Cameroon working on urban housing policy to spur economic growth

YAOUNDE, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon is working on a new national urban housing policy to address housing difficulties faced by new urban residents and young people, the country's Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Celestine Ketcha Courtes said on Tuesday.

"We have 55 percent of our population living in the big cities. Living in the big cities without any organization can be a severe development and social problem," Courtes said during a workshop in the capital Yaounde to review the National Urban Policy Project.

"It was very important to go through this national urban policy which will sustain urban development and also organize the development of our cities," she added.

United Nations has partnered with Cameroon in the project to seek solutions to affordable housing and promoting decent housing to stimulate economic growth in the Central African nation, said Matthias Naab, UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon.

"What the United Nations is doing is actually to support the government and the government must take the leadership and ownership," Naab told reporters during the workshop.

Aside from accelerating efforts to develop a long-term rental housing market, Cameroon will strive to initiate more government-subsidized affordable housing projects and also roll out measures to support the property market so that it better caters to reasonable demand from homebuyers, officials said.

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