The City of Kigali (CoK) is looking to increasingly engage citizens to play a central role in the ongoing process of updating its Master Plan in a way that actually supports the growth of the City.
Marie Chantal Rwakazina, the City Mayor, said during a meeting on Thursday that the update and review of the Master Plan will be centred to increased participation of the communities and the local leaders based on the experience of the past five years.
"The City of Kigali's vision is of becoming a centre of urban excellence. We want the updated Master Plan to be a collaborative effort towards building a better Kigali in the future. The updated Kigali Master Plan is envisaged to integrate all previous plans and reports and will provide corrective measures to develop an even more equitable plan," Rwakazina said.
The meeting brought together stakeholders from government, national and international institutions, sectoral agencies, civil society organisations, local associations, technical and academic institutes, private sector, media and international and national consultants, assessing sustainable development alternatives for Kigali to improve the state of its urban development and make it more competitive at the international level while supporting economic green growth and ensuring the well-being of its population.
The first phase of the City Master plan implementation has been achieved at 70 per cent in the past five years due to financial issues and limited investment in the sector, among other crucial challenges.
But Fred Mugisha, the Director of Kigali Urban Planning and Construction One Stop Centre, admitted that the grassroots community have very little information about the Master Plan and did not even get a chance to share their ideas on how it should be implemented.
He said now they will be consulted during the Master Plan review where they will be given time and space to share their suggestions on how the Master Plan should look so as not to be surprised during the implementation stage.
"The Master Plan is not for the City of Kigali but its people. They are the ones who implement it and suggest how the City should look. That is why we are going to let them share their ideas so that everyone will be able to know what is planned to be done on their land," said Mugisha.
"During this review, we are consulting all our stakeholders to see what has not been achieved during the last five years and, of course the challenges, and give us advice on what can be done to overcome challenges in the next phase," he said.
"That is why we are taking a lot of efforts to take it to the community to ensure that they contribute in revising it".
The City of Kigali has embarked on the update of the Kigali Master Plan, five years after its adoption in 2013.
The project on the review of the Master Plan Update started last month and will last for a period of 10 months ending in April 2019.