Statistics Botswana (SB), Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, UN HABITAT and UNECA and other stakeholders held a validation workshop for the City Prosperity Initiative in Gaborone and Francistown on the 3rd and 5th September 2019.
A team of Deputy Statistician General Ms. Malebogo Kerekang, Co - Chairperson Person Ms. Grace Mphetolang and project team members Mr. Emmanuel Otukile, Mr. Boago Mashadi and Ms. Ndiye Nko represented Statistics Botswana.
The aim of the workshop was to involve all the critical stakeholders to verify and validate the data that was used to make up the City Prosperity Index for both cities of Gaborone and Francistown.
The exercise came about in 2012 when Botswana was chosen as one the two countries in Africa for the pilot of the SDG 11, City Prosperity Initiative which seeks to make cities, safe inclusive and resilient. The other country in Africa is Tunisia with two Latin American Countries, Colombia and Ecuador adding to the list.
Giving the keynote address the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development Mr. Dikagiso Mokotedi implored all stakeholders to work together in harmony for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
For her part, Deputy Statistician General, Ms. Malebogo Kerekang, remarked that the exercise marked an important milestone in the monitoring and reporting of Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals in Botswana.
She emphasized that the project “ SDG 11: Monitoring and Reporting on Human Settlement Indicators in Africa and Latin America” is an example of a very successful partnership between Statistics Botswana, UN HABITAT, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
She also highlighted that the work of Statistics Botswana pertaining to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals takes prominence from the United Nations 47th Session of the Statistical Commission of March 2016.
Ms. Kerekang underscored the importance of indicators as an integral part of the 2030 development agenda. She pointed that Statistics Botswana has shown its commitment by developing an Indicator baseline in 2018. She further persuaded stakeholders to take advantage of the Botswana Strategy for the development of Statistics and enroll in the National Statistical System.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Colonel Duke Masilo, emphasized the importance of Botswana being chosen amongst other countries as a pilot. He acknowledge that since the exercise of coming up with the City Prosperity Index for the two cities began in 2017, the task has not been an easy one.
He also noted that the challenges that Botswana faced in the development of the two reports would go a long way in assisting how the country would share her experiences and how to circumvent the short comings for similar international projects.
UN HABITAT representative Mr. Donatien Beguy praised Botswana for having successfully accepted to be the pilot for the SDG 11. He also noted that this would go a long way in assisting other countries who will be benchmarking from the project. He emphasized that going forward there will be a development of a National Indicator observatory which will be supported by UNHABITAT.
The Workshop that anchored around the SDG 11 of safe, resilient and sustainable cities was hailed by participants as a resounding success.