Uganda is a country on the move. Following the trauma of the Idi Amin period, political stability and economic policies aligned with international trade have generated economic development and social change – but are plans for attracting inward investment ignoring the economic realities facing Uganda’s people?
Geoffrey Payne has written on inward investment in Uganda, read the full article here.
Three bits of news from GPA towers this week. Geoff has recently returned from the Far East after contributing to studies in Ulaanbaatar and Shanghai – updated resources and material to follow.
Egypt – UN-Habitat Expert Group Meeting, 22 May:
Geoff has been commissioned by UN-Habitat to contribute to an Expert Group Meeting in Cairo, entitled Egypt’s Housing Sector Expert Group Dialogue 1: Setting the Scene. Instead of being present in person, it has been agreed that Geoff will prepare a presentation via Skype on ‘Affordable housing and urban land policy: lessons learned from international experience’.
Ulaanbaatar Land Administration and Land Markets Study:
Geoff was part of the World Bank mission (07-16 May) to present the findings of the Technical Assistance project which started in 2013. A workshop was held with senior officials from the Ulaanbaatar municipality to present the findings of the study and discuss their implications for policy.
Changning housing study, Shanghai, China, May 2014:
Geoff was part of the World Bank mission led by Mesky Brhane, for the final workshop on the Changning Affordable Housing project. Geoff contributed a presentation to a range of senior officials and academics from local agencies and universities on the findings of the project, following which discussions provide feedback for the final report due in June.
In 2013, Geoff was commissioned by Cloudburst Consulting Group to prepare a Brief on Urban Land Tenure and Property Rights for USAID staff working in country offices on infrastructure and urban development projects. The Brief was launched during the World Bank Land Policy Conference in Washington DC in March 2014. To download a copy of the brief, click here.
Geoff was invited to stay on in Washington to contribute to a seminar on land tenure at USAID head office. Prior to the seminar, Geoff had informal meetings with members of the Land Tenure Division at USAID head office to discuss issues and ongoing work. In the afternoon, he made a presentation on ‘Urban land tenure and property rights – issues and options’ as part of a panel including Liz Blake of Habitat for Humanity and Remy Sietchiping of UN-Habitat. To download Geoff’s presentation, click here.
The 2014 conference was on the theme of ‘Integrating Land Governance into the Post-2015 Agenda and was held in the Washington headquarters. Geoff attended the conference as a delegate and co-author, with David Mason and Mesky Brhane, of a paper presented by David, entitled ‘Land, land everywhere, but not a service to link: Land policy and urban expansion in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’. The paper is based on a Land Administration and Land Markets Study undertaken by a World Bank mission led by Mesky Brhane, of which David, Geoff and Olga Kaganova are team members, with a substantial contribution by Chinzorig Batbileg in Ulaanbaatar. To read the paper, click here.
It is my great delight to welcome you to GPA’s brand new website. There’s lots of fun to be had here, just have a surf through the various links and menus until you find somewhere that’s just right for you.
We’ve managed to keep everything that was on the old website – we’ve just made it look a bit nicer! If you get lost, try our contact page and we’ll endeavour to draw you a map.
GPA interns Anshika Suri and Itzel Obregon Prescott are completing their collaboration with GPA and returning to complete their Master’s degree courses. Anshika and Itzel have made a major contribution to the preparation of a feasibility study for self-financing and affordable housing in Ulaanbaaatar, the capital of Mongolia, where Geoff is currently engaged on a World Bank project to review affordable housing issues and policy options (see Projects).
They have also helped to redesign and update the GPA website and create a dedicated GPA network of existing and previous Associates, Research Associates and interns. Geoff wishes them every success and happiness in the future and looks forward to keeping in touch.
GPA was invited to be participate in the International City Climate Leadership conference and Awards dinner, held at the Crystal, London on 04-05 September, 2013. The event was sponsored by Siemens and the C40 Climate leadership Group and was attended by delegates from all parts of the world. Following a glittering reception and dinner, including a stunning laser show, ten organisations received awards at the following day’s conference.
Details of the event can be found here, where examples of innovative and practical approaches can be found. It is hoped that these can provide encouragement to mayors and other key stakeholders to adopt these and similar approaches in other cities worldwide so that urban centres can realise their full potential of achieving sustainable social, environmental and economic development.
Geoff is delighted to welcome Anshika Suri and Itzel Obregon Prescott as interns at GPA. Anshika is from India and Itzel is from Mexico and both are currently studying on the Mundus Urbano Masters programme at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. During their time with GPA between July and September, Anshika and Itzel will be helpng to prepare some proposals on affordable housing in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, which Geoff will be presenting at a workshop in October. They have also offered to revamp the GPA website, so stand by for a sharp improvement in readability!
Geoff is proud to announce that Maylis Durand-Lasserve has agreed to become a GPA Associate. Maylis is a social scientist and brings a wealth of academic and practical experience to GPA.
As a trustee of Article 25, Geoff was invited to the ‘Art of Building’ exhibition and fund-raising auction held at the House of Commons Pavilion on 12 June. The event raised over £8,000 for the charity, 95% of which will directly benefit projects in Haiti and other countries.