Ntengwe for Community Development: Towards Enabling the Melting Pot to tame Urbanization into Opportunities for the City that Women and Youth Want

Ntengwe for Community Development: Towards Enabling the Melting Pot to tame Urbanization into Opportunities for the City that Women and Youth Want

The high density areas, especially Chinotimba and Mkhosana in Victoria Falls urban are growing at an unprecedented rate, given the Border Town status of Victoria Falls. According to the population statistics of 2015 by Zimstat, it is projected that the population in the high density areas will increase by 20% by 2020. In 1992, Victoria Falls had a total population of 15,010 which grew to 31 519 in 2002.  In the 10 years to 2012 this population had grown to 33 784. Of this total population, close to 52% are female. Given its central tourist role and attractions, Victoria Falls is indeed a melting pot where different people from different races, languages and cultural backgrounds coexist. The proportion of the urban population is expected to increase as more rural people struggle for survival in the face of climate change. However, Urbanization in Victoria Falls has failed to bring about inclusive growth which, in turn, has resulted in proliferation of urban poverty and rising inequality.  Another challenge from the rapid urbanization in Victoria Falls is the increasing pressure on natural resources and environment, criminality and disease.   It has also been noted that of 25% of the population that is dependent on tourism seasonally or permanently the majority are men resulting in the exclusion of women and youth from tourism, hence compounding their poverty situation. Ntengwe for Community Development has also noted that women and youth suffer from endemic poverty, limited access to capital and markets, and ownership of land and other productive assets. 

In spite of the fact that youth and women are the largest proportion of the population in Victoria Falls, it is evident that they have been traditionally excluded and continue to be marginalized from the development opportunities that come with urbanization.  This has been made worse by the fact that of the planning and development platform available for development consultations such as planning law and budget making consultations, the technical jargon and media used give them very little chance of participating. It is against this background that the Huairou Commission and Ntengwe for Community Development, will host the Victoria Falls Urban Thinkers Campus on 18 October 2017. Aptly entitled “Towards Enabling the Melting Pot to tame Urbanization into Opportunities for the City that Women and Youth Want” the campus offers an open platform for urban authorities, development players, grassroots women and youth to converge and engage on their aspirations for the City We all Want.

It is a first of its kind and will engage the participants through the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in such a manner that all participants will be able to contribute their aspirations and engage with other stakeholders. The Conference to be held through the Urban Thinkers sessions, Partner Constituent Groups, Round Table and a Plenary will generate commitments and action plans from development players on how the unveiling urbanization can be turned into opportunities that can benefit the diversity of people in the town including children, youth, women, tourists, the able bodied and people living with disabilities. The Campus will also give impetus to both government and non-government actors to elevate participation by all as a basis of promoting inclusivity. Further, it will act as a bulwark in complementing the Government of Zimbabwe’s Position Paper on Sustainable Development Goals and push forward the localization and implementation of the ten Sustainable Development Goals that the government of Zimbabwe has prioritized. 


Article by Innocent Issac
Photo Credits: CC0 Creative Commons / monikawl999