Remarks by PS Fatina Mukarubibi at Green City Pilot Urban Design Lab

Good morning,

It is a pleasure to be with you today for the Green City Pilot Urban Planning and Design Lab. I wish to thank the organisers for their hard work, and commend our partners including German Development Cooperation and the KfW Development Bank for your support to make the Green City Pilot, and this Lab, a reality.

In times of rapid urbanisation, scarcity of land, a growing population and climate change all put pressure on our natural resources. These challenges require us to be thoughtful and plan the growth of our urban centres in a way that is sustainable.

Rwanda currently has an annual urban growth rate of 4.5 percent - much higher than the global average of 1.8 percent. By 2024, we aim for 35 percent of the country’s population to live in urban areas - up from the current 18.4 percent.

It is in this context that the Ministry of Environment, through the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA), is implementing the Green City Pilot project to develop a sustainable, lively, dignified and prosperous green urban neighbourhood in Kigali. We are attempting this ambitious undertaking with the financial support of the German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank,.

The Green City Pilot is a combined effort and is supported by a number of institutions working for green growth in Rwanda. The Ministry of Environment and agencies are working alongside the Ministry of Infrastructure, the City of Kigali, the Rwanda Social Security Board and other important partners in the development of the first ever green neighbourhood in Kigali.

The pilot aims to demonstrate the viability of green cities in Rwanda and elements that could be replicated in the development of Secondary Cities. Our goal is to build cities which are pillars of green and climate resilient urbanisation. Doing so requires us to build effective green urban centres with green, low carbon and climate resilient housing, infrastructure, public amenities, workplaces and industry - all underpinned by robust land use planning.

The Green City Pilot is expected to deliver a paradigm shift in green urbanization in Rwanda. In addition to the development of a master plan of the 620 hectare site at Kinyinya Hill and detailed housing typologies, the overarching objective is to develop a city that can serve as a blueprint for our secondary cities and potentially even urban areas in the region.

As part of this journey, we are preparing detailed strategies for how buildings and neighbourhoods will be developed, testing cost effective ownership models and ensuring the green city pilot, both as a whole and in its component parts, is a bankable green project that will attract significant investment.

The Urban Lab that is being conducted this week is an important tool to facilitate dialogue between different stakeholders and will significantly increase the quality and success of the Green City Pilot project, particularly from an urban planning perspective. By including the voices of the community and stakeholders in this process, I have no doubt that the quality of the outcomes will rise dramatically.

Once again, I thank our partners for your ongoing support and wish everyone a fruitful working session. I am confident that with the brilliant participants gathered here, the results and decisions of the Urban Lab will be put to good use as we strive to achieve the green growth and socio-economic goals we have set for ourselves.

Thank you for your kind attention.