THE ABUJA DECLARATION 2011 (The CAP/NITP West African Conference)

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The CAP/NITP West African Conference was held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja, from the 12th -15th of sept, 2011.
Delegates from Ghana, Gambia and Nigeria, the host country attended the conference. A lead paper and 9 support papers were presented.

The theme of the conference was “INCLUSIVE PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: THE WEST AFRICAN EXPERIENCE”.

The conference was chaired by Mrs. Mariam Yunusa of UN-HABITAT. Project Director, WORLD URBAN FORUM of the UN-HABITAT.

The conference discussed several issues ranging from Building legislative framework, developing strategies for sustainable urban growth, young planners in sustainable development, challenges of informal sector in sustainable human settlement and use of new technology in urban planning.

A. After the two days discussions, conference the observed as follows:-

1. The West African Sub-Region inherited planning process and practice introduced to the respective countries by their colonial governments of the pre- independent era. Over time however, the planning process has evolved in response to global trends and best practices to adopt principles and concept such as inclusivity, sustainability and green technology. The focus is on people.

2. The government of the sub-region have failed to appreciate the primacy of physio-spatial planning, and its contribution to national development

3. Sustainable urbanization is a dynamic, multi-dimensional process covering environmental as well as social, economic and political sustainability.

4. While the legislative provisions seem to be reasonably adequate, the political will to operationalize the laws is yet to be achieved.

5. The young planners are not adequately equipped to deal with the urban challenges of the 21th century.

6. The world best practice in all profession is going digital but physical planning has not kept pace with this global trends.

7. The informal sector is an essential part of the economic base of the human settlements in the sub-region.

8. Having observed these issues and more, the conference declared as follows:

1. The thrust of physical planning in the 21st century should be livelihood focused, sustainability centered and inclusive oriented.

2. It is imperative that all economic, social and political plans be complimented with a physio-spatial development plan.

3. Governments in the sub-region must pursue with vigour the establishment of necessary institutional framework to operate the legal provisions.

4. Planning schools will need to raise the entry requirements and standards for admission in the training programmes.

5. The professionals in the Sub-Region should institute an aggressive advocacy programme to enhance public and private awareness of the contribution of physio-spatial planning in sustainable national development.

6. The Governments of the sub-region should emphasize the operation of e-government and professionals to up-date these skills in the use and application of it in their planning.

7. The informal sector challenges calls for a more responsive and inclusive planning approach.

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