Rwanda’s efforts to enhance urban development have been boosted following the signing of an agreement between Rwanda and the Kingdom of Morocco to strengthen co-operation and collaboration in areas of housing, and improvement of basic services in the country.
According to James Musoni, the Minister for Infrastructure, the partnership will go a long way in contributing to sustainable housing and urbanisation in the country.
“Both parties have agreed to establish a framework that will help promote sustainable urban development, which will help fast-track the development of our planned satellite cities,” Musoni said after the signing of the deal in Morocco last week.
The two countries will also share experiences on best practices on matters of housing and urbanisation, the minister added.
They will also share legal and regulatory frameworks for purposes of resource mobilisation, implementation of urbanisation strategies, according to the agreement seen by The New Times.
The government has identified six towns which will be developed into secondary cities under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction strategy (EDPRS II). They include Musanze in Northern Province, Nyagatare in Eastern Province, Huye and Muhanga in the south, as well as Rubavu and Rusizi in Western Province.
Mohammed Nabilbenabdallah, Morocco’s Minister for Housing and Urban Policy, said the deal will help strengthen co-operation between the public and private sector on matters of urbanisation.
“This will play a critical role in the eradication of slums and provision of decent and affordable housing to citizens in both countries,” he said.
He added that it will also aid in planning and co-ordination between the two ministries.
According to urban planning experts, the agreement provides Rwanda an opportunity to learn and implement policies that will help it on the ongoing development of regional cities.
Both government and UN Habitat for Humanity have in the past committed to fast-track urbanisation to ensure growth and prosperity.
The two have committed to working together, share information, practical experience, knowledge and technical knowhow on how urbanisation can be used to achieve sustainable economic development.
However, despite these efforts, the rate of urbanisation in the country remains low.
Rwanda’s current rate of urbanisation level is at about 17 per cent, but the country targets 35 per cent rate of urbanisation under EDPRS II.