The creation of Abuja as Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory was for administrative convenience and a national “commonwealth State” with a symbolic annotation as Nigeria’s melting point and centre of unity. Abuja was conceived to be an ethnic neutral location at the centre of Nigeria and accessible to all Nigerians.

The original vision of Abuja was to be a place where all Nigerians irrespective of their social status will be accommodated, a city of shared prosperity. A city designed and developed according to a Masterplan, the Masterplan provides the blueprint on which every infrastructure is to follow. As with every creation of man, it is not final or absolute but must be subjected to test, amendment and review as reality becomes evident. Although there are aspects of a masterplan that cannot be altered easily, some other parameters can cause the alteration of a Masterplan, one of such being population growth and rapid urbanization.

In the recent times, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has embarked on several demolition and eviction exercises that has led to the dislocation of local economies with women being the most affected.

These series of demolitions and evictions begs the question of what the Masterplan plans stipulates for the urban poor and their concerns as it relates to housing, access to mobility, access to basic healthcare, access to markets etc.

HipCity Innovation Centre is currently working with 5 urban poor communities and with women whose voices and concerns are usually not heard or sort when decision making is carried out. HipCity Innovation Centre is working to equip these women with the knowledge of relevant urban laws and policies, the stakeholders to better place them in a position where they can mobilize, self-organize, contribute to the development of their communities and be active players in the urban development of Abuja.

For example in Durumi III, HipCity Innovation Centre is working with the women to access land where they can set up markets that are approved by government and design strategies on the governance of the government.

HipCity Innovation Centre will be working with other communities – Sabon Iddo, Durumi 1&2, Durumi IDP Camp to support women in advocating for their rights as residents of the city and members of their communities. .