GGGI hosts UN-Habitat’s Executive Director at the ‘Inclusive Cities Talk’ in Kigali, Rwanda

The 3rd National Urban Forum  held in Kigali, Rwanda from February 6-7 was organized by the Ministry of Infrastructure with partner organizations UN-Habitat, World Bank, GGGI, Enabel – Belgium Development Agency, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and International Growth Center (IGC). The gathering set up to evaluate what has previously been done in urban sector  amid the most recent decade  and to discuss how the implementation process of the New Urban Agenda can be additionally reinforced.

GGGI held a Side Event at the Third National Urban Forum known as the “Inclusive Cities Talk”, an initiative that GGGI Rwanda introduced in 2018 primarily to mainstream issues of social inclusivity in urban development discussions in Rwanda. During the Inclusive Cities Talk, GGGI had a distinct speaker the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, and a conversant moderator Ms Mary Balikungeri , Executive Director and founder of Rwanda Women’s Network. The guest speaker had a captivated audience as Ms. Sharif shared her experience in her previous position as Mayor of Penang Island in Malaysia. She deliberated on her practical solutions when planning and managing a city by including all community members at different levels and by taking the time to walk through the city to have an overview of the needs.

Prior to her appointment as Mayor, Ms. Sharif was the first women to be appointed as President of the Municipal Council of Seberanh Perai in which she worked to achieve its vision of a “cleaner, greener, safer and healthier place to work, live, invest and play”, which was similar to her impressions of Kigali during her visit.

Ms. Sharif then spoke about Gender Responsive Participatory Budgeting (GRPB) as a mechanism that integrates gender perspectives into the governance process as a tool to mainstream gender into budgetary and development policy and planning. To supplement her advice she urged women and youth groups attending Inclusive Cities Talk to take part in the planning and implementation processes of Rwanda’s urban future.

After learning from Ms. Sharif’s experience, Inclusive Cities Talks continued with discussion on stakeholder’s participation in urban planning. Ms. Mary Balikungeri, Executive Director of Rwanda Women’s Network moderated the dialogue with Mr Okechukwu Daniel Ogbonnaya, Programme Lead of GGGI and Mr. Neison Mutizwa-Mangiza, Director of UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa.

In 2018, during the Africa Green Growth Forum , UN-Habitat and GGGI signed a global Memorandum of Understanding that would formalize cooperation on sustainable, climate-resilience and green urban development.