Government of Ghana Partners with Cities Alliance to Host Special Session of the Ghana Urban Forum

[13 July 2011] -- The Ghanaian Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, the Honorable Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo will today welcome participants to a Special Session of the Ghana Urban Forum, taking place at La Palm Royal Hotel in Accra.
Organised in partnership with the Cities Alliance, the Special Session will discuss the challenges and opportunities of rapid urbanisation in Ghana.
According to Nana Oduoro Kwateng, Chief Director of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, "We need to engage in dialogue, raise the issue so that policy makers and planners are hearing the concerns of the people ... the whole idea of urban development is inclusivity."
With an urbanisation rate of 4 per cent Ghana is one of the most rapidly urbanising countries on the Sub-Saharan African continent. Estimates are that 51 per cent of the population of 24 million lives in cities and towns, up from 23.1 per cent in 1960 and 43.8 per cent in 2000. Projections are that with an annual growth rate of 3.6 per cent, Ghana's urban population will more than double between 2000 and 2025. Forty-five per cent of urban residents live in slums with limited access to urban services.
The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) is the largest and most densely populated urban concentration in the country, with a population of 2.7 million that is expected to grow to 7.5 million in 2030.
The challenges of rapid urbanisation, however, also present tremendous opportunities. An estimated 60 per cent of Ghana's national output is produced in urban areas, while the Government of Ghana is determined to harness this and other opportunities to help the country attain middle income status by 2015.
The Special Session will be the fifth in a series of forums established by the Government to provide permanent space for all urban stakeholders to debate the issues of rising urbanisation in Ghana. Cities Alliance will continue to support the continuation of these national urban forums as part of the Ghana Land, Services and Citizenship for the Urban Poor Programme, a partnership initiative undertaken by the Government and its support partners to align urban development efforts at the national, local and community levels.
Facilitated by the Cities Alliance, the LSC programme seeks to:
  • Support national and local policy dialogue to promote sustainable urbanisation, ensure the empowerment of local governments, and reinforce the importance of active community participation.
  • Strengthen the capacity of local government to plan and manage urban growth.
  • Empower organisations of the urban poor to actively engage in local development.
The LSC programme is being developed through extensive consultations at the national, local and community levels. Key LSC partners include: the Government of Ghana, which is implementing the LSC through the Urban Development Unit (UDU) and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), both under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD). Local partners include the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor, People's Dialogue, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
These partners are in turn supported by international organisations including Agence Française de Développement, Deutsche Gesellschaft  für Internationalie Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI),  UN-HABITAT and the World Bank.
Expected to participate in the Special Session on Ghana's urban future are: Paul-Victor Obeng, Chair, National Development Planning Commission, Ghana; Professor Naa Nabila, Member of Council of State and Chairman; Hon. Simone Compaore, Mayor, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Sarah Ibanda, ACTogether, Uganda; Clare Short, Chair, Cities Alliance Policy Advisory Forum and former UK Minister for International Development; Hon. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra; Farouk Braimah, People’s Dialogue/SDI; Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Executive Secretary, United Cities and Local Government-Africa; and William Cobbett, Manager, Cities Alliance.
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