On March 30, GGGI in partnership with the National Planning Authority (NPA), Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) convened the first ever workshop of the Urban Sector Actors.
The workshop aimed to galvanize urban actors, raise the profile of Urban development in Uganda, and chart a better way of managing urbanization in the country. In particular, the meeting sought to find responses to the challenges of financing, coordination, governance and delivery of key services to urban dwellers in Uganda.
The workshop gathered over 50 senior urban managers, specialists and officers from over 15 ministries, the private sector, academia and development partners. The members agreed to a Keynote discussion paper which highlighted the need to set up an Urban Sector Working Group to oversee urban actions, share experiences, and raise the profile of urban development in the country.
The Working Group will promote the development of Green cities, raise the role and integration of urban planning in Economic Planning, and champion the establishment of an autonomous agency to bring together all urban sector actors through the National Urban Policy.
Uganda is on course to adopt a green growth development pathway and has just completed the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGDS) which is meant to catalyze Uganda’s attainment of middle income status by 2040. The Strategy has in part focused on greening the urban Sector which has been envisaged to deliver major green growth dividends such as green jobs, better service delivery, infrastructure projects which reduce green house gas emissions, and to attain greater wellbeing.
It is estimated that by 2050, more than 50% of Uganda’s population will live in urban areas yet currently, the country is only 20% urbanized and growing at an annual rate of 5.2%. The Vision 2040 and National Development Plan (NDP) has earmarked the development of Regional and Strategic secondary cities as one of the key undertakings to harness urban development.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, is in the final stages of getting the National Urban Policy (NUP) approved by cabinet. This policy is meant to manage urban centers, promote better coordination of urban interventions, actions and investments. The convening developed a discussion paper which made proposals into the effective roll out of the NUP. Key among the outcomes was the development of a National Urban Services Master plan and roadmap; and the setting up of an urban sector coordination agency/mechanism which would set joint urban actions and services targets for all the key service agencies, ensure coordination and proper delivery of these vital services to urban centers.