EDD 2021- Lab Debate: “Unite efforts and cooperate around Innovative and Sustainable Cities”

 

As part of the 2021 edition of the European Development  Days (EDD), UCLG Africa organized a Lab Debate on 15 June 2021 on the theme of “Unite efforts and cooperate around Innovative and Sustainable Cities”.

Organized in partnership with UCLG, UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance, the session made it possible to share experiences and approaches on innovative and smart sustainable urbanization, with a view to raising awareness of the centrality of partnerships at all levels. The following took part in the debate: Mrs. Thembisile Nkadimeng, President of the South Africa Local Governments Association  (SALGA), Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Vice-president of the Climate Task Force of UCLG Africa, Mr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Mr Ishaku Maitumbi , Senior Advisor to the Regional Office for Africa , UN-Habitat , Mr. Andries Gryffroy, Member of the Flemish Parliament (Belgium), Mr. Greg Munro, Director of Cities Alliance , and Ms. Sherine Omondo, Young Leader (Kenya). The introduction of the exchanges was made by Ms. Carla Montesi, Director of the Green Deal and Digital Strategy, at the European Commission, and moderation was provided by Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

In her introduction, Ms. Montesi said that “cities will play a central role in achieving green transformation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution: experimentation and knowledge sharing are essential to scale up”. SALGA President Mrs. Thembisile Nkadimeng stressed that “a green recovery is essential to strengthen local public services, especially so that they reach the people who need them most.” For her, “cities and regions have taken the initiative to show that it is possible and appropriate to continue climate action in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic“.

Sharing his experience, the Mayor of Chefchaouen, Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, explained that his city has relied on strategic planning to implement the vision of a sustainable ecological city. This has resulted in the replacement of conventional lamps by energy-saving lamps for public lighting and in the promotion of local products. Mr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, initiated the concept of “Green Friday” in his city. People are invited to walk at least 15 minutes and use public transport. “As mayors, we must think green, digital and resilience,” said Emil Boc.

UN-Habitat called for mobilizing investments for Africa, and Cities Alliance called on actors to activate access to data and basic services in African cities. In his speech, Mr. Andries Gryffroy endorsed the theme of the meeting by affirming that “the transition to sustainable cities will only be possible by uniting efforts and cooperating“.

The European Development Days also offered space for the “Global Village” virtual stands. The five major international networks of local and regional governments active in development cooperation (AIMF, CLGF, PLATFORMA / CEMR, UCLG, and UCLG Africa) hosted a common booth to showcase the actions of cities and regions in favor of sustainable and ecological transformation.

As a reminder, AIMF, CLGF, PLATFORMA / CEMR, UCLG and UCLG Africa signed a framework partnership agreement with the Commission of the European Union in 2015. Thanks to this partnership, the EU has recognized the role of cities and regions as state actors to address global challenges and implement shared global agendas at the local level.

 

Watch the videos intervention of the session 

 

 

 

Regional Forum – WAEMU area: Local governments call for their integration into climate finance

On 10 and 11 June 2021, the Regional Forum on  “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing Climate Ambitions of Local Governments in Africa” was held at the Hôtel 2 Février in Lomé (Togo).

Placed under the High Patronage of His Excellency M. Faure Gnassingbé , President of the Republic of Togo, the meeting for local and regional governments of the WAEMU area was organized by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa),  in collaboration with the Government of Togo, the Economic Union and West African Monetary (WAEMU), the West African Development Bank (BOAD), UNDP, and Expertise France.

As part of the activities of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA), the Forum registered the participation in a hybrid format of more than two hundred delegates.

The proceedings were opened by His Excellency Mr. Payadowa Boukpessi, Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Territory Development of Togo, representative of the President of the Republic of Togo, and included the participation of  HE Mr. Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Togo, Mr. Mohamed Yassine Daoudi, representative of the President of UCLG World, Mr. François Amichia, President of the CCT of WAEMU, Mr. Serge Ekué, President of  West African Development Bank (BOAD), Mr. Aymeric Lorthiois, First Counselor of the Embassy of France in Togo, representative of the Ambassador of France, Mr. Markus Wagner, Director General of GIZ Togo, Mr. MacDonald S. GOANUE, Director of the Research and Strategic Planning Department of EBID, representative of the President, Mr. Kossi Dzinyefa Atabuh, Prefect of the Golfe district (in Lomé), and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

 

 

Call for greater involvement of local authorities

The various speeches highlighted the essential role that local authorities must play in the fight against climate change. This requires in particular a paradigm shift as underlined by the President of BOAD, Mr. Serge Ekué. “The WAEMU countries are among the 50 countries most exposed to global warming. We will not be able to cope with climate change without a real paradigm shift in the financing of African economies. It would be wise to involve local authorities as key players to understand and deal with the difficulties encountered by municipalities. It is crucial to include them in the process of planning, preparing, and budgeting for investment plans. Access to financial resources by local authorities should be improved. We stand ready to support local authorities in the context of robust, transparent issues allowing investors to gain the confidence of investors around the world “, he pleaded.

