World City Planners Want Kigali to Host MetroLab Headquarters

Global experts on city planning have today proposed that Rwanda’s Capital, Kigali should host the regional Metrolab headquarters.

The experts are holding their 7th cession also called Metropolitan Strategic Planning Laboratory (MetroLab) in Kigali, in partnership with the World Bank Group.

The four-day forum has brought together city planners and political leaders, to discuss metropolitan matters.

More than 50 experts are discussing sustainable solutions to city development challenges while also sharing experience about urban management and development.

“Each city serves as a learning laboratory for urban planners around the globe,” says Ede Ijjasz Vasque, the senior Director for the World Bank’s Social, Urban and Resilience Global practice.

“By connecting global cities together, MetroLab shares solutions for growth that are not only inclusive and sustainable but also serve to alleviate poverty and share prosperity.”

The City of Kigali was acknowledged upon the cleanness, which gives it a merit of cleanest and greenest city in Africa.

Experts say that Kigali also serves as a model city in quick service delivery and smart technology whereby internet connectivity is 100%, with a 4G LTE internet.

“Kigali City merits to host a regional Metrolab headquarter thanks to a good planning model it provides,” Yasser Aabdel-Aleem Awny, World Bank country Manager told KT Press in a separate interview.

The World Bank Group, in 2015, ranked Rwanda among six top cities in the world that demonstrate global competitiveness.

However, Victor Vergara a Lead Urban Specialist emphasized that African cities have unique opportunities but especially lack proper long term planning. Participants agree that African cities have good lessons to share.

Kigali City Mayor, Monique Mukaruriza said; “It is true City of Kigali is on a quick pace of development; however we still face the financial and housing problems. I expect to learn a lot from these experts.”

This is the second MetroLab hosted by an African City but the first to explore the unique planning strategies and opportunities of regional development in a landlocked country.

The metrolab program is a joint initiative between the World Bank Group and other partners, representing best practices from cities throughout the world.

Since its inception in 2014, the Metrolab program has been hosted by Rio, Paris, Seoul, Mumbai, New York and Dar Es Salaam.

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