Kigali City has been granted the Habitat Scroll of Honor Award 2008 for its many innovations in building a model, modern city symbolized by zero tolerance for plastics, improved garbage collection and a substantial reduction in crime. Kigali City is the first city authority to win this prestigious award in Africa.
This is the most prestigious award given by the United Nations in recognition of work carried out in the field of human settlements development. The aim of the award is to honor individuals and institutions that have been instrumental in improving the living conditions in urban centers around the world.
According to a statement posted on the UN Habitat website, ’’From 1998, the authorities in Kigali began restoring the city’s lost glory. They targeted garbage collection, and banned the use of plastic bags. The streets and pavements were beautified, and public transport was upgraded. Other areas included improvement of the sewage system and slum upgrading. In just one decade, Kigali has been transformed into a place to which people come from all corners of the world to see and learn how they can replicate the Kigali modernization and urban conservation model at home".
The award was presented to Kigali city during the global observances of World Habitat Day today 6th October 2008 in Angola’s capital-Luanda. The Mayor of Kigali city Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira received the award on behalf of Kigali city.
The Habitat Scroll of Honor award was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in 1989. It is currently the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. Its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
Other cities that won this award this year include Shaoxing and Zhangjiagang in China and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico.