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Ouagadougou , 8 Nov 13
UN-Habitat on Monday signed a three-year Country Programme Agreement with Burkina Faso to support their efforts to manage urbanization.

The UN-Habitat grant for a US$977,500 (over a total of US$1,847,500) is part of a total grant of US$ 3,000,000 to be provided by Cities Alliance tosupport Burkina Fasoto align urban development efforts at the national, local and community levels, and include the urban poor in the planning and decision-making processes.

The official signing of the grant agreement between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance took place at the Cities Alliance Policy Advisory Forum in Ouagadougou on “Managing Urban Growth: Key Challenges for Sound Public Policies”.

The high-level event, co-organized by Cities Alliance and the Ministry, was attended by Mr. Yacouba Barry, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Mekuria Haile, Minister, Urban Development and Construction, Ethiopia and Mr. Marin Ilboudo, Mayor of Ouagadougou.

At the same occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UN-Habitat, Minister Barry and Mayor Ilboudo to activate the third phase of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is one of the least urbanized countries in the world,and also has one of the lowest GDP per capita figures.Rapid urbanization is on its way with the country’s cities growing at the high rate of 5.3%. Ouagadougou is, according to UN-Habitat data, projected to double by 2020. Secondary cities are also growing rapidly. The United Nations estimates that 76.5% of Burkina Faso’s urban residents live in slums.

Despite various national efforts to manage the rapid urbanization, many of Burkina Faso’s municipalities lack the capacity and funding to implement their strategic urban development plans. Burkina’s civil society also needs strengthening to more fully engage in the urban debate.

The Urban Country Programme builds on years of UN-Habitat engagement in the country. It will focus on the primary cities of Ouagadougou and BoboDioulasso, and the secondary cities of Dori, Dedougou and Tenkodogo. It is the first Cities Alliance Country Programme in Francophone Africa.

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