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GUF 2024: Local Government Ministry outlines actions for sustainable urban development

GUF 2024: Local Government Ministry outlines actions for sustainable urban development

Comprehensive Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development in Ghana

GUF 2024: In a rapidly urbanizing world, Ghana stands at a pivotal crossroads, confronting the complexities of urban growth with a robust and forward-thinking agenda. The 2024 Ghana Urban Forum (GUF2024), held at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, emerged as a critical platform for stakeholders to converge and deliberate on sustainable urban development.

The forum, themed “Nurturing Roots, Growing Futures: Combining Policies and Partnerships for Urban Resilience and Transformation,” underscored the urgent need for cohesive strategies to address urban challenges. This article delves into the key outcomes of GUF2024 and outlines the strategic actions proposed by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development to foster resilient and sustainable urban environments in Ghana.

The Imperative of Sustainable Urban Development

GUF 2024
GUF 2024

The Challenges of Rapid Urbanization

Urbanization in Ghana is progressing at an unprecedented rate. Projections indicate that by 2057, approximately 75% of Ghanaians will reside in urban areas. This rapid shift necessitates a redefinition of urban spaces and a strategic approach to urban management. The increasing urban population presents challenges such as overcrowding, inadequate infrastructure, and environmental degradation. Addressing these issues requires enhanced institutional coordination and the development of urban management capacities.

Insights from GUF 2024

During the forum, several critical insights were highlighted:

  • People-Centered Urban Planning: Emphasized as a cornerstone for sustainable development, this approach prioritizes the needs and aspirations of urban dwellers.
  • Civic Education and Behavioral Change: Recognized as essential for addressing urbanization challenges, fostering a culture of civic responsibility, and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Role of the Media: Identified as pivotal in shaping public opinion and driving the urban development agenda.

Strategic Actions for Sustainable Urban Development

National Urban Policy and Implementation Plan

The approval and launch of the National Urban Policy and Implementation Plan mark significant milestones in Ghana’s urban development journey. This comprehensive policy framework aims to guide urban growth and ensure sustainable development through strategic planning and implementation.

Sustainable Cities Project

In collaboration with the World Bank, Ghana is designing the Sustainable Cities Project. This initiative seeks to build the next phase of urban development, focusing on sustainability and resilience. The project aims to integrate modern urban planning principles, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance the quality of urban life.

Media Engagement and Training

Recognizing the media’s influential role, the Ministry plans to engage and train journalists to advocate for resilient and sustainable urban development. This initiative aims to leverage media platforms to educate the public, promote best practices, and foster a culture of sustainability.

Decentralizing the Urban Forum

To ensure inclusive participation and localized impact, the Urban Forum will be decentralized to the regional level. This approach will facilitate regional dialogues, address local urban challenges, and promote tailored solutions that reflect the unique needs of different regions.

Development of Open Spaces and Nature-Based Solutions

Creating pedestrian-friendly cities with ample open spaces and nature-based solutions is a priority. These initiatives aim to enhance urban livability, promote environmental sustainability, and foster community well-being. The development of green spaces, parks, and urban forests will contribute to climate adaptation and provide recreational opportunities for urban residents.

Championing People-Centered Urban Development

The Ministry is committed to championing people-centered urban development. This approach focuses on inclusive planning, equitable access to services, and the active involvement of communities in decision-making processes. By prioritizing the needs of all urban dwellers, including marginalized groups, the Ministry aims to create inclusive and resilient urban environments.


The 2024 Ghana Urban Forum has set a clear agenda for sustainable urban development in Ghana. With strategic actions centered on policy implementation, sustainable projects, media engagement, decentralization, and people-centered planning, Ghana is poised to navigate the complexities of urbanization effectively.

By fostering collaboration among stakeholders and prioritizing sustainability, Ghana can build resilient urban environments that support the well-being and prosperity of all its citizens. By addressing these challenges through coordinated efforts and innovative solutions, Ghana can achieve sustainable urban development that nurtures its roots and grows its future.

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