Thursday, 2 May 2013


"Real Estates and Homes Expo 2013: 2nd - 5th May 2013”

Today, May 2, 2013, all roads lead to Bulange Mengo the seat of Buganda Government as His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda opens the 4th Real Estate and Homes Expo 2013.  It is important to focus on this event as one that brings together players who are critical in the urbanization efforts which can be positively harnessed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Uganda.  

The Global Monitoring Report (GMR) that has been released says that developing countries need to harness urbanization to achieve the MDGs.  Urbanization helps pull people out of poverty and advances progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, but, if not managed well, can also lead to burgeoning growth of slums, pollution, and crime, says the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013, released by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  Urbanization has been a major force behind poverty reduction and progress towards other MDGs. With over 80 percent of global goods and services produced in cities, countries with relatively higher levels of urbanization, such as China, and many others in East Asia and Latin America, have played a major role in lowering extreme poverty worldwide. In contrast, the two least urbanized regions, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, have significantly higher rates of poverty and continue to lag behind on most MDGs.

Real Estate and Homes Expo
The real estate and homes expo is held every year at Bulange Gardens, with the aim of creating an interface among the various actors in the real estate industry. The themes selected each year rotate around ideas that reflect trends in real estate sector in the region. The Real Estate and Homes Expo is organized in partnership with the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development.
This event brings together a broad spectrum of real estate service providers and customers to a consolidated platform to discuss and share insights on real estate and homes.
This annual event sets out to attract leading Real estate developers, Land planners , Government Institutions , building material suppliers , financing agencies, letting agents, professional bodies, prospective home owners and other regional industry players for discussions that will drive the direction of the industry as well as meet the region's future real estate and homes development needs.
It is a unique platform to showcase the latest products and developments in the real estate and homes sector with a view to facilitate exchange of information and enhance knowledge to existing and prospective customers under one roof. This will enable the participants to access relevant information for growing their businesses. The service providers can also suitably modify their offerings to match the requirements of their customers.
The Background to the Millennium Development Goals
In September 2000, the United Nations (UN) held a Millennium Summit where 189 states of the United Nations made a commitment to work toward a world in which the elimination of poverty and sustained development would have the highest priority. The Millennium Declaration was signed by 147 heads of state and passed unanimously by the members of the UN General Assembly. The resulting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) grew out of that declaration and the agreements and resolutions at world conferences organized by the United Nations during the 1990s.
At the Millennium Summit, the largest gathering of World leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce poverty, improve health, and promote peace, human rights, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.  This unprecedented joint commitment was not a one-off affair.  The partnership between rich and poor countries was reaffirmed at the November 2001 launch of the Doha Round on international trade.  Soon after, world leaders met again at the March 2002 international conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, establishing a land mark framework for global development partnership in which developed and developing countries agreed to take joint actions for poverty reduction.  Later that same year, UN member states gathered at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they reaffirmed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the world’s time bound development targets.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s time – bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion – while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability.  They are also basic human rights – the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security as pledged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Millennium Declaration.
The MDGs focus the efforts of the world community on achieving significant, measurable improvements in people's lives by the year 2015. They establish targets and yardsticks for measuring results—not just for developing countries but for the rich countries that help fund development programs and for the multilateral institutions that help countries implement them.
The eight MDGs listed below guide the efforts of virtually all organizations working in development and have been commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress:
    • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    • Achieve universal primary education
    • Promote gender equality and empower women
    • Reduce child mortality
    • Improve maternal health
    • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
    • Ensure environmental sustainability
    • Develop a Global Partnership for Development

10 Recommendations to Meet the Millennium Development Goals

Recommendation 1
Developing country governments should adopt development strategies bold enough to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for 2015.  We term them MDG-based poverty reduction strategies. To meet the 2015 deadline, we recommend that all countries have these strategies in place by 2006. Where Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) already exist, those should be aligned with the MDGs.