The Togolese government is of the same opinion. “Our local governments must become vanguard actors in the fight against climate change and the acceleration of the continent’s climate ambition. The holding of this forum represents for us an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and convergence of the territories of the WAEMU countries in terms of operational solutions and the search for the necessary financial resources in support of low-carbon growth, in a quality environment”, declared Mr. Payadowa BOUKPESSI, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and Territorial Development of Togo.

For the EU, “the regional forum marks the start of the implementation of the national approach of the CoM SSA in Togo, through which the EU intends to support inclusion, an environmental, energy and climate dimension in the decentralization process. We appreciate the efforts of the CoM SSA and of UCLG Africa to rightly promote the action of local governments with other donors, so as to give them the means to access climate finance alongside their national governments”, said HE Mr. Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Togo.

 

WAEMU welcomes the opportunities presented to local and regional governments. “This forum rightly reminds us that the territories are partners in the new agenda of resilience and of the fight against climate change. This is an opportunity for us to salute and congratulate the community of technical and financial partners for the many initiatives and projects undertaken in this area by relying on local governments through UCLG Africa. Among these initiatives, we note with great interest the preparation of a climate – energy portfolio and the mobilization of climate finance through the Readiness program, for the benefit of local and regional governments in the WAEMU area with the Green Climate Fund”.

Local governments must be our active partners to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement“, said in her video intervention Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC

 

Sessions

The two days of the Forum made it possible to address issues such as carbon neutrality and the resilience of African cities and territories, the implementation of the territorialization of Nationally Determined Contributions at the center of post-Covid 19 economic recovery plans, the role of dialogue between the national government and local authorities for improving the territorialization of NDCs, the planning for the implementation of territorial climate plans and capacity building of National Associations of Local Governments,  and the  mobilization of Climate Finance.

These issues were the subject of in-depth debates during the 5 sessions that led to recommendations that are intended to be a contribution of the local authorities of the WAEMU space to the main events included in the climate agenda, namely, the Africa Climate Week scheduled for August 2021 in Kampala, Uganda; the Climate Chance conference scheduled for September 2021 in Dakar, Senegal; and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, in November 2021 (COP 26), and the adoption of the Lomé Declaration by the participants representing: WAEMU member states; the focal points of the Green Climate Fund of the WAEMU member states; the WAEMU Commission, the Council of Territorial Communities (CCT-WAEMU) and the Presidents of the National Associations of Local Authorities that are members of the Council of Territorial Communities (CCT) of WAEMU; the local authorities adhering to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) and their partners; representatives of regional development banks and international cooperation partners.

In the recommendations, the participants in the Forum mainly undertake:

  • Integrate environmental and climate goals in the development plans of local authorities and in the post-COVID economic recovery plans in order to make our societies and our economies more resilient to foreseeable future shocks;
  • Encourage local authorities in the WAEMU area to adhere to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (CoM SSA) so that they can benefit from the support put in place within this framework for the development of climate and energy plans of their territories;
  • Establish a sub-regional version of the African Alliance of Ministers for Urban Affairs and Urban Development launched at the Abidjan Meetings to support African Sustainable Cities, in February 2020. This Alliance of WAEMU Ministers will work primarily under the aegis of the WAEMU CCT on the financing of the climate transition of the cities of the sub-region. The Alliance will engage in a strategic dialogue with the umbrella associations of local governments, the financing institutions of local governments, and the technical and financial partners on strengthening the financing of city climate plans and projects;
  • Subscribe to the establishment of a Regional Readiness program targeting the local and regional governments of the countries of the WAEMU area with a view to mobilizing climate finance and contributing to the transition towards inclusive, sustainable, and resilient territorial development;
  • Welcome the commitment of WAEMU, EBID, and BOAD to support the implementation of the regional Readiness program intended to support local authorities in the WAEMU space for the definition of portfolios of projects eligible for finance climate. In this regard, we call on these actors to work to make Lomé the hub of climate finance in West Africa;
  • Request that within the framework of the planned Readiness Program, with the support of the Climate Task Force of UCLG Africa in collaboration with WAEMU, a capacity building mechanism and a technical assistance tool for the benefit of associations be set up local authorities in the WAEMU area, including through the establishment of focal points for the climate within said associations, the development of awareness and training guides, and the provision of consultants for support technical structure of climate-energy projects integrated into territorial development plans;
  • Invite the local authorities of the WAEMU space to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach in the definition and implementation of climate action at the territorial level, and to work with the private sector, the research community, and the civil society to explore innovative solutions and participate in the collection of the data necessary to ensure the monitoring, reporting, and verification of the implementation of the climate agenda within our territories.

