For her efforts and initiatives in keeping the city clean, banning polythene bags and progressive settlement policies, among many, Kigali City Council was on October 2 recognised with the highest United Nations Habitat accolade, the Habitat Scroll of Honour. Rwanda being the first African country to receive such an award.
With this award, Kigali City has placed Rwanda on the world map of countries whose civic politics strive for excellence in service delivery and town planning.
The award aims to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post-conflict reconstruction, developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
It takes an organized and effective leadership to achieve an honour that carries such international prestige, under the leadership of Mayor Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Kigali City stood shoulder to shoulder in competition against cities from the developed world.
She stood firmly on her feet as a competitor with a vision that many can indeed emulate, starting with her sister cities here in Rwanda, to other cities of the world.
Through this award Kigali City takes the lead in redefining old stereotypes of African cities, which are usually known for congestion, stinking litter, the real faces of African poverty and suffering.
That an African country can refuse to be defined through the mediocrity of an ineffectual leadership that fails to break away from certain norms of set ‘African standards’ is indeed commendable.
Furthermore, signs that the Kigali City is not going to be complacent after winning this prestigious award are quite clear; the KCC has unveiled a $1.9 billion worth conceptual Master-Plan, which will further change the face of Kigali.
The Master Plan has a vision of not just show-casing the KCC as a leading player in city planning and development, it also seeks to cater for Kigali’s fast growing urban population projected to reach three million by 2028.
Butare, Gisenyi, Kibuye, Gitarama, Kigali City has set the international tone and context in city planning and development, you have been challenged, let us see you rise to the occasion, the next award can surely be coming your way.