Recommendation 2
The MDG-based poverty reduction strategies should anchor the scaling up of public investments, capacity building, domestic resource mobilization, and official development assistance. They should also provide a framework for strengthening governance, promoting human rights, engaging civil society, and promoting the private sector. The MDG-based poverty reduction strategies should:
Be based on an assessment of investments and policies needed to reach the Goals by 2015.
Spell out the detailed national investments, policies, and budgets for the coming three to five years.
Focus on rural productivity, urban productivity, health, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, environmental sustainability, and science, technology, and innovation.
Focus on women's and girls' health (including reproductive health) and education outcomes, access to economic and political opportunities, right to control assets, and freedom from violence.
Promote mechanisms for transparent and decentralized governance.
Include operational strategies for scale-up, such as training and retaining skilled workers.
Involve civil society organizations in decision-making and service delivery, and provide resources for monitoring and evaluation.
Outline a private sector promotion strategy and an income generation strategy for poor people.
Be tailored, as appropriate, to the special needs of landlocked, small island developing, least developed, and fragile states.
Mobilize increased domestic resources by up to four percentage points of GNP by 2015.
Calculate the need for official development assistance.
Describe an "exit strategy" to end aid dependency, appropriate to the country's situation.

Recommendation 3
Developing country governments should craft and implement the MDG-based poverty reduction strategies in transparent and inclusive processes, working closely with civil society organizations, the domestic private sector, and international partners.
Civil society organizations should contribute actively to designing policies, delivering services, and monitoring progress.
Private sector firms and organizations should contribute actively to policy design, transparency initiatives and, where appropriate, public-private partnerships.

Recommendation 4
International donors should identify at least a dozen MDG "fast-track" countries for a rapid scale-up of official development assistance (ODA) in 2005, recognizing that many countries are already in a position for a massive scale-up on the basis of their good governance and absorptive capacity.

Recommendation 5
Developed and developing countries should jointly launch, in 2005, a group of Quick Win actions to save and improve millions of lives and to promote economic growth. They should also launch a massive effort to build expertise at the community level.
The Quick Wins include but are not limited to:
Free mass distribution of malaria bed-nets and effective anti-malaria medicines for all children in regions of malaria transmission by the end of 2007.
Ending user fees for primary schools and essential health services, compensated by increased donor aid as necessary, no later than the end of 2006.
Successful completion of the 3 by 5 campaign to bring 3 million AIDS patients in developing countries onto antiretroviral treatment by the end of 2005.
Expansion of school meals programs to cover all children in hunger hotspots using locally produced foods by no later than the end of 2006.
A massive replenishment of soil nutrients for smallholder farmers on lands with nutrient-depleted soils, through free or subsidized distribution of chemical fertilizers and agro-forestry, by no later than the end of 2006
The massive training program of community-based workers should aim to ensure, by 2015, that each local community has:
Expertise in health, education, agriculture, nutrition, infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, and environmental management.
Expertise in public sector management.
Appropriate training to promote gender equality and participation.

Recommendation 6
Developing country governments should align national strategies with such regional initiatives as the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the Caribbean Community (and Common Market), and regional groups should receive increased direct donor support for regional projects. Regional development groups should:
Be supported to identify, plan, and implement high-priority cross- border infrastructure projects (roads, railways, watershed management).
Receive direct donor support to implement cross-border projects.
Be encouraged to introduce and implement peer-review mechanisms to promote best practices and good governance.

Recommendation 7
High-income countries should increase official development assistance (ODA) from .0.25 percent of donor GNP in 2003 to around 0.44 percent in 2006 and 0.54 percent in 2015 to support the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in low-income countries, with improved ODA quality (including aid that is harmonized, predictable, and largely in the form of grants-based budget support). Each donor should reach 0.7 percent no later than 2015 to support the Goals and other development assistance priorities. Debt relief should be more extensive and generous.
ODA should be based on actual needs to meet the Millennium Development Goals and on countries' readiness to use the ODA effectively.
Criteria for evaluating the sustainability of a country's debt burden must be consistent with the achievement of the Goals.
Aid should be oriented to support the MDG-based poverty reduction strategy, rather than to support donor-driven projects.
Donors should measure and report the share of their ODA that supports the actual scale-up of MDG-related investments.
Middle-income countries should also seek opportunities to become providers of ODA and give technical support to low-income countries.