The full declaration is available here

The Summary report is available here.

Find the full forum content below:

Day 1

Day 2

 

The forum photo gallery is available here

Register to the Regional Forum on: “Strengthening the resilience and increasing the climate ambition of Local Governments in Africa”

United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa), Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) and their Partners, are pleased to invite you to take part in the UEMOA Regional Forum on: “Strengthening the resilience and increasing the climate ambition of Local Governments in Africa”, that will be organised on June 10-11, 2021 in Lomé, Togo.

The conference will be held Under the High Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo.

Organized in a hybrid format (face-to-face and online), this meeting aims to examine the conditions to be fulfilled to increase climate investment within the local authorities of the WAEMU space.  It will specifically address the common problems faced by authorities in charge of managing local and regional governments in the field of Climate Action. It will explore concrete mechanisms to facilitate the access of these authorities to climate finance, in particular to the Green Climate Fund, within the framework of the Territorialisation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa.

The forum will also serve as a framework for the workshop to launch the national support process for the signatory cities of the CoM SSA in Togo.

It will be attended by WAEMU, WADB, EBID, UNDP, the European Union and National Associations of Local Authorities in West Africa.

Join us by registering here.

Translation will be available for all sessions in English and French, and the proceedings will be available online on our Facebook and YouTube pages.

UCLG Africa remains at your disposal for any further information.

If you need more information, please send us an email to one of the following addresses: nbennani@uclga.org, gyomi@uclga.org.

Register here for online participation

“African Cities and Local Governments at the heart of the post-COVID Economic and Financial Recovery: The role of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA)

On May 26, 2021, UCLG Africa held a webinar on the theme of “African Cities and Local Governments at the heart of post-COVID Economic and Financial Recovery: The role of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA)“.

The official opening was made by General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of  Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt. More than 150 participants including elected officials (Mayors and Presidents of Regions), members of financial institutions (AfDB), Chief Financial Officers of Local and Regional Governments, City Managers,  Chief technical Officers, Executive Secretaries of National Associations of Local Authorities, Executives and Directors of Tax and Treasury services, and the Heads of the National Decentralization Directorates of the Local Authorities as well as Officers in charge of  development planning at the national level.

Productive exchanges of ideas were held around the sharing of experience of the various actors of the 5 regions of the continent concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the financial capacities of local authorities and the role that the Africa Territorial Agency would play in the provision of additional resources from the financial market and ensure a revival of the more viable financial system.

It emerges from the work that local and regional governments of the continent are determined to adhere to the implementation process of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA) which will allow them to have access to the financial market in a collective manner.

The proposed next steps include enrolling more members into the ATA cooperative in order to reach 100 or more members. The national associations of local authorities and cities were invited to: 1) Seize the financing opportunities put in place by the AfDB in favor of local authorities, 2) Organize exchanges between them and with their government on ways and means to strengthen the capacities of local authorities to access the financial market.

Follow the different exchanges here .

Check out the ATA presentation brochure here.

Africa Day Celebration: Young People Invited to Actively Build the Future of Africa

The Institute of African Studies at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat in partnership with UCLG Africa organized a seminar on Tuesday, May 25, 2021to celebrate Africa Day. Placed under the theme of ” Cultural and Creative Economy, lever of sustainable development”, the meeting, held in blended format, both in-person at the Institute of African Studies in Rabat (Morocco) and online via the Zoom platform, who was recorded the participation of a hundred people.

The official opening of the seminar was punctuated by speeches from: Mr. Mohammed Rhachi, President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, and H.E. Mr. Ambassador of Cameroon in Morocco, Mouhamadou Youssifou, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Morocco.

