National Urban Policy: Littoral region in support of “Smart Cities”

National Urban Policy: Littoral region in support of “Smart Cities”

Stakeholders in the region have been mapping out concrete proposals to present at the national level.

The Littoral region is hosting the economic capital of Cameroon, Douala, which is a metropolitan town with inhabitants from different cultural backgrounds. Besides Douala, there are many other towns in the region and the new National Urban Policy entails a harmonious organization of urban settings throughout the country. The policy is essential to guide sustainable development and quality urbanization in Cameroon.

The National Urban Policy is expected to be ready by October 2018, and the Littoral region is actively assembling its contributions to be considered when adopting the final document.

Meeting on Wednesday May 30, 2018 at the Akwa ceremonial ground in Douala, the Ministry of Housing and Town Planning and its partner, ONU-Habitat organized a consultation session with urban development stake holders in the region. Focus was to diagnose the National Urban Policy draft in the country by trying to see how it can be shaped to transform urban settings into smart cities, very welcoming where every Cameroonian will feel at ease and in dignity.

The Littoral region during the meeting was seeking ways to try to resolve the problems of access to housing facilities, demographic issues, management of waste, urban mobility and environmental clean up taking into consideration territorial specificities.

According to the Littoral regional delegate for Housing and Town Planning, Guy Fomen Koumtouzoua who attended the consultation meeting, the planning of the National Urban Policy should be based on three main pillars; issues of urbanization, issues of production and management of housing as well as sustainable urban governance.

The implementation of the National Urban Policy project in Cameroon was signed in December 2015 and launched in 2016. In December 2016, the first inter – ministerial meeting took place in Yaoundé to finalize the terms of reference of the steering committee and the technical secretariat in charge of the monitoring and the support for the effective implementation of the project.

In 2017, over 40 government officials including 16 women representing ten (10) institutions were trained on the National Urban Policy development process with the aim of improving knowledge to changing the mindsets of citizens to become more accountable to actively contribute to better urbanization.

In preparation to the training, Minister of Housing and Town Planning, Jean Claude Mbwentchou emphasized that the policy should aim at ‘changing the mindset’ of citizens. He further underscored the critical need of ensuring that all government institutions are all ‘on the same page’ as the government embarked on the formulation of the policy through regional consultations.

Some eight critical factors for success for developing a national urban policy have been identified. Some of the actions include: linking national urban policy to territorial planning, supporting evidence base policy making and linking the policy to the Cameroon vision 2035.

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Louvier Kindo
Louvier Kindo 41 Articles

Louvier Kindo Tombe, passionate about radio. He is interested since 2017 in the issues of decentralization, local development and governance.

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