The Minister of Lands Sam Dalitso Kawale this week attended the Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum which took place in Katowice, Poland. The Forum convened 21,000 participants from 173 countries across the world with the Malawian delegation represented by the Department of Urban Development, Department of Housing, Policy and Planning Unit, Habitat for Humanity Malawi, and Blantyre City Council.
According to Kawale, he told his team that this was an opportunity “to sell Malawi as well as to learn, learn and learn more from what other countries have done to transform their cities” with the purpose of perfecting urban development plans when they get back home.
The Highlight of the meeting was on Tuesday when the Minister participated in a Ministerial Roundtable discussion where over 60 Ministers of Lands from participating countries at the forum presented their National policies for transforming cities for a sustainable urban future.
“In my submission, I explained that Malawi has shown growing political will and commitment by the establishment of the Department of Urban Development within the Ministry of Lands, to provide Policy guidance and institutional framework for urban development in the country,” wrote the Minister.
According to the Minister, Malawi developed its National Urban Policy (NUP) which seeks to create an enabling environment for the attainment of sustainable urbanization which is critical in fostering national economic development.
Added the Minister:
“Following the policy adoption, a slum upgrading project was developed with the aim of improving the living conditions of people living in slum areas and their resilience to disasters. The project is expected to be implemented in the three cities of Lilongwe (being a pilot), Blantyre and Zomba.”
The Minister also addressed the question of mechanisms that have been put in place to facilitate investments to support the transformation of cities.
“I informed the delegates that Malawi has developed a Secondary Cities Development Plan. The plan identified 8 sites that have the potential for development. After a high-level meeting, a Task Force was put in place to operationalize and monitor the implementation of the Secondary Cities Plan.”
The Minister concluded his remarks by appealing to UN-Habitat and Partners to join hands with Malawi on this urbanization journey.