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Implementing the New Urban Agenda in Rwanda


The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is participating in the 3rd National Urban Forum in Kigali to discuss the financing of climate-resilient cities

Rwanda represents a good example of the rapidity and size of urban transformations that Africa faces. Rwandan cities’ growth rate is estimated to be one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. In the capital city Kigali, flooding and landslide incidents have escalated rapidly over the last few years and projections suggest that heavy rainfalls are likely to continue increasing in intensity and frequency.

The Government of Rwanda is hosting the 3rd National Urban Forum (NUF) on February 6-7 to discuss cities as drivers of sustainable development, urban inequalities, sustainable urbanisation, effective governance and policy planning for urban areas and innovation partnerships.

The NUF is a multi-stakeholder platform to support sustainable urban development processes and debates at the country level. Its main objective is to raise the profile of urban-related issues at the country level by promoting the understanding, participation, coordination, engagement and debates towards sustainable urbanisation strategies, policies and programmes. During the Third Session of the NUF, there is emphasis on how to mobilise financial resources and localise the global urban development agenda, as well as enhancing capacities through exchange of best practices.

In Rwanda, the First and Second Sessions of NUF took place in 2008 and 2011 respectively. They were action-oriented meetings and addressed the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed, and managed, through cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and various urban actors.

The main expected outcome of NUF3 is to assess the progress made and reflect on the continuing implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in Rwanda. The NUA was approved in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, and is meant to provide global guidance to urban development for the next 20 years.

NDF is preparing a new project to support climate resilience in Kigali in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Martina Jägerhorn, Program Manager at NDF is participating in the NUF event together with other development partners such as UN-Habitat, World Bank, and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). More information about the event is found in the background paper.