|Journal of the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies - Volume 3, Number 1 (HABITAT, 1994, 44 p.)|
The General Assembly of the United Nations, at its forty-seventh session in 1992, decided to convene the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) to be held in 1996, twenty years after the first Conference on Human Settlements was held in Vancouver, Canada. The Conference, while addressing critical human settlements issues and problems, will initiate world-wide action to improve shelter and the living environment, especially for low-income, poor and marginalized groups.
This issue is being devoted to the Habitat II Conference in order to familiarize readers of this Journal with the Conference and its preparatory process at national and regional levels. Efforts have been made to include some information on this event, including the need for the Conference, its substantive themes and the preparatory process. Summary findings of an African Expert-Group Meeting on Effective Participation of the African Region in the Preparatory Process of Habitat II held in Nairobi, in February 1994, is also included. The findings of the meeting address critical issues in the African region such as shelter, disaster preparedness, poverty and the environment, and proposes a set of action plans at local, national and regional levels which are relevant to the construction sector.
Recognizing the importance of the construction sector activities in achieving the goals of adequate shelter for all, a special article has been included focusing on the opportunity the Habitat II preparatory process provides, to address with renewed vigour the construction sector needs of the African region. The article highlights the key constraints affecting the development of the construction sector in the region and proposes a number of measures and policy options on how these constraints could be overcome.
As in previous issues, readers will also find selected technical articles on research findings and technologies related to building materials. This issue focuses on the use of industrial wastes in the production of low-cost building materials.
I hope that readers will find this publication both useful and interesting and that it will serve to stimulate and encourage not only the professional community but all other actors on the housing scene to contribute to the Habitat II Conference and its preparatory activities.
Dr. Wally NDow
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)