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On October 8, 2020, the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research(IPAR-Rwanda) with funding from the Partnership for Social and Governance Research(PASGR) based in Nairobi, Kenya, launched a series of stakeholders’ forums which will focus on urban governance in Rwanda’s six secondary cities.

Known as “Rwanda Urban Governance Utafiti Sera House Forum Series”, the forums bring together what is referred as a “house” which is composed of key stakeholders such as the central and local government representatives, development partners, Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector, Professional bodies such as the institutes of engineers, architects and others as well as researchers and academicians.
The forums will also involve members of the community as the key stakeholders in urban governance in the six secondary cities of Muhanga, Nyatare, Rubavu, Musanze, Huye and Rusizi.

Speaking during the opening of the inception workshop of the project on October 8, IPAR-Rwanda Director of Research Dr. Alexandre Simons said that the project aims at creating a platform through which issues related to Urbanization of the secondary cities in Rwanda are discussed based on the research evidence.

“These discussions bring together what we call a community which involves Policy makers, Researchers, Academicians, and other key actors such as Development Partners, Civil Society, Private Sector, Members of the Public and the Media,” Dr Alexandre further noted.

In her opening remarks, the Acting Executive Director of the Partnership for Social and Governance Research(PASGR) Dr. Beatrice Muganda noted that it is important to bring together all the partners to share their expertise, resources and capacities for nurturing the project.

“We must constantly be focusing on mobilizing ingenious ideas that will catalyze the transformation we desire in the secondary cities,” Dr. Muganda further said.

During the inception workshop which brought together over 25 key stakeholders including the representatives of the Ministries of Infrastructure, Local Government, Finance and Economic Planning and Rwanda Housing Authority as well as representatives of some of the secondary cities, the participants shared lessons learnt from the previous Utafiti Sera Project Phase I on urban governance, discussed the objectives of the current phase II of the project, its theory of change and expected outputs.

Participants were also shown the findings from socio-economic studies conducted by IPAR-Rwanda in the three secondary cities namely Nyagatare, Muhanga and Rubavu.

It is expected that the first Utafiti Sera Forum on urbanization of the secondary cities will take place before end of the year.