The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, has renewed its commitment to partner government of Ghana in attaining sustainable urbanization and improve climate change adaptation.

This follows a meeting between Ghana’s Minister for Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye and the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat,  Maimunah Mohd Sharif, on Monday, June 27, 2022 at the ongoing World Urban Forum (WUF11) in Katowice, Poland.

As part of their engagement, the two representatives explored, among others, possible collaborations geared towards addressing national and global issues such as  climate change adaptation, rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities and economies.

They also discussed the provision of sustainable human settlements aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 11, to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The UN-Habitat chief, Maimunah Mohd Sharif in her remarks congratulated Ghana for being part of the few countries that have prepared and submitted their report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

She observed  the need to prioritize affordable housing in cities since it is linked to the provision of basic and essential services such as water, sanitation and public health.

“The provision of affordable housing is one of the surest ways to ensure that cities are planned and developed in a more sustainable manner which ultimately impact on a larger segment of the society,” she said.

According to her, there was the  need for Ghana  to take climate change adaption seriously and lauded plans by Ghana’s Housing Minister to institute a National Urban Forum, a platform to engage local stakeholders across various levels to investigate opportunities to strengthen cities’ resilience.

It deepen the understanding of the relationship between national urban policies and contemporary crises whilst providing  a platform for high-level discussion on the potential of national urban policies to address challenges in the fields of environment, housing, mobility, spatial planning and innovation and technology.

In his response, Mr. Asenso-Boakye re-echoed the need to prioritize affordable housing, not only to address housing deficits for a large segments in the cities, but also ensure cities are planned and built in a more sustainable and inclusive manner in line with the theme for this year’s World Urban Forum.

He noted that Ghana has developed a framework that seeks to provide housing in a more organized and sustainable manner to address the housing challenges the country faced.

“To achieve this, I believe, there is the need to create a robust institutional framework to develop and implement Affordable Housing Programmes across the country, hence our decision to establish a Ghana Housing Authority,”

“This Authority will not only serve as a regulator in the sector but also plan, develop, and manage housing development in Ghana. As a Ministry, we have resolved to lead the process to engage key stakeholders within the sector to set up the NHA and also find ingenious ways of creating the enabling environment, especially for the private sector to lead in the provision of safe, decent affordable housing especially for the low-to medium earning Ghanaian.”

The Minister for Works and Housing, who is leading Ghana’s delegation to this year’s event currently ongoing in the Polish city of Katowice is also expected to take part in a Ministerial Roundtable as part of the global event.

The event is being held under the theme, “Transforming our cities for a better urban future.”