They underlined the importance for young Africans to take their place, in their home which is the African Union for the construction of the Africa of We Want. “Many of our young people have doubts about Africa. Young Africans must change the way they look at Africa. Young Africans must have a good esteem of themselves. We are here to invite the youth of Africa to inhabit this slogan “the Africa we want” said Mr. Mbassi. “This is the 58th edition of the celebration of Africa Day, for us, it is a duty of remembrance to African youth to remind them of all the struggle that the founding fathers of African states have had to lead to free the African continent from the yoke of colonization. It is also a moment of reflection to think about the future of the African continent. We are Africans, we must take root in our culture before opening up to the world. No development as sustainable and as comprehensive may be sustainable if it is not based on an endogenous cultural substrate,” explained H.E. Mr. Mouhamadou Youssifou. “This theme highlights a year full of promise for the creative economy. The Mohammed V University has a significant cultural asset with an enrollment of nearly 90,000 students including more than 2,000 students from African countries, neighbors and friends, “said Mr. Mohammed Rhachi.   

Students representing each region of the continent actively participated in the discussions and sent creative messages for “The Africa They Want”.

The meeting was punctuated by two discussion panels:

Panel 1: Cultural and creative activities and attractiveness of territories: what prospects for emergence?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Mohamed Mbarki, Director General of the Oriental Agency, Morocco.

Dr. Najib Kettani, Expert in Development, President of Organization Maroc Afrika, Cultures & Development, Morocco

Mr. Ibrahima Wane, Professor of African Civilizations at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Director of Doctoral Training in African Studies, Senegal

Mr. Saliou Ndour, Cultural industries specialist, Professor at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Ms. Hanane Baali, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco.

The second panel focused on: Development of cultural professions, creative arts and design in Africa: what strategies for what impacts in the digital age?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Raoul Rugamba, Founder of “Africa in Colors” and “Hobe Agency”, Rwanda.

Mr. Brahim El Mazned, Founding Director of Visa for Music, Artistic Director of the Timitar World Music Festival, Morocco.

Mr. Mehdi Alaoui, Vice-president of APEBI, Founder of the startup Factory, Morocco.

Mr. Mustapha Moufid, Director of the Culture, Migration, Peace and Security Task Force, UCLG Africa, Morocco.

Mr. Mohamed Dafir El Kettani, Vice-President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat in charge of Governance and Information System, and Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies, Morocco.

Moderation was provided by: Mr. Abdelkader Betari, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Morocco and Mr. Gautier Brygo, Communications Director UCLG Africa and representative of the Belgian NGO Echos Communication in Morocco.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa expressed the wish to institutionalize this celebration with the IEA every 25 May.

As a reminder, the day coincides this year with 3 major events:

– The African Union has adopted, for 2021, the theme of “Arts, culture and heritage: a lever to build the Africa We Want”,

– The UN has declared 2021 ”International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development “,

– United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) designated the city of Rabat as “African Capital of Culture”.

Watch the full webinar here

 The photo album of the event is available here

 

Decentralization & Climate: Joint UCLG Africa and WAEMU CCT mission in Togo

From April 27 to May 1, 2021, a joint mission of UCLG Africa and the Council of Local and Regional Governments of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (CCT / WAEMU), was carried out in Lomé, Togo. The goal of the mission was to mobilize the partners intervening in the field of decentralization, climate action and local authorities in Togo with a view to their contribution and participation in the Forum on the strengthening of resilience and the increase of climate ambition of local authorities in Africa scheduled to take place on June 10 and 11, 2021 in Lomé. This International Forum is organized in collaboration with the WAEMU Commission within the framework of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) which supports local and regional governments in preparing climate-energy plans but also to access climate finance.

The UCLG Africa delegation was made up of Ms. Macoura Dao, Mayor of Foumbolo, Côte d’Ivoire, President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa, Mr. Mohamed Nbou, Director of the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa and Ms. Nisrine Bennani, Assistant in the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa. The WAEMU CCT team was made up of Ms. Aminata Sy, Director of Regional Planning, WAEMU Commission, Mr. El Hadj Malick Diop, President of the Economic and Financial Commission, CCT / WAEMU, and Mr. Eric Talardia Kondia, Senior Technical Expert, Local Transboundary Cooperation Program (PCTL), CCT / WAEMU.

