Proposal approved to develop a national urban policy and strategic plan for Uganda
The Cities Alliance has approved a proposal to develop a national urban policy and a strategic urban development plan for Uganda.
In recent years, Uganda’s rate of urban growth has increased significantly as rural poverty and conflict in the northern part of the country have driven people to the cities.
While the level of urbanization in Uganda is still low— according to a 2002 census, around 12 percent of Ugandans lived in urban areas—the urban population is growing rapidly. By 2035, it is expected to reach 30 percent.
In the absence of a coherent strategy for urban growth, urbanization is taking place haphazardly, and the cities are unable to absorb the flow of migrants in a productive way.
As a result, informal settlements are springing up in urban areas across the country.
The need for strategic planning is especially acute in the capital, Kampala, which generates over 50 percent of Uganda’s GDP. The city has been unable to provide the necessary services for residents, and the approximately one million commuters who come into the city each day have severely strained the regional transportation system. In addition, the prevalence of pit latrines has contaminated underground water sources.
The primary objective of the Cities Alliance project is to help Uganda develop a policy and strategic plan for managing its urban growth through 2025. The policy will focus on:
- Enhancing competitiveness in the urban sector to drive economic growth;
- Articulating strategies to improve urban sector planning, development and management, service delivery, livelihood and urban governance; and
- Providing strategies to promote social inclusiveness.
The strategic urban development plan will contain an agreed national vision and provide specific actionable directions to guide urban investments for the next 15 years.
The Cities Alliance has agreed to provide a $450,000 grant for the project. Local partners and other organizations will provide co-financing in the amount of $405,000.
The proposal was submitted to the Cities Alliance by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the sponsorship of members the World Bank and UN-HABITAT. The proposal was formally approved on April 6.
The main international and local partners for the implementation of the project are: the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development; the Ministry of Local Government; the World Bank; the Uganda Local Governments Association; the Uganda Real Estates Association; the National Housing and Construction Company, Ltd; the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda; Slum Dwellers International; and four selected local governments.
The implementation of the project is expected to take two years.