Dr. Clos (r) receives the credentials from Mr. Karimu.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos has assured the Republic of Ghana of the organization's support in land reform and city development. Dr Clos gave the assurance today while receiving the credentials from the new Permanent Representative of Ghana to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Kingsley Karimu.
Dr. Clos stated that UN-HABITAT can also assist Ghana in urban policy formulation, noting that "In a country like Ghana, the cities can become engines of growth and asset in development". He noted that slums can be eliminated through urban policy reforms and by taking a comprehensive and complex approach to city planning.
The Executive Director informed the envoy that UN-HABITAT is currently involved in slum upgrading programmes in Tema at a total cost of US$500,000; and the Sekondi-Takoradi Municipal Assembly Citywide Slum Upgrading facility at a total cost of US$570,000.
Mr. Karimu informed Dr. Clos that the government of Ghana was working hard to make life better for the ordinary citizens. He stated that some of the major challenges facing the country were slum upgrading, unemployment and how to harness the potentials of women to achieve national development and noted that the government was making great efforts to solve the problems.
On land tenure system in the country, Mr. Karimu stated that land is held in trust for the people by chiefs and traditional rulers but that the government had embarked on land reforms policy to make land accessible to the people. Mr. Karimu said that the Ghana economy depends on gold, diamond, cocoa and that the country has just started producing petroleum.
Dr. Clos presented the envoy some very important publications by the agency, including Global Report on Human Settlements and The State of African Cities 2010. The envoy expressed appreciation to the Executive Director for the publications and for the warm reception accorded him. He noted that with Dr. Clos as the head of UN-HABITAT the agency was in very experienced and capable hands.