Rwanda calls for more UN support in capacity building

Rwanda has identified capacity building in human settlement as a key area that still needs assistance from the United Nations Human Settlement Programme, UN-Habitat.

Rwanda has identified capacity building in human settlement as a key area that still needs assistance from the United Nations Human Settlement Programme, UN-Habitat.

Camille Marara, an urban planning expert in the Ministry of Infrastructure, said that there is still need to have training for different groups of people, if proper urban planning is to be realized.

“As we aim at building according to our (Kigali) City Master Plan, we also need training from UN-Habitat for people to know where we are heading and why,” Marara told The New Times in Nairobi Wednesday.

Marara, who is attending UN-Habitat’s 22nd Governing Council meeting at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), said the youth, the local population, the private sector, and the civil society should be brought on board on issues of proper settlement.  

He added that government was now aiming at achieving economic prosperity for Rwandans by ensuring proper urban and rural settlement that will enable people easily access needs like clean water, education, and proper land use.

In her opening remarks on Monday, UN-Habitat Executive Secretary Anna Tibaijuka had announced a strategy to tackle the deteriorating living conditions of the multiplying city populations around the world as a result of shrinking resources and climate change, by harnessing the energy of the youth.

UN-Habitat has so far trained eighty youths in Nairobi on urban shelter and infrastructure development under the agency’s commitment to promoting affordable housing finance systems in the next two years.

It is estimated that fifty percent of the world’s population is now living in urban areas with an increase from 1.5 billion in 1975 to 3.6 billion today, all resident in cities. 

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Kenya, George William Kayonga, who also doubles as a UN-Habitat permanent representative commended the good working relationship between Rwanda and the agency.

He listed the newly developed areas in Kigali City of Kimironko, Gisozi and Gikondo as locations that have greatly benefited from UN-Habitat’s wide knowledge of settlement and added that more suburbs had been earmarked for upgrading by the UN agency.

UN-Habitat last year awarded Kigali City a prestigious human settlements accolade in the world - the Habitat Scroll of Honor award.

UN member states are converging in Nairobi for the UN-Habitat meeting held every two years, with this time round attention being focused on funding for shelter.

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