The Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, has said that Rwanda is keen on playing its role within the Commonwealth to help ensure a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to sustainable urban development.
He was addressing members of the Commonwealth Association of Architects in a virtual conference on Wednesday.
Gatete said the Commonwealth provides many opportunities to learn from each other and to share and develop good practices.
“Rwanda is therefore delighted to be part of this Commonwealth initiative – the potential of which we so strongly sensed as part of the Commonwealth programme at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi in February this year,” he said.
The Commonwealth Association of Architects launched a series of programmes aimed at championing the call for action for sustainable urbanisation.
The Minister said pressures, needs and opportunities associated with sustainable urbanisation have dramatically grown.
“As a result, now we have an even deeper relevance to countries right across the Commonwealth,” he noted.
Under the National Strategy for Transformation, Rwanda targets to accelerate urbanization to reach the urban rate of 35 per cent by 2024 from 18.4 per cent in 2017.
This is done through several initiatives including investment in the development of secondary cities.
Gatete highlighted the Green City Kigali project as another initiative the country is pursuing, which is being supported by the Commonwealth Association of Architects.
“[This] is also another initiative that models social cohesion, equality and inclusion directly through urban design,” he noted.
“It sets standards for affordable housing solutions and local employment opportunities,” he added.
However, challenges like insufficient affordable housing to accommodate the new urban immigrants, and inadequate municipal finance to enhance local economic development remain.
There is also insufficient capacity and coordination to mobilize and engage contributing development partners, he added.Follow https://twitter.com/Julio_Bizimungu