On April 29, 2021 at the University of Lome (UL) in Togo, Professor Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, President of the UL and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa have signed a framework agreement of partnership and cooperation between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome. The convention will be implemented through the Regional Center of Excellence Sustainable Cities in Africa (CERVIDA).
In his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa explained that without quality human resources there is no sustainable development. The partnership of UCLG Africa with the University of Lomé is a sign of recognition of the excellence of the human resources of this university and explains why the continental umbrella organization wishes to collaborate with the University of Lome to accompany local and regional governments in their development and the exercise of their mandate. The complexity of African cities calls for a new and more comprehensive look at cities by their actors, especially young people, as well as an innovative effort to propose technological packages and institutional and financial arrangements adapted to the context of African communities characterized by rapid urban growth and the limited financial and human resources of local public authorities. The challenge is therefore considerable. But it can and must be addressed. And the framework agreement signed between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé should help to meet this challenge.
In his concluding speech at the ceremony, the President of the University explained that the signing of the framework agreement is to be linked to the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Cities of the University of Lomé. He insisted on three key points to build an active partnership between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome:
- to work on the legal positioning of the umbrella organizations of local government such as the umbrella organization of the communities of Togo to recognize them as public entities governed by public law;
- mobilize academics competencies and young graduate students to support local and regional governments in the exercise of their mandate;
- to promote the reinforcement of the capacities of the actors of the city, and spaces of collaboration between these last ones and the academics so that they rub shoulders with the concrete lived realities at the level of the management of the territories.