Berlin – 5 April 2017. The first Capacity Development based on the UN-Habitat MetroHUB methodology was held in Berlin, Germany for 19 Ugandan government officials. The capacity development and learning exchange visit to Berlin was a tailor made programme for the participants from 14 Ugandan municipalities and the Uganda Ministry for Urban Development. The Ugandan Minister of State for Urban Development, Hon. Isaac Isanga Musumba, also took part in the Capacity Development, linking the projects and presentations to national and presidential priorities.
As a result of rapid urbanization – 5.4 per cent from 2010-2015 – Uganda is facing a challenge planning its urban areas, not only in the metropolitan region of Kampala, but also in small and intermediate cities such as Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Makindye Ssabagabo, Fort Portal and Hoima where this week’s participants came from.
Urban areas have been progressively deteriorating at an alarming rate and municipalities lack the necessary infrastructure needed for attracting other investments as well as the capacity and resources to manage urban challenges. There is an urgent need to enhance the capacity of the different stakeholders in the urbanization process in order to find new ways to manage urban growth in Uganda.
During the week in Berlin, input sessions were held by international and Ugandan experts on various issues in order to introduce international and national approaches and good practices for planning, governance, finance and socio-environmental projects.
A wide range on field visits and meetings with the project managers and Berlin government officials provided inspiring practical experiences and exchange opportunities with international counterparts. Discussions with international experts, peer-to-peer learning and networking activities rounded up the programme during the week.
The participants from the Ugandan Municipal Councils also gave short presentations on their cities, based on the case studies they had prepared for the week. They not only gave information about the specific local context and resulting challenges, but also spoke about the vision for their municipalities, linked to the Vision 2040 for Uganda.
In addition to the input sessions, the participants were asked to work together on selecting strategic acupuncture projects. While discussing their daily challenges as well as priorities for their cities, they learned from their peers how they handled similar issues and what strategies were applied in the different local contexts.
For their projects, participants mapped relevant stakeholders and consulted with experts from USMID and ministry on feasibility, finance aspects and the legal frameworks in Uganda that might apply. Cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth and human rights and climate change aspects were reflected in discussions, presentations and practical exercises during the week.
It is also hoped that the benefits of this exercise in Berlin will surpass the limits of this intensive week, having raised awareness on cross-cutting issues, impregnating the social dialogue and triggering a process of change for sustainable urbanization in Uganda.
UN-Habitat provides a set of tested strategies, guidelines and tools for supporting all levels of governments towards economically productive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable human settlements by applying an integrated territorial approach. The MetroHUB methodology used for this capacity development combines theoretical input sessions (such as presentations on governance, planning, finance and socio-environmental aspects) with hands-on team work on selected acupuncture projects.
(More information on the MetroHUB methodology can be found at https://spark.adobe.com/page/uTskVOFhXy55q/ ).