Uganda’s Lands Minister Nabakooba is the new African Union -STC chairperson, pledges to champion urban development in Africa

By Our Reproter

Uganda ‘s Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister  Judith Nabakooba is the new  chairperson of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Public Service, Local Government, Urban Development and Decentralization (AU-STC NO. 8) and has promising to mobilise member states participation.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on March 28, Nabakooba  said ; “I would like to thank you, especially those who were at Cairo during the fourth ordinary session of the AU-STC No. 8 last year for the trust you put in Uganda to run the Chairmanship of the Bureau as the first vice president, in the absence of a substantive chair from North Africa. We do promise not to let you down,” she pledged .

The minister sais that she would encourage member states to accede to the African Charter on values and principles of Public Service and Administration.

“We will also encourage member states to volunteer and take on any of the Sub Committee’s flagship programs, follow up Member States to make adequate budgetary provisions for the implementation of the Sub Committees’ program at country level and urgently forge ahead for the establishment of the African Urban Forum as agreed at Cairo meeting last year,” she said.

Nabakooba  said Uganda was ready to host the inaugural African Urban Forum  which will feed into the World Urban Forum of 2024.

“We need to find mechanisms for member countries to share reports on the New Urban Agenda (NUA,) share experiences and best practices because working in silos is no longer sustainable. We need to strategise and have a common voice at the upcoming UN Habitat General Assembly that will be held in Nairobi at the beginning of June 2023.”

She challenged the new members of the bureau to spare no effort for the effective continuity of the activities of the STC No.8. 

The minister commended the secretariat and experts for their hard work in the last two days that they were able to generate the minutes and other documents for the handover  ceremony .

She also appreciated Hon Lebona (in absentia) and congratulated her for ably steering the 3rd Bureau of the AU- STC 8 and for the progress so far made.

Nabakkoba noted that  Hon Lebona’s able leadership and dedication has been so important in smoothening of the committee’s functioning especially during the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic and for the effective implementation of the Bureau’s programs, during the past two years of her mandate.

“I would like to more specially thank and congratulate Hon Lebona for the development of the regional harmonized framework of the New Urban Agenda (NUA), localization of the New Urban Agenda and ratification of the two African charters, respectively on the Public Service and Decentralization,” she stressed.

Professor Sejanamane Mafa Mosothoane, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Lesotho to the African Union thanked the Ugandan government for the warm hospitality accorded to them as they sought to make the transition.

He  noted that the willingness of the different member states and the unwavering efforts of the secretariat and experts have enabled the bureau to register a number of great achievements. He called upon the incoming chair to work closely with the experts to ease her work.

Ms Dorcas Okalany, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Lands said that the success of the AU-STC rests on the hardworking people which is key for bureau’s success as well.

She thanked the committee for giving Uganda a mandate to steer the bureau, pledging support for the new chair to do her best with the guidance from the bureau.

The handover ceremony was also attended by Ms Kabelo Lethunya, a housing and urban development expert at African Union Commission, Ms Patience Chiradza, the Director Governance and Conflict Prevention at the AU commission, experts and the AU-STC secretariat.

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