April 25, 2013
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in collaboration with the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation of Ghana, held the Fourth International Seminar on Urban Development in Asia and Africa, at Alisa Hotel in Accra on 24th and 25th April, 2013.
This fourth seminar is a futuristic and practical projection of urban development in Africa, in line with the " Project for the Study on Comprehensive Urban Development Plan for Greater Kumasi" supported by JICA.
The main issues discussed were:
(1) How to encourage and realise investment into urban development after the finalization of the master plan; and
(2) Issues to be recognized during the investment phase in each country and how to solve them.
Participants from Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal delivered presentations on their urban development plans and discussions on how private and public sectors could collaborate to link development plans to actual investment. They also discussed the importance and implication of the involvement of all relevant stakeholders at the beginning of the master plan on urban development.
In sub-Saharan African countries, the rapid increase of urban population has caused uncontrolled urban development due to a corollary, traffic and sanitary challenges without effective management and land planning. Although Asian countries also faced similar problems in the 80s and 90s, they have achieved investments with a strong commitment of their governments.
In this context, a series of international seminars on urban development in Asia and Africa have been organized by JICA in order to share the experience of Asian countries on urban development issues with African countries in Senegal, Vietnam, and Ghana.
Mr. Jiro Inamura, Chief Representative of JICA Ghana Office, in his speech after the welcome and opening remarks by representatives of the Ghanaian government, said; "We have initiated this series of seminars to promote urban development knowledge and experience-sharing among Asian and African countries bringing to bear, JICA's long and well-versed experience and advantages of cooperation in urban development planning with Asian countries in the past decades."
Ms. Rosamund Edusei, Ashanti Regional Director of TCPD presented the draft final report of the on-going "Project for the Study on Comprehensive Urban Development Plan for Greater Kumasi". In her report, the importance of promoting private investment in economic sectors, revitalization of industrial areas and developing district capitals and other key towns were highlighted. For the implementation phase, they underlined the importance of proper coordination and synergy at the national, regional and local levels.
Cote d'Ivoire will be the host country for the next seminar on urban development in Asia and Africa.