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Charter Cities Institute to Host First Ever Africa’s New Cities Summit

Submitted by Robyn Francis on August 31, 2023

Groundbreaking Event to be Produced in Association with the Rwanda Development Board and the Africa Infrastructure Development Association and held in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2023.

The Charter Cities Institute (CCI) announced the opening of registration for the first-ever Africa’s New Cities Summit, hosted by CCI, in association with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the
Africa Infrastructure Development Association (AfIDA). This event will bring together all facets of the international development community – developers, builders, governments, academics, and more – to address the pressing issue of rapid urbanization in Africa. The Summit serves as a platform for discussing challenges, finding solutions, and optimizing opportunities related to urbanization.

The Summit will bring together leading global experts in designing, financing, constructing, governing, and operating new city developments throughout the continent and around the world. A key aspect of the event will be the exchange of best practices, challenges, and lessons learned among those actively involved in building new cities. The event will feature panel discussions, networking opportunities, installations of exhibits, local vendors, artisans, and much more. 

Speakers so far announced include:

  • Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board
  • Daniel Yu, Founder and CEO of Wasoko
  • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-founder of Itana, Future Africa, Andela, and Flutterwave
  • Leonard Wantchekon, Founder, African School of Economics
  • Corey Gray, CEO, Smart Cities Council

Additional speakers, panelists, and exhibitors are confirmed, with more being announced daily. Panels are equally diverse and engaging, and include sessions on: Unlocking Africa’s Silicon ValleyChallenges & Lessons from New City Builders on the Front LinesDigitizing City Services and e-Governance; and Next Generation SEZ’s. Much more than a traditional conference, this event will also showcase Kigali and Rwanda, with city tours and an optional trek to see the majestic mountain gorillas. 

Kurtis Lockhart, Executive Director of CCI, said “We’re thrilled to bring this event to Kigali, and to bring together a diverse, talented, and star-studded group of government officials, pioneering tech entrepreneurs, private investors, city developers, leading academics, and more to help find solutions and optimize opportunities related to urbanization in Africa.”

“The Africa’s New Cities Summit will be a great platform for us to share solutions on how to make our cities livable for all. Rwanda is already implementing various initiatives to ensure this – from infrastructure development, set up of the Kigali Innovation City to the establishment of special economic zones and industrial parks that attract investments and provide employment opportunities for our people. We look forward to hosting this inaugural summit in Rwanda and ensure a better future for Africa,” added Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB.

The three-day event will be held at the Hotel Serena and the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, commencing on November 16, 2023. Limited sponsorship opportunities remain available for this landmark event.

For additional conference information, please contact CCI’s Head of Communications, Michael Holstein ( For sponsorship information, please contact Alby Bocanegra (  

About the Charter Cities Institute 

The Charter Cities Institute empowers new cities with better governance to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty. It was founded on the idea that a fresh approach was necessary to tackle humanity’s most pressing challenges: global poverty, rapid urbanization, and conflict and migration caused by poverty, war, and climate change. Charter cities—new cities granted a special jurisdiction to create a new governance system—are that solution. CCI is building the ecosystem for charter cities by: creating legal, regulatory, and planning frameworks needed for rapid urban growth; advising and connecting key stakeholders including governments, new city developers, and multilateral institutions; and, influencing the global agenda through research and partnerships.

About the Rwanda Development Board

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is a government institution, mandated to accelerate Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under the supervision of the Office of the President, RDB is governed by the Board of Directors made up of global entrepreneurs and experts. RDB was established in 2008 out of a merger of 8 government institutions, primarily to create a One Stop Shop for business and investments. Since then, RDB has been built with global expertise and modeled on international best practices, to provide support throughout the entire investment journey and to ensure that Rwanda remains one of the most competitive places to do business in Africa and the World.

About Africa Infrastructure Development Association

The Africa Infrastructure Development Association (AfIDA) is an association of project developers that seeks to promote and enable project development activities in Africa, by creating an ecosystem and platform that will foster continuous dialogue amongst its members, standardize project development template documents and serve as a policy advocacy platform for the industry, with a view to ensuring that more projects on the continent achieve bankability.