Botswana: Policy Seeks to Ensure Housing for All

Gaborone — National Policy on Housing seeks to ensure that all Batswana are adequately housed.

Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Mr Nonofo Molefhi says the policy also places more emphasis on channelling government resources to the low income and vulnerable groups to ensure no one is left behind in access to housing.

Speaking at the New Urban Agenda workshop, Mr Molefhi said the workshop was to raise awareness on the New Urban Agenda and ensured its integration in the country's national development processes.

He said the New Urban Agenda was a blueprint of the UN-HABITAT and its partners such as governments, the United Nations, civil society, communities, the private sector, professionals, the scientific and academic community in support of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, especially SDG 11 of 'making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable'.

Mr Molefhi said the New Urban Agenda was a 20-year Plan of Action on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which was adopted in October 2016 at the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador.

He said it was also at the Governing Council that a resolution on implementing and follow up of the New Urban Agenda was adopted, calling on nations to develop and implement Action Plans in an endeavour to integrate the New Urban Agenda into their policies and development plans and programmes.

Deputy High Commissioner of Botswana to Kenya and Botswana Permanent Mission to the UN Environment Programme and UN Habitat, Ms Ntesang Molemele said the global south was urbanising at an unprecedented rate with Africa taking lead.

Ms Molemele said such a situation presented challenges and opportunities for these countries, saying Botswana was the second most urbanising country in Africa at the rate of 60 per cent.

She said that was why the country, in its Vision 2016, had identified urbanisation as one of the thematic areas.

Ms Molemele noted that the urbanisation phenomenon had become and was viewed as transformative with potential to lead to sustainable growth and development of countries.

Presenting on the New Urban Agenda and Guidelines on implementation framework, Mr Roi Chiti from UN-HABITAT office said the international community had recognised the power of urbanisation to archive international development and that sustainable development was part and parcel of global development.

Mr Chiti said the Agenda introduced the right to the cities and cities for all, which was a new concept that was initially developed in Europe representing mainly the definition of the city as a common good with all the rights that were connected to them.

On the issue of territorial approach, he said the world was no longer talking about the perimeter of the city or human settlement, but the need to see urban context within the wider territorial space.

He expressed the need for coordination, integration and cooperation between various actors, not only at governmental level, but also at the local level.

Image: Gaborone, Botwana (Wikimedia Commons)

Source: All Africa

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.