A one-year, $400,000 (over Rwf344.8 million) research project – ‘Urban Governance and Turning African Cities’ – has been implemented in in six African cities in Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. Led by Profressor Tade Aina, the Executive Director of the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), the project will assess existing policies and studies on urbanization issues to help identify policy gaps and find ways to address them so as to facilitate inclusive and pro-poor laws.
“The research project aims at assessing whether the existing studies and policies create inclusive and just cities. Remember, you can have money, but fail to solve issues of inclusion during infrastructure development. Therefore, the research seeks to ensure that, for instance, cities always consider social protection systems. Therefore, the project will help bridge the gap between researchers and policy-makers, administrators who are the implementers of these policies,” Aina said.
The Institute of Policy Analysis and Research Rwanda (IPAR Rwanda) will lead the project in the country of Rwanda where it will specifically examine socio-cultural aspects of residents facing resettling, as well as housing decisions, and the impact of urbanization on food security. It will also look at the impact of poor waste management on public health, giving incentives to the private sector in urban development and affordable houses, as well as effective management of public transport.
Eugenia Kayitesi, the Executive Director of IPAR Rwanda, said they will assess whether Rwandans are happy with current policies and work towards inclusion. “This way, we will be able to detect policy gaps and guide in how to address them,” she said. “There are gaps between poor and well-to-do residents in terms of access to social, economic and political opportunities, and in their ability to participate in and leverage benefits associated with urbanization.”