|Journal of the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies - Volume 2, Number 3 (HABITAT, 1993, 42 p.)|
UNIDO/UNCHS (Habitat) First Consultation on the Construction Industry, Tunis, Tunisia, 3-7 May 1993
The First Consultation on the Construction Industry was organized jointly by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat). It was hosted by the Government of Tunisia in cooperation with the Technical Centre for Building Materials (CTMCCV) and brought together 175 participants from 41 countries (18 from the African region) and six international and regional organizations. The Consultation was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Hamed Karaui, Prime Minister of Tunisia.
The Consultation analysed the current situation of the construction industry in developing countries and made an examination on the mechanisms for balanced growth between the formal and informal sectors. It also made proposals on strategies and policies for the promotion of the sector and identified some cooperation projects and investment opportunities aimed at developing national capacity in the construction industry.
An important objective of the Consultation was to promote sustainable construction-industry activities - an area of expressed concern in Agenda 21. In fact, this was the first global event since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to address the challenges and opportunities in introducing environmentally-sound construction practices in developing countries. In this regard, the Consultation, among other issues, focused on three key areas of sustainability namely: (a) the management of non-renewable resources; (b) the control of physical disruption; and (c) the minimization of air pollution caused by construction-related activities.
Finally, the consultation agreed on a comprehensive set of recommendations on the following issues:
(a) Prospects for development of the construction industry in the developing countries;
(b) Promoting sustainable construction industry activities.
These recommendations and a summary of presentations and discussions will be incorporated in the report of the consultation which is in preparation.
Regional Workshop on the Production and Utilization of Local Building Materials in Eastern and Southern Africa, Lusaka, Zambia, 20-21 May 1993.
The two-day Workshop, organized by Shelter-Afrique in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing of Zambia, brought together more than 40 participants from nine countries and a number of international and non-governmental organization as well as Zambia-based institutions and UNCHS (Habitat).
The Workshop which had the objective of promoting the production and use of local building materials through the exchange of views and experiences amongst the main actors in this industry devised a set of recommendations to governments and the international community on how to improve the performance of the sector. As part of an immediate action, the participants recommended that governments, NGOS, and international organizations should establish steering committees at the national level to coordinate activities and disseminate information on local building materials.
During the Workshop several issues of the Journal of the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies and some other UNCHS (Habitat) publications relevant to the subject of the Workshop were distributed among the participants and a detailed informative presentation was made on the Networks aim and its activities.
The Urban Management Programme: African Regional Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya, 11-15 January 1993
The first African Regional Workshop on Urban Management, which was held in Nairobi, brought together about 100 urban management experts from some 20 sub-Saharan African countries.
Since the aim of the Workshop was to initiate the process of regionalization of UMP in Africa, the following issues were discussed: (a) Which political and institutional changes are necessary in order to resolve the crisis of urban management in African cities? (b) What contribution can UMP make towards the economic and social development of African cities? (c) What are the principal objectives of UMP regionalization and, in this context, how can this group of experts contribute towards this process?
The participants joined in three working groups with simultaneous sessions. Each group addressed all three issues. These groups were assisted by members of the UMP team of experts from UNCHS (Habitat) and the World Bank as well as a consortium of experts provided by the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) of the United Kingdom.
The Workshop recognized that UMP is helping to initiate a fundamental process of transformation and change through the improved management of African cities. In order for this process to be effective, it has to go hand-in-hand with democratization, decentralization, acknowledgement of human rights and social justice, popular participation and gender responsiveness. The crisis in which many African cities find themselves today compels UMP to help reinforce local authorities and community-based organizations (CBOs) while bearing in mind the need for strengthening the fundamental functions of government.
The Workshop recommended that UMP should provide support regarding the following priority areas at local, national and regional levels:
(a) Urban land management;
(b) Urban infrastructure management;
(c) Municipal finance and administration;
(d) Urban poverty alleviation.
Finally the Workshop adopted the Nairobi Declaration on a number of urban management issues.