Yaounde, Cameroon, 28 August 2020 – The National Awareness Workshop for Cameroonian Stakeholders for the project “Development and Inclusive Integrated Urban and Rural Territories in Africa” was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Mathurin Nna, Secretary General and representative of the Minister of Housing and Urban Development (MINHDU). Over 50 participants took part in the workshop.
Mr Nna opened the session with an overview of the Urban-Rural Linkages (URLs) Programme and presented updates of URL project saying he hoped the workshop would contribute to the harmonious, participatory and inclusive development of cities in Cameroon.
The Director of the Studies, Planning and Cooperation of MINDHU introduced the project, and explained that the main objective of the project is to take account of URLs in developing policies and strategies, as well as in land use plans at all levels. Setting up a Cameroon team project, conducting capacity building activities, collecting data using UN-Habitat tools and formulating recommendations during workshops will raise stakeholders’ awareness in the importance of considering URLs when formulating and implementing policies.
A pre-workshop survey was conducted to ascertaub the participants’ knowledge on URL and their expectations of the workshop. The first part focused on “Location of Urban-rural linkages in Cameroon: tools and methodologies” by Mrs. Grace Githiri, responsible for the URL Programme at UN-Habitat. The second part focused on “Policies, strategies for a localization of the URL continuum in Cameroon”, presented by Ms Kamgaing Josiane, Head of the Urban Data and Housing Unit at MINHDU. The last part was on the " actual situation of the URL indicators in Cameroon: methodological knowledges and actors expected contribution” by Mr. Tioboo Papou Sédric, Assistant Research Officer at the National Institute of Statistics. At the end of the plenary session, two working groups were set up, the first focusing on policies, strategies and plans and the second focusing on the inventory of indicators for URL in Cameroon.
The two groups had a session where priority challenges were identified, such as connectivity of urban and rural (transport and telecommunication infrastructure) to ease the traffic and promote trade. The Secretary General of the Ministry said that the rural population’s access to basic services such as water, electricity, heath, education was necessary to promote the linkages along the continuum, develop local industries that create jobs and limit rural-to-urban migration.