Ahead of the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF) holding in Davos, Switzerland, the Abuja Global Shapers is today convoking an assembly at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja to discuss the theme in a bid to provide local solutions to global issues. The discussion is to be streamed and broadcast live via satellite.
To this end, the group is to connecting 16 selected world cities through the initiative termed “Shaping Davos” billed for 10 a.m. in the Nigerian capital city.
The forum brings together security agents, religious leaders and youths to explore the theme, “Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide in the context of Radicalisation,” and discusses potential solutions to the issues that have arisen as a result of this divide.
Nigeria is undergoing a rapid urbanisation process, one that is predicted to increase as the United Nations (UN) had forecast by year 2050 the number of Nigerians living in urban areas would hit 212 million, witnessing the largest urban growth globally alongside China and India.
A report by the World Bank’s “From Oil to Cities: Nigeria’s Next Transformation” identified ‘rural push factors’ that encourage people to move to cities’. Some of which include a decline in incomes from agriculture and sectarian violence forcing people to flee into towns and cities. The study also identified ‘urban pull factors’ such as employment with Nigeria’s current climate push factors even more compelling.
According to the study, the country was yet to tap into the positive effects of urbanisation such as improved infrastructure, living standards and economic output. Instead, the survey argued that poor land handling as well as mismanagement of infrastructure for services and transport had resulted in a chunk of urban dwellers living without access to employment or basic services.
With the urban population predicted to hit 67 per cent in 2050, it has, therefore, become more imperative for Nigeria not only to get her urbanisation plans right, but also prioritise the rural areas.
A report by the Population Reference Bureau (PFB) highlights some of the stark disparities between urban and rural life in the country.
According to the document, the percentage of Nigerians living below the poverty line is higher in rural areas, so do child marriage, infant mortality and malnourished under-five children.
These anomalies are also to be spotlighted at today’s event.