Uganda Gearing up for 2nd National Housing Symposium and World Habitat Day 2023.


The Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and various key sector partners, is gearing up to host the 2nd Uganda National Housing Symposium and World Habitat Day 2023 celebrations. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 5th, 2023, at the Mestil Hotel and Residences in Kampala.

World Habitat Day, initially designated by the UN General Assembly on the first Monday of October each year, is a global observance dedicated to reflecting on the state of human settlements and the fundamental human right to adequate shelter. However, Uganda has shifted its National Celebrations to Thursday, October 5th, 2023, to ensure the full participation of its partners.

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Under the theme “Resilient urban economies; Cities as drivers of Growth and Economic recovery,” this year’s event aims to draw attention to the role of governments and stakeholders in positioning their economies and activities to benefit residents.

The National Housing Symposium, now in its second year, was established in response to the growing housing deficit in Uganda. It serves as a high-level platform for bringing together National and International Heads of key organizations, High Ranking Government Officials, Cultural leaders, Property Developers, Real Estate Investors, Regulators, Academia, Manufactures, Financiers, Contractors, and outstanding members of society to discuss practical solutions to affordable housing.

Key objectives of the symposium include showcasing innovative solutions for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and decent housing, addressing cross-cutting issues such as gender and youth engagement, sharing best practices, and fostering partnerships between the Government and the private sector. It also aims to develop appropriate designs and technologies to address the housing shortage.

Hon. Judith Nabakooba Nalule, the Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, highlighted various developments and initiatives undertaken by the Ministry, including the implementation of the National Housing Policy, Condominium Act, National Slum upgrading Strategy, and more. “These efforts aim to promote secure tenure, affordable housing, and sustainable urbanization,” she said.

Robert Otim, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, emphasized the need for affordable housing as a driver for economic growth, especially in informal settlements. He mentioned the staggering statistic that 65% of urban residents in Uganda reside in such settlements, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue.

Otim also highlighted the efforts of Habitat for Humanity Uganda in introducing innovative solutions such as low-cost urban prototypes and stabilized soil blocks to revolutionize affordable housing accessibility.

The anticipation for the 2nd Uganda National Housing Symposium and World Habitat Day 2023 is building, with stakeholders, government officials, and the public eagerly awaiting the event. It will host the gathering of housing experts, policymakers, and innovators, among others

“The symposium promises to shed light on cutting-edge solutions for the housing crisis in Uganda. It will feature discussions on the role of technology in reducing building costs, financial products designed for affordable housing, and the profound connection between decent housing and health, particularly in reducing malaria cases,” Otim highlighted.

He adds that experts from various sectors, including finance, construction, and urban planning, will converge to share their knowledge and experiences. Government officials are expected to outline their strategies for addressing housing challenges and fostering economic growth through resilient urban economies.

As the country looks forward to the symposium, the spotlight remains on the pressing issue of affordable housing, particularly in informal settlements, where a significant portion of the urban population resides. Stakeholders recognize that tackling this challenge is not only a matter of providing shelter but also a catalyst for economic development, job creation, and improved living conditions.

According to Otim, this second housing symposium, serves as a reminder that adequate housing is not just a fundamental human right but also a cornerstone of vibrant, resilient cities. The collaborative efforts of the government, organizations like Habitat for Humanity, and the private sector are crucial in shaping Uganda’s housing landscape and driving economic growth.

As the nation gears up for this significant event, the hope is that it will inspire innovative solutions, spark meaningful conversations, and ultimately lead to concrete actions that will improve housing conditions and contribute to the prosperity of Uganda’s urban centers. Stay tuned for more updates as the symposium unfolds and initiatives to address the housing deficit gain momentum.

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