Recommendation 8
High-income countries should open their markets to developing country exports through the Doha trade round and help Least Developed Countries raise export competitiveness through investments in critical trade-related infrastructure, including electricity, roads, and ports. The Doha Development Agenda should be fulfilled and the Doha Round completed no later than 2006.

Recommendation 9
International donors should mobilize support for global scientific research and development to address special needs of the poor in areas of health, agriculture, natural resource and environmental management, energy, and climate. We estimate the total needs to rise to approximately $7 billion a year by 2015.

Recommendation 10
The United Nations Secretary-General and the UN Development Group should strengthen the coordination of UN agencies, funds, and programs to support the MDGs, at headquarters and country level. The UN Country Teams should be strengthened and should work closely with the international financial institutions to support the Goals.
The UN Country Teams should be properly trained, staffed, and funded to support program countries to achieve the Goals.
The UN Country Team and the international financial institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and regional development banks) should work closely at country level to improve the quality of technical advice.

Reasons for Short falls in achieving the MDGs
1)   Poor Governance marked by corruption;
2)   Poor economic policy choices;
3)   Denial of Human Rights;
4)   A poverty trap with local and national economies too poor to make the needed investments;
5)   Sometimes progress is made in one part of the country but not in others, hence persistence of sizeable pockets of poverty.
To achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), huge new investments and, in many cases, better policies and institutions are needed to implement the practical measures that are known to work.
For developing countries struck in a poverty trap, it is recommended that the MDG based frameworks to meet the 2015 target should be designed around seven broad ‘clusters’ of public investments and policies:
1)   Promoting vibrant rural communities, by increasing food productivity of smaller farmers, raising rural incomes, and expanding rural access to essential public services and infrastructure,
2)   Promoting vibrant urban areas, by encouraging job creation in internationally competitive manufactures and services, upgrading slums, and providing alternatives to slum formation,
3)   Ensuring universal access to essential health services in a well functioning health system,
4)   Ensuring universal enrollment and completion of primary education and greatly expanded access to post primary and higher education,
5)   Overcoming pervasive gender bias,
6)   Improving environmental management,
7)   Building national capacities in Science, technology, and innovation.  
GLOBAL Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013:
Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals   Starkly compares the well-being in the countryside versus the city. Urban infant mortality rates range from 8-9 percentage points lower than the rural rates in Latin America and Central Asia; to 10-16 percentage points in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa and highest in East Asia (21 percentage points).
In South Asia, 60 percent of urban dwellers have access to sanitation facilities, compared with 28 percent in rural areas. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 42 percent of the urban population has access, compared with 23 percent of rural residents. Access to safe water in urban areas in developing countries was almost complete in 2010, with 96 percent coverage, compared with 81 percent of the rural population having access.
“The rural-urban divide is quite evident. Megacities and large cities are the richest and have far better access to basic public services; smaller towns, secondary cities, and areas on the perimeter of urban centers are less rich; and rural areas are the poorest,” said Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. “But this does not mean unfettered urbanization is a cure-all – the urban poor in many places urgently need better services as well as infrastructure that will keep them connected to schools, jobs and decent health care.”
The GMR, which is also an annual report card on MDG attainment, finds that progress continues to lag on reducing maternal and child mortality and providing sanitation facilities, targets which will not be met by the MDGs 2015 deadline. However, progress has been stellar on reducing extreme poverty, providing access to safe drinking water and eliminating gender disparity in primary education, with these targets already achieved several years ahead of the MDGs deadline.
Though extreme poverty has declined rapidly in many countries, the World Bank estimates that by 2015 there will be 970 million people living on $1.25 a day. Therefore, continued concerted efforts to get extreme poverty as close to zero as possible are needed.
“Emerging market and developing countries are growing robustly notwithstanding slow growth in advanced economies. Sustaining this growth – by continuing to maintain prudent macro policies and strengthening the capacity to manage risks, including through a rebuilding of depleted policy buffers – is key to continued progress in poverty reduction as we approach 2015,” said Hugh Bredenkamp, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department.
