October 10, 2012
An International Seminar on Urban Development in Asia and Africa was organized from 8 October to 10 October 2012 in Kumasi by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST). This is the third seminar which JICA facilitates to promote the Asia-Africa cooperation following two international seminars on urban development; the first at Dakar in Senegal in November 2011 and the second at Hanoi in Vietnam February 2012. Governmental delegations from Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Vietnam attended the seminar. Vietnam also has a long history of collaboration with JICA on urban development.
JICA held the third seminar in Kumasi because the Project for the Study on Comprehensive Urban Development is currently underway through the support of JICA to the Government of Ghana, represented by TCPD/MEST.
In the previous two seminars, participants shared their experiences. The current challenges confronting Sub-Sahara African countries in urban development, such as population explosion, land planning and waste management, were also the major issues in Asian countries in the 80s and 90s. However, Asian countries, have overcome these situations. Vietnam has one of the best practices in urban planning in Asia.
The delegations from Senegal and Ivory Coast made presentations on future urban development project. The delegation from Vietnam made a presentation on observation on Kumasi and provided useful lessons learned from Vietnam for the Kumasi project. They have decided to hold the Forth International Seminar on Urban Development in Asia and Africa in April 2013, when Draft Final Report of Kumasi project will be prepared.
Mr. Kra Kouame Kouman, Regional Director for Town & Construction, Sanitation & Town Planning in Ivory Coast said; "Through discussion, I found we have same problem and situation. Then, it is a good opportunity for us because we can share such kind of information."
Mr. Asiedu Poku, National Director of Town Country Planning Department (TCPD) said; "To include people, involvement, is very important in planning. We have had Kumasi stakeholder meetings including district levels and the meetings in district levels were held in the local language." Dr. Samba Diouf, Technical Advisor for Ministry of Town Planning & Housing in Senegal said;"I agree with him that involvement is very important. I am also emphasizing on wide consultation before planning anything for people. Because I visited Suame Magazine as site-visit through this program and I think including informal sector in planning is also very important."