The government of Uganda has launched a national Urban Campaign with a pledge to promote policies that would give more access to housing and services for the urban poor.
Under the theme “Towards Liveable Urban Areas”, the event on 26 July which climaxed a week of activities was witnessed by hundreds of guests who thronged the Busoga Square Gardens for the ceremony. The Urban Campaign brings into one the twin campaigns on Secure Tenure and Urban Governance initiated by UN-HABITAT in 1999.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in a speech read on his behalf by the Second Deputy Prime Minister, Henry M. Kajura, hailed UN-HABITAT in execution of its mandate to achieve the Habitat Agenda themes of Sustainable urbanization in a Developing World and Adequate Shelter for All.
“The National Resistance Movement (NRM) government is committed to promote policies that will increase access to housing especially for low and middle income earners,” the Head of State said.
In a speech read on her behalf, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka said the campaigns were crucial messages from the government to the people of Uganda and the world on the plans in place for addressing the many issues related to human settlements.
Mrs. Tibaijuka said that latest statistics show that although the whole world was faced with the challenge of urbanisation, the situation on the African continent was most dire and appealed for concerted efforts by governments to address them.
“Africa’s situation is most dire and there is an urgent need to address sustainable urbanisation,” she said.
Among the elements the campaign of tenure roots for include protection and promotion of housing rights; promoting the role of women in development and removal of all discrimination as well as establishment of partnerships bringing together city governments and people’s organizations.
The campaign on urban governance on the other hand emphasizes good urban governance as the key for ensuring environmental sustainability.