Accra, other African cities to benefit from investment projects to address development challenges

Social Accra Development
Social Accra Development

Ghana’s capital city, Accra, is among 11 other African cities to benefit from investment projects spearheaded by the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) to address development challenges.

The other cities are Freetown, Lagos, Maiduguri, Addis Ababa, Kampala, Mogadishu, Nairobi, Bukavu, Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe and Harare.

With a fast-growing population, these cities were identified to have inadequate infrastructure and services, weak governance and limited economic development; challenges which were exacerbated

by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenges and implementable investments were disclosed at an Accra City Research Findings Workshop organised by the Consortium, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and development stakeholders.

The African Cities Research Consortium is a collaborative research programme that seeks to tackle complex urban development challenges like improving living conditions and services for all, especially the urban poor in Africa’s rapidly changing cities.

The ACRC is funded by the UK aid from the UK government and the whole project of transforming these cities is in three phases where the first and second phases had the contracts in place and commissioning of the contracts respectively.

With the six-year investment plan, Accra’s implementable projects focused on housing, informal settlement, land and connectivity, structural transformation and neighbourhood and district economic development.

The last phase, which are the actionable projects, would last for four years.

It had been recommended that, under housing, a private-led housing cooperatives be formed and appropriate housing financing models put in place.

Prof Abdulai Abdul Gafaru, City Lead, Accra City Study, said Accra’s housing challenge was an over supply of luxury homes with high costs and a significant shortfall of affordable houses for the ordinary masses, the urban poor.

He said the challenge had persisted because the housing policies had not paid any attention to the issues of renting and with resources injected into

specific interventions, practitioners would ensure results were achieved.

Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, said people continued to migrate to Greater Accra because of the economic challenges in their localities and the research findings must begin to address the urban challenges.

“If we don’t get the basics right then we seem to be doing nothing. The city of Accra must work as an engine of socioeconomic growth and cultural transformation,” he said.

Mr Osei Bonus Amoah, Minister of State, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, said Greater Accra had the highest population density and the Accra City Study would help government improve the living conditions of all city dwellers and effective governance of Greater Accra.

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