A report on the implementation of the new Urban Agenda in Ghana has been launched in Accra as part of the commemoration of World Habitat Day, which is observed every first Monday of October every year.
The report was by the effort of the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH), and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
This year’s World Habitat Day is being observed under the theme: “Mind the Gap. Leave No One And No Place Behind”. In 1985, the United Nations designated World Habitat Day the first Monday of October every year.
The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of human habitat.
Speaking at the commemorative event, the Minister for MLGDRD Hon. Daniel Botwe in a statement read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister for MLGDRD, Hon. Osei Bonsu-Amoah, stated that urbanization presents some of the most significant opportunities in the world today with cities acting as centres for economic growth and development even though they also face demographic, environmental economic and social challenges.
He stated that according to the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 which seeks to make cities inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable, identifies sustainable urbanization is one of the key priorities for global development.
This he said has made the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by the United Nations in 2016 has seen national and local governments around the world to embark on a transformative path towards making SDG 11 a reality.
The Minister indicated the MLGDRDs resolve to work to collaborate with the relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies to formulate policies and coordinate the implementation of programmes and projects. It will also finalise and coordinate the implementation of the National Urban Policy objectives to guide the development of cities in Ghana.
In a speech read on behalf of the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Asenso Boakye, stressed the need to prioritise and address housing shortages for a large segment of our cities and also to ensure that cities are planned and built more sustainably and inclusively.
Adding that “the Ministry of housing is fully committed to being a part of the many activities outlined for the urban month of October which ultimately seeks to achieve a sustainable human settlement in ensuring that no one and place is left behind.
Present at the ceremony were representatives from the UN-Habitat and the Director General of the NDPC, Dr. Kwadwo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa who launched the report.