UN-HABITAT’s Global Campaigns on Secure Tenure and Urban Governance were launched in Senegal this month after extensive preparations over the past two years.
Speaking to some 2,000 residents and slum dwellers at the launch organised on 18 May with the assistance of the international NGO, ENDA Tiers Monde, UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, recalled that Senegal is one of the most heavily urbanised countries in sub-Saharan Africa with almost 50 per cent of its population living in towns and cities.
“Senegal’s decision to launch the two campaigns simultaneously is testimony to the commitment of the country’s leaders to good urban governance opening the way to harmonious growth of your cities – cities that offer the same opportunities of development, health and security to every tier of Senegalese society,” she said.
The launch was attended by representatives of other West African countries, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, where there is considerable interest in the campaigns.
Senegal’s National Action Plan will incorporate good urban governance for security of tenure, especially for the urban poor. Subdivided into four sectors, it provides for reforms to promote the rule of law on urban development issues, enhancing decentralisation, promoting secure tenure and land market reforms, and improving the built environment, with emphasis on innovative planning and financing mechanisms.
The National Action Plan covers the period to the 2010. It is considered crucial to Senegal’s commitment at home to Target 11 of Millennium Development Goal No. 7 – improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers worldwide by the year 2020, a task UN-HABITAT has been mandated to help show the way.
The local National Habitat Committee is identifying further priorities for land policy, and finding the financing to fight urban poverty. UN-HABITAT’s activities in Senegal such as Localising Agenda 21, Water for African Cities, and Transmigration programmes will contribute to the objectives of the National Action Plan.
Declaration of Joint Commitment of Dakar on the occasion of the launch of the Global Campaigns for Secure Tenure and on Urban Governance
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