KIGALI, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda seeks to achieve 35 percent of urban residents in the next seven years from the current 17.5 percent, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said Monday at the annual National Dialogue Council.
"In Rwanda we are targeting to scale up secondary cities across the country where 35 percent of the Rwandan citizens will live in cities by 2024," said Ngirente when presenting the country's national strategy for transformation at the 15th edition of the annual National Dialogue Council, locally known as Umushyikirano, in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
The two-day forum, which runs through Tuesday, has brought together about 2,000 Rwandans, including central and local government officials, business people, civil society representatives, members of the Rwandan community in the diaspora and foreign diplomats to Rwanda. It aims to assess Rwanda's achievements registered in the last few years and plan for the future.
Organizers said the event gives all Rwandans, both in the country and abroad, the opportunity to ask their leaders questions directly and discuss the country's challenges, opportunities and growth agenda.
Ngirente said the unprecedented urban transition will depend on Rwanda's commitment to ensure that housing and other infrastructure projects in secondary cities are in place before 2024.
As part of the incentives to attract more people in cities, the government will continue scaling up industries and other services countrywide, which will also help boost the country's export base, he said.
According to Rwanda Housing Authority, Rwanda's six secondary cities of Musanze, Rusizi, Bugegesera, Huye, Rubavu and Nyagatare will be supported to better position themselves as locations that attract private investment through a specialization of their services.
Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the six secondary cities will be developed to achieve the country's sustainable, well-managed and inclusive economic growth.
More than half of African population is expected to live in cities by 2050, according to African Economic Outlook 2016 jointly conducted by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Development Programme.