N. Dibba, the outgoing minister of Lands and Regional Governments (MoLRG) has
said that the destination of the ministry is clear in providing inclusive,
safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements for all in accordance with
the New Urban Agenda.
Minister Dibba made this statement recently at the Urban Breakfast Forum held at a hotel in Kololi on the theme: “Implementing the New Urban Agenda and SDG 11 in The Gambia.”
Organised by MoLRG in collaboration with UN-Habitat, the forum was to raise awareness on sustainable urban development and promote coordination and cooperation among actors for the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
The UN New Urban Agenda is a document that has been approved by 193 countries. The New Urban Agenda is a positive trend that creates value including socio-economic, agglomeration economics, innovations, social advancement among others. The Agenda was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th plenary meeting of the 71st session the 23rd December 2016.
Minister Dibba indicated that the UN New Urban Agenda is an urbanisation action blueprint for UN-Habitat and partners in government, the UN, civil society, communities, the private sector, professionals, the scientific and academic community, in support of the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, especially SDG 11- making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Mr. Dibba described the New Urban Agenda as very timely as The Gambia government has just finalised National Development Plan 2018-2021 and continue to seek resources for the full implementation of the national blue print which is intendment.
In his welcoming remarks, Buba Sanyang, permanent secretary at MoLRG, said the theme of the programme is in accordance with the National Development Plan Strategic Priority 1: restoring good governance, respect for human rights and empowering citizens through decentralisation.
“Today’s engagement is very timely and well-articulated, reminding us of these two important international agendas which were signed by most countries in the world which Gambia is not an exceptional,” he said.
PS Sanyang expressed optimism that the outcome of this meeting or interaction would be beneficial to the policy makers, urban actors in accelerating the implementation.
Doudou Mbye, from the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa, challenged governments to come up with strategies that can improve the conditions of towns and cities in The Gambia.
“We need evidence base planning in The Gambia and we should come up with strong data that are user friendly. The method of Land allocation should be revisited,” he said.