As the report points out, the challenge of fighting poverty and improving the living conditions of the poor, lies in both urban and rural areas.
Large cities and smaller towns are fast becoming home to the world’s largest slums, with Asia home to 61 percent of the world’s 828 million slum dwellers, Africa 25.5 percent and Latin America 13.4 percent. The developing world’s urban centers are expected to burgeon, drawing 96 percent of the additional 1.4 billion people by 2030. To cope with urban growth, a coordinated package of essential infrastructure and services is needed. Only by meeting essential needs related to transportation, housing, water and sanitation as well as education and healthcare can cities avoid becoming hubs of poverty and squalor, the report says.
“Agglomeration, or the clustering of people and economic activity, is an important driver of development and evidence suggests that it can have high pay offs, particularly for countries on the lower rungs of development,” said Lynge Nielsen, Senior Economist in IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department and co-author of the GMR.
At the same time, stepped up efforts are also needed to improve development in rural areas, where 76 percent of the developing world’s 1.2 billion poor live, with inadequate access to the basic amenities defined by the MDGs.
Rural poverty rates far exceed those of urban areas across all regions of the world. The report further finds that rural women are hurt the most by poor infrastructure, because they perform most of the domestic chores and often walk long distances to have access to clean water, and lower levels of education attainment.
Although tackling rural development challenges will not be easy, it can be done with complementary rural-urban development policies and actions by governments to facilitate a healthy move toward cities without short-changing rural areas, says the report.
“Urbanization does matter. However, in order to harness the economic and social benefits of urbanization, policy-makers must plan for efficient land-use, match population densities with the required needs for transport, housing and other infrastructure, and arrange the financing needed for such urban development programs,” said Jos Verbeek, Lead Economist at the World Bank and lead author of the GMR.
The MDGs Report Card
•  In 1990, with poverty rates of about 55 percent, Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia were at the same starting position for MDG 1a – to halve the number of people in extreme poverty. By 2010, East Asia made spectacular progress and reduced extreme poverty rate to 12 percent compared to Sub-Saharan Africa which still had a poverty rate of 48percent. According to projections, in 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa’s rate for extreme poverty will be 42 percent, or 408 million of the world’s 970 million people living in extreme poverty.
•  As a region, Sub-Saharan Africa will miss all 9 MDGs by a significant margin (Figure 1). It is lagging most on the MDGs related with halving extreme poverty and access to sanitation.
•  In a set of 46 countries, the poverty profiles of individual countries indicate varied progress. Between 9-18 countries have met or have made sufficient progress to reach the MDG targets related with halving extreme poverty, primary completion and gender parity in primary and secondary education (Table 1). With accelerated implementation, 5 more countries can reach the poverty reduction and gender parity targets, and 12 more countries can achieve the primary completion target by 2015.
•  Sub-Saharan Africa has made least progress in achieving the MDGs related with reducing infant and maternal mortality, and access to sanitation. Acceleration can help at most 4-5 countries to achieve the health targets, but can only help Botswana to reach the sanitation target by 2015.
Rural-Urban Disparities
In Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty is concentrated in rural areas where 75 percent of the poor reside. Unlike other regions where the urban poor are concentrated in smaller towns, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the urban poor and poverty are concentrated in the capital and large cities. Compared to rural areas, urban areas have lower poverty and better access to basic amenities. Rural-urban disparities are large.
•  In 2008, the region had the highest poverty rates of all regions – 46 percent of rural compared to 34 percent of the urban population lived in extreme poverty. For each poor person in an urban area, there were 2.5 as many in rural areas.
•  Primary education and its quality are equally important for reducing poverty. In 2007, only 57 percent of rural compared to 75 percent of urban grade 6 students achieved competency in reading. Only 18 percent of rural relative to 24 percent of the urban children achieved competency in mathematics. Urban-rural literacy differentials were as high as 40 percent.
•  The infant mortality rate is 65 (per 1,000 live births) in urban relative to 80 in rural areas. The urban-rural child mortality differentials range between 2.5 – 40 percent.
•  In 2010, 49 percent of rural compared to 83 percent of urban residents had access to safe water. Only 23 percent of rural and 42 percent of urban residents have access to sanitation services.


  1. Thank you for this report. Much appreciated.

    Mrs Margaret Kiyaga, Mega Katonda Afirika, WIFE OF GOD.