GGGI and EU join the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development of Uganda to Commemorate the World Cities Day 2020

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The Uganda World Cities Day (WCD) celebrations will be commemorated in Jinja today on October 31, 2021. The main goal of the WCD is regional cities to raise awareness of a city as a catalyst for economic growth and sustainable development. The commemoration events have been led by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Partnership with the European Union, the Global Green Growth Institute Office in Uganda, TEENS Uganda, Uganda National Urban Forum (UNUF) and FABIO Uganda.

The specific objectives of WCD commemoration events is aimed to
• Promote sustainable development goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities
• Demonstrate good practices by urban communities in achieving resilience and sustainable development
• Increase awareness of how to re-imagine the future of mobility and urban infrastructure in African cities.
• Capture the attention of key players in the continued development of new cities in Uganda
• Strengthen partnerships between key players and urban communities towards developing sustainable cities for all, in Uganda

Since Kampala was declared a City in 1962 at the time of Independence, Uganda had a population of 7 million, compared to the current 40 million people. Secondary cities also known as municipalities served to host urban dwellers amidst a high rate of urbanization across the country. The over concentration of development in Kampala Capital City has exerted pressure on the overall functioning of the City infrastructure and services compared to other towns in the country, resulting into the mushrooming of slums, with their associated problems, traffic congestion, environmental degradation, youth unemployment among other challenges.

Recently, The Government of Uganda set forth the creation of o4 regional cities namely: Arua (West Nile), Gulu (North), Mbale (East) and Mbarara (West) and 5 strategic cities of Jinja (Industrial), Nakasongola (Industrial), Fort Portal (Tourism), Moroto (Mining) and Hoima (Oil). As such Government of Uganda made a bold decision to elevate 15 Municipalities to city status to be operationalized in a phased manner. Ten cities became operational on 1st July, 2020.

Recently, the European Union represented by the European Commission in Uganda and the Government of Uganda through the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) signed a cooperation agreement to advance the Greening Uganda’s Urbanization and Industrialization agenda. in the recent created 4 out of 7 cities namely: Arua, Gulu, Jinja, and Mbarara.

This project is part of the European Union’s Inclusive Green Economy Uptake Programme (GreenUP) program financed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to be implemented for 36 months since its inception. Under the Agreement, GGGI is supporting the Government of Uganda (GOU) to strengthen its role to deliver a middle-income status with all interventions are aimed at acceleration of investment in the green growth pathway that will facilitate sustainable green investments (public and private) at national and subnational level as well as increased employment.

The projects impact objective is therefore: “Uganda achieves strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth”. The Uganda Vision 2040 specifically highlights industrialization and urbanization as key focal are as it envisions that 60% of Ugandans will live in urban areas by 2040 and therefore, actions of designing, servicing and attracting investments into green secondary cities/municipalities will help Uganda benefit from the economic and social dividends that come with urbanization.

As such interventions to reorient the cities planning is timely, it is important to note that the commemoration of the WCD will facilitate the promotion of SDG111 and communication of the EU-GGGI partnership; help scale up key stakeholders’ involvement in city planning and development at early stage of set up and help offer policy recommendations gained from community actors.

The Full statement by Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development on the Commemoration of World Cities Day is available for download:

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