The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development through its Urban Development Unit has organised the Ghana Urban Forum (GUF) at Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The forum afforded practitioners and stakeholders, including women and marginalised groups, the opportunity to deliberate on emerging urban development challenges and opportunities in the country.
The event was on the theme: “Localising the New Urban Agenda: A Catalyst for Financing Urban Infrastructure for Equitable Economic Growth in Ghana.”
A statement signed in Accra by Mr C.K. Dondieu, the Chief Director of the Ministry and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the forum was in respect of Ghana’s preparation towards the practical implementation of the Goals of the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III).
The statement said the event would be held from October 17 – October 20 October, in Quito, Ecuador after 20 years of implementing the Istanbul Habitat II Agenda as a global plan of action for adequate shelter for all.
It said the Habitat III is within the context of sustainable human settlements and being the driving force in an urbanizing world.
The statement envisaged that the 2016 Ghana Urban Forum would firm up the country’s commitment in participating in the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III Conference).
It said the conference would bring global leaders to ratify the New Urban Agenda with emphasis on six thematic areas and 10 policy units.
The statement said following the launch of the National Urban Policy in 2012, the Ministry institutionalised the GUF to be celebrated annually and is one of the key initiatives of the Ministry to institute practical measures to continually enrich the capacities and outlook of key urban actors on topical issues on urban development and management.
It said the strategies to achieve the initiative in the action plan is to organise series of the GUF to enhance policy dialogue amongst national government, local governments, community representatives, civil society groups, traditional authorities and other stakeholders.
The statement said as Ghana prepares towards the UN Conference on Habitat III, it is important to continue with stakeholders’ consultations and contributions to enrich the New Urban Agenda.
It said the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census show that 50.9 per cent of the population now lives in urban areas and with urban growth rate hovering around four per cent. The urban population is currently approximately 53 per cent.
The statement said “Ghana’s commitment to the global Urban Agenda includes our participation in two Preparatory Committee Meetings, our preparation and submission of the country’s Habitat III Report to UN-Habitat and the on-going dialogue and preparations towards the 3rd Preparatory Committee Meeting to be held from July 25–27, 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia”.