Hipcity recently held a public launch of Abuja A City For All; Moving from Vision to Reality report and documentary, recently at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja.  Objectives of the event was to showcase the report, documentary and get stakeholder commitment in taking action on urban issues in the FCT.

The report is the outcome of about two years’ engagements among stakeholders including government, communities, women groups, professional groups on issues of urban governance, citizens right to the city, administrative bottlenecks within government that requires strengthening.

It also included recommendations made for implementation of government officials and establishments to take action in ensuring that urban issues are properly managed, to give residents the city they aspire for, irrespective of status or ethnicity.

In his welcome address, Hipcity’s Executive Director, Bassey Bassey stated that as the world is urbanizing, Abuja is also urbanizing at a rapid rate. Therefore, there is need to ensure inclusivity of residents in Abuja, irrespective of class and ethnicity.

Speaking at the launch, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) Project Manager on Inclusive Cities Making, Monika Umunna, noted that people should be allowed their right of place to create the cities they want. She advised government officials to adopt integrative and inclusive approach in their discharge of urban management in Abuja.

She equally said urban administrators have to define informality within the African context and as such, more engagements are required among all groups and stakeholders with everyone’s voices heard and taken into consideration. She hoped that the report will spur government stakeholders and representatives to see the need to move from vision to reality.

The event featured two panel discussions and goodwill messages from HBS, FCT-NITP, Urban Regional planning Department (FCDA), Development Control office, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Satellite Town Development Department, CSOs and community representatives.

During the panel discussion with selected stakeholders present, some of the recommendations made, were for the government to support and give sub-grant to industries. They also suggested for a review of the Abuja master-plan to strike a balance between private and public sector to have a stake in housing right, especially where it affects low income earners.

The panelist also suggested mass housing that will benefit low income earners, as an urgent measure by the government to mitigate against the multi-faceted issues in urban development. Also, they harped on inclusivity, which calls for engaging the people especially, women, youths and children in city designing.  Other suggestions were also made on channeling advocacy efforts towards attitudinal change and promoting maintenance culture among the people.

Participants committed to be part of the process and work in synergy with Hipcity in subsequent engagements and activities.

High point was the unveiling of the Abuja A City For All booklet and the viewing of the documentary.

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