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F/town falls short in un development goal

F/town falls short in un development goal
OPTIMISTIC: Francistown Mayor Godisang Radisigo

City Prosperity Index exposes institutional weaknesses

The City of Francistown has received mixed reviews on the United National Development Goals 11 (SDG11) indicators.

‘SDG11’ monitors and reports on human settlement pointers in Africa and Latin America. It is a project that supports the design of monitoring tools to improve the availability and access to data and statistics at the city and urban national level.

UN has 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be attained by the year 2030. Botswana and Tunisia are the two countries in Africa chosen to pilot Goal number 11 of Sustainable Cities and Communities.

These means both Gaborone and Francistown are periodically evaluated to measure performance of ‘SDG11’ indicators to demonstrate the prosperity level of each city.

Addressing a Full Council Session on Monday, Francistown Mayor, Godisang Radisigo revealed that the City Prosperity Index (CPI)’s preliminary findings indicate Ghetto is doing relatively well in terms of Quality of Life, Equity and Social Inclusion, which are among the six dimensions of Urban Prosperity.

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“This is an indication that we’re an inclusive society with a relatively well-educated population with a higher life expectancy,” declared Radisigo.

The Mayor, however, admitted that going forward there’s a need to rethink policies and investments in infrastructure, environmental sustainability and urban governance where performance is relatively poor.

According to the UN, ‘making cities sustainable’ means creating career and business opportunities, providing safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies. This includes investment in public transport, creating green public spaces and improving urban planning and management in participatory and inclusive ways.

The UN estimates that by 2050, two-thirds of all humanity (6.5 billion people) will be urban dwellers, which calls for a significant transformation in the way urban spaces are built and managed.

The UN study further states that due to the rapid growth of cities, a result of rising populations and increasing migration, there has been a boom in mega-cities, especially in the developing world. Sadly, this has meant slums have become a more prominent feature of urban life.

Likewise, Radisigo noted that while they’ve scored positively in some indicators, Francistown is doing poorly in terms of prosperity, a critical dimension of Urban Prosperity.

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“CPI findings suggest there’s an unbalanced urban development in Francistown which could be due to institutional and structural weakness,” he said.

The Mayor further revealed Council is implementing a robust clean-up campaign under the Participatory Slums Upgrading Programme in Somerset West’s Boikhutso ward.

“The project entails a clean-up campaign, painting of main houses on 165 identified plots, installation of waste bins on 250 plots, tree planting and the numbering of the said plots,” stated Radisigo.

He explained the main aim of this initiative is to engage communities in improving their livelihood through enhancement of where they live.

“It also aims to educate residents of Boikhutso on the proper way to develop structures that are safe for their occupation. It will further serve as a learning centre for other neighbourhoods of its character and reduce over-dependence on government aid,” he said.

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