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Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Feb 11

Photo © John Mwaura

Twenty-four students serving as town clerks, department heads, committee chairs, and council officers from the East African region last week graduated with a new Diploma in Urban Development Studies at a colorful ceremony attended by family, friends and invited guests.


The Diploma Course, is run in collaboration with the Institute for Housing and Development Studies of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development Studies and UN-HABITAT.

The course is aimed at encouraging better urban management in countries bordering Lake Victoria.

The graduation ceremony was presided over by Mr. Kees Van Rooijen, Director of the Erasmus institute. He congratulated the students for joining a global Erasmus fraternity of over 7,000 alumni, and urged them to use the technical skills they had learned for the economic growth of their cities.

The UN-HABITAT representative, Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, the Director of the Global Division, said the agency is continually committed to providing technical and knowledge management support worldwide with emphasis on pro-poor approaches, particularly in developing regions such as Africa.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which has provided support to the diploma course through funding of the Lake Victoria city development programme, was represented by Mrs. Kikki Nordin. She said the Swedish agency was proud to see that the financial support had led to the development of a unique and relevant diploma course.

The graduation ceremony climaxed with the launching of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development Studies as a local capacity building organization to champion sustainable urban development in the region.

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