|It is predicted that over half of the global population will be living in cities by 2050, of which already 60% of the urban population in Africa lives in informal settlements . In Kenya, more than 50% of the urban population lives in unplanned settlements  . However, the economic importance of this large market remains largely untapped by formal actors, with companies and investors lacking the enabling environments to support business cases targeting informal areas. In addition, limited effective programming is carried out by development partners to help formalize the informal sectors, but engaging the business community to address the informal sectors is critical to realizing sustainable development goals in African cities.
To understand the opportunities for private sector engagement in slum upgrading and to upscale interventions and financing and technical partnerships, UN-Habitat, through the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme . facilitated four market studies in Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya and Cameroon to analyze the investment opportunities in informal settlements and slums. For Kenya, the study puts the purchasing power of households in informal settlements at USD 6 billion, 7% of GDP, which proves the significance of the informal markets' untapped potential. The market studies also found that the demand and purchasing power in slums will continue to grow, and that there is a broad range of opportunities and already available innovative solutions by the private sector for housing and urban basic services, which constitute bankable and investment-ready projects.
It is widely accepted that the private sector is needed and better suited for sustaining rapid growth and is a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty. Private sector growth creates jobs that use labor, which is the main asset of the poor. Thus, facilitating and promoting the entry of private sector as a partner in urban development unlocks the potential of the informal sector and its labor market which is essential for strategies to promote pro-poor growth and reduce poverty in African cities.
While often private sector has their niche market and resource base based on potential profitability, the role of international frameworks and policies and finance, to facilitate and forestall potential risks associated with investments into the informal sectors and settlements, cannot be understated. The session will therefore bring perspectives from different angles and identify strategic policy, financial and technical entry points for partnerships that can be tapped into in addressing urban service delivery and job creation for the urban poorest, at scale.
The session objectives are:
1) to illustrate some of the existing policy, program development and financing models that support strategic partnerships with the private sector toward development of informal settlements, and
2) to stimulate new development initiatives for slums in Africa through sharing proven methods and partnerships for engaging local authorities and private sector entities in city-wide urban service delivery.
The session will demonstrate the importance of pilot projects as stimulators for the development of enabling government strategies, policies and initiatives that support private sector investment through strategic partnerships and it will present an innovative partnership model for a community-based municipal solid waste management (MSWM) system through a PPPP in slums in Kisumu. This partnership facilitates an entry point for private sector investment for urban service delivery within a replicable partnership on a city-wide scale and, therefore, relevant for all African cities in support of the SDG 11.1.