alleviating poverty and reducing conflict. ICCCASU II will provide a forum to discuss these transformations and provide an impetus to promote sustainable urban development in Africa and beyond.

Participants in the meetings included Nadia Ahmad, Pierre Belanger and Getachew Mequanent, Director Deputy Director and Senior Analyst, respectively, of the Pan-African Division of GAC as well as ICCCASU representatives Huhua Cao (Co-President), Benjamin Gianni (Vice President), Lauchlan Munro (Scientific Committee Member) and Mebometa Ndongo (Academic Chair). 
ICCCASU's Involvement in Habitat III
In July 2016, ICCCASU co-organized the first of two roundtable sessions with the University of Ottawa's School of International Development and Global Studies in preparation for Canada's involvement in Habitat III.  These meetings facilitated an exchange between government, universities, civil society, researchers and practitioners in the lead up to the summit in Ecuador.


ICCCASU Co-President Huhua Cao (right) ), Allan
Cain (Vice President), Lauchlan Munro (Scientific Committee Member) and Public Relations and Marketing Chair Jean Marie Cishahayo (not pictured here) also participated in Canada's official delegation to Habitat III in Ecuador in October 2016, at the invitation of the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos (left), Canadian Minister of Family, Children and Social Development. 

While in Equito, ICCCASU representatives including Co-President Alioune Badiane (4th from left), Vice President Allan Cain (1st from left) and Scientific Committee member Lauchlan Munro (2nd from right) were able to meet with the Honorable Jean Claude Mbwentchou (4th from right), and other representatives of the Cameroonian Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to discuss progress for ICCCASU II. 
Copyright © 2017 ICCCASU, All rights reserved.

This newsletter was prepared by a volunteer committee comprised of Brooke Ward,
Rebecca Purdy, Shenqing Zhou and Juan Du.

Our email address is:
ICCCASUb@uottawa.ca

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