The Launch of the National Urban Forum, taking on a theme, “Sustainable Urbanization: A collective responsibility”, is being organized by the Government of Uganda in cooperation with the Cities Alliance, scheduled for 6th May 2010, at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.
The establishment of the Uganda National Urban Forum (UNUF) is a resolution of the World Urban Forum 4 held in the ancient city of Nanjing from 13-17 October 2008 for the participating countries, to place urban development at the top of their development agenda and make informed decisions as regards urban policy and reforms.
A charter that will guide all the activities of the National Urban Forum will be ratified by members at its launch on Thursday 6th May 2010.

RATIONALE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL URBAN FORUM BY CHARTER

Conscious of the inadequacies of the existing structures for example uncoordinated approaches to urban planning, development and management, duplication of roles and responsibilities among various actors, wasteful use of resources, inadequate access to information, limited capacity among various actors at different levels, lack of awareness on the importance of integrated planning, low priority accorded to urban sector issues by local and national governments and weak sectoral inter-linkages which result in inefficient use of resources, inappropriate planning approaches, unsustainable urban development concepts, urban sprawl and informal settlement or slum development; MINDFUL that Uganda is experiencing high rates of population growth and urban growth demonstrated by the uncontrolled growth and expansion of unplanned informal settlements, the rising levels of urban poverty, the worsening levels of unemployment and under employment, the increasing numbers of street children, the escalating crime levels and the expanding
informal sectors;
Recalling the fact that the world is urbanizing at a very high rate and that it is estimated that by 2025 the majority of the people will be living in urban areas, with Uganda envisaged to have the highest urban growth rate over the period and that this has a lot of implications in terms of planning for the needs of the increased population;
Considering that the rate at which urbanization is taking place especially in Uganda calls for serious attention to tackle the challenges posed by lack of mechanisms that enhances integrated planning, development and management, lack of cooperation, networking and collaboration amongst various actors in the urban sector, inadequate resources to implement urban planning, management and development programmes;
Emphasizing the need to effectively implement planning legislation in the form of planning standards, principles and procedures as well as the aspects of informal settlements and public involvement in the planning process;
Aware that it is advantageous to eliminate wasteful resource use, avoid duplication and enhance bottom up planning and identification of priorities;
Considering that sustainable urban development involves ensuring well planned and managed urbanization process which leads to the development or urban centers in which there is adequate housing for all with access to safe water, proper sanitation, affordable energy, sustainable land use, efficient
transport system, sound urban economy, quality environment and adequate disaster and risk management capacity;

Recognizing the need to create the Uganda National Urban Forum (UNUF) as a permanent forum for networking, sharing and disseminating information, promoting cooperation amongst various actors in the urban sector to ensure advancement and sustainability of the UNUF network, advocating for prioritization of urban sector issues in the overall national development agenda and promoting integrated planning and management of urban growth;
Mindful that UNUF will have a major role in enhancing broad-based consultations that will offer stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to the planning process, development of planning policies and planning concepts as well as facilitating access to information and assessment of experiences;
Further mindful that UNUF will fill the gap that has subjected various actors to plan and operate in isolation yet all urban systems are interlinked;
Stakeholders in the urban domain resolve to act in concert for the establishment of UNUF Estabilishment of the UNUF. UNUF is to be a National Forum of all stakeholders in the urban sector that will bring together individuals and representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions, organizations of the urban poor as well as voluntary organizations at the national level and shall have Local Urban Development Forums in each District.

VISION OF UNUF

Sustainable Urban Development through dialogue and participation.

MISSION OF UNUF

To provide platform for participation and dialogue amongst all stakeholders on matters to influence policy and legal reforms for sustainable urban development.

PRINCIPLES OF UNUF

UNUF shall be based on the following principles –
(a) Collective Responsibility of all stakeholders in ensuring sustainable urban development;
(b) Integrated planning framework for sustainable urban development;
(c) Effective coordination amongst all stakeholders enhances complementality of roles;
(d) Local cooperation arrangements and networking enhances local capacities and capabilities;

OBJECTIVES OF UNUF

The main objective of the UNUF is to foster policy and public dialogue on the current situation and perspectives of urban development by all stakeholders in the Republic of Uganda.
The specific objectives for which UNUF is set up are to: –
(a) To institute/ provide a national platform that will avail space for dialogue amongst all stakeholders of the urban sector to participate in the planning and management of urban growth.
(b) To raise/ increase awareness about issues pertaining to urbanisation.
(c) To initiate coordination amongst the local, international bodies and development partners for purposes of research and information sharing to strengthen the institutional framework in the urban sector.
(d) To promote integrated participatory planning, development and management of the natural and built environments amongst urban actors in urban areas.
(e) To influence legal reforms and inform policy direction on matters relating to the urban sector and to promote prioritization of urban development.

FUNCTIONS OF UNUF

UNUF’s goal is to contribute towards the promotion of sustainable development in Uganda through enhancing continuous cooperation and networking, advocacy and lobby, research and training and access to support priority programmes in Uganda.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

UNUF shall have the following organs –
(a) The Council;
(b) The Executive committee (to be constituted by the stakeholders)
(c) The thematic working groups that will be composed by the Executive Committee;
(d) The Secretariat of UNUF; and
(e) The Local Urban Fora.