Yaoundé, Cameroon, 4 February 2021-- As part of the UN Development Account (UNDA) funded project “Leaving No Place Behind – Strengthening Urban-Rural Linkages in selected countries in Africa”, a virtual regional workshop on the implementation of the project in the context of COVID-19 was recently held in  Cameroon featuring participants from the Republic of Guinea.

Over 40 participants from the national government, municipalities, private sector and civil society took part in the workshop.

Mr. Frédéric Happi Mangoua from UN-Habitat opened the session and was followed by Ms. Leoudjou Yamba Joëlle the Head of the Division of Studies, Planning and Cooperation (DEPC) in Cameroon delivered her welcome remarks and appreciated the outcome of the Cooperation Agreement signed between Cameroon and UN-Habitat kickstarting  the project. She then reiterated the responsibilities of all for an effective implementation of this project.

Mr. Camara Ibrahima, National Director of the Land Use and Planning (DATU), Ministry of Town, Land Use and Planning of Republic of Guinea, gave his remarks before the intervention of Ms. Grace Githiri, from UN-Habitat who clarified the objectives of the workshop and hoped that it would be fruitful.

The plenary session started with a pre-workshop survey conducted by Ms. Suzanne Koufana. The survey results showed that the most common expectation from the participants was to be more informed about the project progress in different countries . Then, she presented results of the previous regional workshop on the outcomes of the UN-Habitat tools application in the context of Cameroon and Republic of Guinea.

A discussion led by Mr. Mangoua then followed which showed that the challenges and priorities identified during the previous workshops remain unchanged, but in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the progress of work, these may be improved. The two countries have started an inventory of policies and strategies related to URL. In Cameroon, a draft report is being reviewed by the committee.

The second and third presentations were done by the Cameroon team. Mrs. Kamgaing from  MINHDU in Cameroon, presented an overview of the project, the progress made and an action plan while  Mr. Tadong  Saa, from the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and the Regional Development outlined the impacts of COVID-19  on the implementation of the URL project in their country. 

The last presentation was done by Mr. Sekou Camara and Mr. Ibrahima Camara from the Guinea team. They showed the project progress in the COVID-19 context. Those communications were followed by a discussion session.