Date: 26 April, 2018
Venue: Kigali, Rwanda
Forum Focus: Affordable housing in Kigali, Rwanda
The 2nd Utafiti Sera Forum on Urban Governance City Transformation was held in Kigali, Rwanda on 26th April, 2018. It was organised by Utafiti Sera which an initiative of The Partnership For Social Governance and Research (PAS GR) together with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Research(IPAR). The forum was attended by various stakeholders and policy actors in the housing sector to identify Kigali’s current housing needs, address prospective challenges in the delivery of low-cost housing and propose solutions.
With over 60 percent of Africa’s urban population currently residing in precarious informal settlements, the provision of affordable housing continues to be a vital policy challenge. This is due to urbanization which has generated large-scale socioeconomic opportunities worldwide, it has also created concentrated urban centers with increased demand for housing.
Interventions by various African governments in the housing market have sought to provide affordable housing for vulnerable urban dwellers. However, the notion of ‘affordable housing’ is not without contestation; for some people all housing is affordable, for some it is only affordable when it is free. What type of policy interventions are needed to assure that the benefits of urbanization are not compromised by increasing informality and that decent and affordable housing can be made accessible to everyone?
Despite a number of interventions by the Government of Rwanda, the housing deficit in Kigali remains substantial. The forum serves as a sequel to the 1st Utafiti Sera Forum, held in January 2018, where key stakeholders’ convened to conduct a comprehensive stakeholders’ analysis and map key issues around urban governance and city transformation in Rwanda. The house conceded that the provision of affordable housing was an area in urgent need of policy intervention and this forum is a continuation of these discussions.