I. Background about the Campaign @African Cities without street children
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The Network of Women Elected officials of subnational and local governments of Africa (REFELA) regroups women members of the political bodies dealing with the governance of city and subnational governments of Africa.
REFELA was launched in Tangiers, Morocco, in 2011. It is managed by an executive Bureau that includes 15 members representing the five regions of Africa. It has national chapters that are called to be the gender equality committee of the national associations of local and subnational governments in each African country. It includes national chapters intended to be the gender equality commission of the national associations of communities. The Chair of REFELA is until November 2018 under the responsibility of the City of Bangangté in Cameroon, represented by its Mayor, Mrs. Celestine Ketcha-Courtes.
REFELA supports the development of Women leadership within African city and subnational governments, as well as the inclusion of the concerns of Women in the definition and implementation of African city and subnational government’s policies and strategies. To that effect, in its triannual action plan for 2019-2021, REFELA proposes to launch three campaigns: 1. A campaign on African Cities without street children; 2. A campaign on African cities to zero tolerance of violence against women’s ; 3. A campaign on Africa Cities favorable to Women’s economic empowerment.
This call for interest is addressed to African city and subnational government’s leaders and councils and their respective national associations, willing to adhere to the Campaign @African Cities without street children.
II. Rationale of the Campaign @African Cities without street children
For REFELA members the rise of the phenomenon of children living in the street in African cities is a serious threat for the branding and good governance of these cities, and shall not be underestimated as is the case currently. This phenomenon shall to the contrary interrogate all of us, as political leaders, as city dwellers, as parents, and as human beings. Its persistence contradicts the values of solidarity and sharing that are recognized as fundamental values in all African societies. It damages the capacity of city and subnational governments to meet the sustainable development goal 11 (SDG 11) calling for the development of just, safe, inclusive and sustainable cities and human settlements, where no one is left behind. That is why REFELA members are proposing to launch the Campaign @African Cities without street children in order that addressing this trouble and even eradicating it between now and the year 2030 be among the priorities of policies and strategies of African city and subnational governments.
This campaign calls for a free adhesion of African city and subnational governments willing to participate. REFELA members are however convinced that most city and subnational government’s leaders will choose to adhere, because it is also and probably in the first place against their capacity to seriously address this phenomenon that the political will of African city and subnational government’s leaders to realize the requirements of SDG 11 will be assessed. The fate of children is the cardinal quality against which the human and sustainable character of any society is measured. Placing the item of rejection of injustice and discrimination against children in the local policies is without any doubt one of the most fundamental moral requirements for any city or subnational government, in Africa and elsewhere in the world. This rejection shall be at the basis of a solidarity movement between all, starting with the city and subnational elected officials, but encompassing also all layers of society, including civil society organizations, the business sector, the traditional and religious authorities, and bilateral development partners and partners of the decentralized cooperation active in Africa. This is also why the Campaign @African Cities without street children is meant to be an international global campaign.
In order to give a solid institutional and financial backing to the campaign, the REFELA Bureau members found it useful and necessary to set up: (i) a Steering Committee and a Support Committee that gather a number of internationally reputable women that have shown interest in the cause of children, and (ii) a participatory financing platform (crowdfunding) in order to mobilize contributions and financial support in favor of the campaign across the world.
III. Adhering to the Campaign @African Cities without street children
The official launching of the Campaign @African Cities without street children will happen in the framework of the 8th edition of the Africities Summit that will take place on 20 – 24 November 2018 at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakesh, Morocco. At this occasion, a Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signing ceremony between participating cities, local and subnational governments, and associations, and UCLG Africa will be organized. MoUs signatories will receive the qualification and certificate of Founding Member of the Campaign @African Cities without street children.
Interested city and local and subnational governments and their associations shall send the following Registration Form to the UCLG Africa Secretariat no later than September 30th, 2018.
(See attached registration form)