By Theresa Kef Sesay
Minister of Lands, Housing, and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie joined other high-level speakers at the UN Headquarters in New York to submit actions taken so far on the New Urban Agenda (NUA) that was adopted in 2016 at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urbanization (HABITAT III) in Quito, Ecuador.
In his statement to the Plenary of the UN General Assembly on the 28th April 2012, Dr. Senesie informed the august body that Sierra Leone is presently focused on the implementation of a sustainable and climate-resilient urban development in line with the mandate of the General Assembly in Resolution 75/224 of December 2020 and in support of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Dilating on the country’s six key policy objectives, the Minister stated that the country is “promoting an integrated spatial planning and strengthening development control; strengthening the legislative and institutional frameworks for effective land governance and urban planning; enhancing tenure security to protect land and property rights by transitioning from the registration of instruments to biometric title registration; improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness of delivery systems in cadaster, registration, valuation and real estate services to boost productivity and domestic tax revenue; promoting the investment climate to provide affordable housing and slum upgrading; and ensuring environmental sustainability in the implementation of programs and projects,”
The Minister also disclosed that the country has mainstreamed the New Urban Agenda into its Medium-Term National Development Plan and has established a broad-based National Habitat Committee that provides the political support and oversight responsibility at the strategic level for the formulation of the National Urban Policy. He further stated that the country is currently working with partners on various projects; projects that can enhance prosperity for our towns and cities in line with the AU Agenda 2063.
He concluded by restating Sierra Leone’s support for the aspirations of the New Urban Agenda and that the country will continue to demonstrate strong commitment towards its full implementation.