Kigali awarded for upholding environmental protection

all photos by Craish Bahizi.jpg
A photo showing trees in a Kigali suburb. The City of Kigali was on Friday night awarded the special “Most Inventive Inclusive Prosperity Practice’ Award for upholding environmental protection values. all photos by Craish Bahizi.jpg

The City of Kigali was Friday night awarded the special “Most Inventive Inclusive Prosperity Practice’ Award during the inaugural Prosperity & Inclusion City Seal and Awards (PICSA) event held in Bilbao, Spain.

This comes a month after the City of Kigali made it to the Forbes’ list of the 20 best places to visit in 2020.

Kigali was awarded for upholding environmental protection values, notably for having put in place bi-monthly car free days where mass sport is done to fight non communicable diseases, organise general tests and health checkups on site, and large internet connection in public spaces, among others.

The inaugural 2019 PICSA index also recognized the world’s top performing cities for inclusive prosperity.

The PICSA Index, a quality of life assessment that mainly focuses on economic and social inclusivity, was launched in Bilbao on Friday.

Inclusive prosperity is defined as a measure of economic productivity that reflects how far all sectors of the population are empowered to contribute to the economy and share in its benefits.

It aims to show what makes cities successful both economically and socially.

City of Kigali was given an award for upholding environmental protection values, notably for having put in place bi-monthly car-free days where mass support is done to fight non communicable diseases, organise general tests and health check-ups on site, and large internet connection in public places. / Courtesy

The city of Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, in Switzerland, was ranked number one on the top 20 list of most successful cities in the world. It was followed by Vienna, Copenhagen, Luxembourg, Helsinki, Taipei, Alone, Ottawa, Kiev, and Geneva, in that order.

Kigali is not among the top 20 but was awarded a special award for its inventive inclusive prosperity practices.

City of Kigali mayor, Pudence Rubingisa said: “The City of Kigali is excited to have won this award. This recognition is for us another example of the great achievement from joint efforts of all stakeholders involved in CoK development agenda. We are looking forward to keep Kigali a green, clean and inclusive city.”

This was the first time the world’s major cities were ranked not by the size of their economies, but in terms of building inclusive and prosperous environments for all their citizens regardless of their income.

In Bilbao, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, former Minister of Youth, Information and Technology, was among PICSA members of the jury. 

The former Minister noted that Kigali’s special award is a result of the city’s dedicated efforts to preserving the environment, cleanliness, security, as well as being the place for women and other inclusivity practices.

The index analyses 113 cities across the world, and while other indexes rely on GDP, this cannot measure the levels of inequality, and it is the reason none of the richest cities in the world have made it into the top 20.

Why Inclusive Prosperity is important

According to the PICSA Index organisers, recent studies have shown that sustained high levels of inequality – a lack of inclusion – can damage growth and economic stability. 

They say that beyond purely economic considerations, governments also have a responsibility to their citizens to ensure that their economies work for everyone. 

Therefore, it is noted that inclusive prosperity is important because it creates the conditions for a socially mobile, confident and successful society.

It is further argued that cities play a special role in creating inclusive prosperity because they are the main engines of economic activity, possessing the agility and skills base to respond to new market opportunities. 

Inclusive cities, the experts say, nurture people’s skills, creating an environment that expands opportunities for everyone regardless of status. And they also attract talent with their infrastructure, competitive market conditions, collaborative opportunities, and lifestyle possibilities. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com