Botswana Federation Launches Know Your City Campaign in Francistown

by James Tayler

In Francistown, Botswana the Federation has been working hard to establish a working relationship with the local city government in order to scale up their community-driven data collection and slum upgrading work to the citywide scale. This work bore fruit last year with the signing of an MOU and the formalisation of plans to carry out citywide slum profiling and enumeration to be used for collaborative planning and development.

Rose Molokoane, a national coordinator of the South African Federation of the Urban Poor who has been providing support to the Botswana federation, explains how important it is to attach the MoU to implementable projects on the ground. 

In her address to the City Council on 21 November 2016 the Mayor of Francistown, Honourable Sylvia Tabitha Muzila, made specific mention of the deepening relationship between the City Council of Francistown and the Botswana Homeless People’s Federation:

Honourable Councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen, August 19th 2016 saw a new relationship emerge between City of Francistown Council and Botswana Homeless and Poor People’s Federation. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed as a pathway for the two parties to carry community projects together. As the Mayor of City of Francistown Council, I stand here to reaffirm Council’s commitment for a better tomorrow for all our people. In February 2017, the parties will carry out the KNOW YOUR CITY CAMPAIGN project here in Francistown. The campaign is about gathering City wide data for proper planning and development. Every household, every neighbourhood in Francistown will be counted and that will help to create a collective understanding about our City. Clearly, with the signing of this Memorandum of Cooperation, there is more concerted effort to be made by all parties to implement specific projects.

The Know Your City campaign is a call to action communities of the urban poor, local government, and development partners to know all of their city. Community-driven data collection is the first step in collaborative planning in which the urban poor are partners in the urban planning and upgrading process. A Know Your City campaign generates city-wide data on informal settlements to inform inclusive and resilient city planning that is rooted in local realities. It produces scalable implementation strategies that incorporate a broad spectrum of actors – from organised communities of the urban poor to city government to private developers and landowners.