Working sessions were held with His Excellency Mr. Payadowa Boukpessi, Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Development of Territories;  Professor Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, Minister of Primary, Secondary, and Technical Education and Handicrafts, President of the University of Lomé, Mr. Antoine Edjeba, Minister Delegate to the Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and the Development of Territories; Mr. Kamal Alao Adjayi, Mayor of the Golfe 3 Commune in Lomé, but also with the delegation of the European Union, the UNDP Togo, the BOAD, the ECOWAS Bank of Investment and Development (EBID), the Municipalities of Togo (FCT) and with REFELA-Togo. Two partnership agreements were signed between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé and between UCLG Africa and EBID.

The Forum should enable local authorities in the WAEMU area to prepare their contributions to the Meeting of Mayors and Elected Officials of Local and Regional Governments scheduled within the framework of COP 26 which will be held in Glasgow (Scotland) in November 2021. One of the results that UCLG Africa wishes to have at the end of the Forum is the definition of a Readiness program for the access of local authorities in the WAEMU area to the Green Climate Fund, thanks to the support of its partnership with BOAD which is an entity accredited with the Green Climate Fund.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa pleaded and asked the Minister of Territorial Administration of Togo that Togo should be among the signatories of the African Charter of the Values ​​and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union during their conference held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014 and that the umbrella organization of Togolese municipalities should  be considered as a public entity, and not a non-governmental organization under the law on associations.

Meeting with the E.U. Delegation

The working session with the European Union Delegation of took place on April 28, 2021. Discussions with Mr. Joaquim Tasso Vilallonga, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Togo revealed that the consultations conducted between the government and the Togolese actors and the European Union resulted in the choice of three priority pillars for European cooperation in Togo: 1. Human development; 2. Agriculture and agribusiness; 3. Peace and security, of which the decentralization policy constitutes an essential element. In addition, three flagship programs have been selected for Togo in the new 2021-2027 cycle of European cooperation within the framework of Team Europe, namely: 1. Decentralization: 2. Renewable energies; 3. Support for SMEs / SMIs, particularly in the agricultural and agribusiness sector. The projects eligible for the European cooperation program in Togo would be assessed according to three markers: a) a gender marker (85% of projects proposed for European cooperation funding would be assessed according to their heir impact on women); b) a climate change marker (at least 50% of projects submitted for funding from European cooperation would be assessed according to their contribution to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and to adaptation to climate change); and c) a job creation marker for young people (at least 50% of projects will be analyzed according to their impact on the employment created or maintained for young people to be eligible for funding from European cooperation).

The other stakeholders that were met during the mission, namely UNDP, BOAD, BIDC, and Expertise France, expressed their willingness to take part in the Forum on strengthening the resilience and increasing the climate ambition of local governments in Africa scheduled to take place on June 10 and 11, 2021 in Lomé.

The working session with the umbrella organization of Municipalities of Togo and REFELA-Togo was held on April 29, 2021. Ms. Yawa Kouigan, Mayor of the Ogou 1 Commune of Atakpame, President of the FCT, was accompanied by Ms. Dede Akpedje Messan , Municipal Councilor in the Municipality of Golfe 6 Baguida, Lomé, President of the Locally Elected Women of Togo,  and by Mr. Koumtchane Siangou, Permanent Secretary of the FCT. The FCT President expressed great interest in having her 117 members adhere to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA). The President of REFELA held a special session with the President of REFELA Africa on the strategy for implementing the campaigns and the REFELA action plan.

Training of 100 members of UCLG Africa in conflict management

On May 20-21, 2021, UCLG Africa through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA) organized in partnership with the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) a training session on: “Conflict Management”.

The training was given in French and English to 100 members of UCLG Africa. It was provided by ACCORD as part of its partnership with UCLG Africa on the training component.

Participants were able to strengthen their conflict analysis skills and gain a better understanding of mediation and negotiation approaches.

Thus, the actors of the cities and local authorities of the continent will be led to adopt proactive measures that will support their efforts to prevent and mitigate the conflicts that may arise in increasingly densely populated urban environments. Indeed, dealing with and managing conflicts at the urban level not only mitigates the potential for violence in these immediate locations, but also prevents local conflicts from escalating into larger and intractable conflicts.

The opening of the proceedings was made by the founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Dr Vasu Gounden, and the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.

 

Signature of a framework partnership agreement between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé

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:

  1. 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;
  2. mobilize academics competencies and young graduate students to support local and regional governments in the exercise of their mandate;
  3. 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.

 

 

Capacity building for more than 50 stakeholders of local authorities on the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE)

From April 19 to 22, 2021, the GSEF (World Social Economy Forum), in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA), held a capacity building training on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) on behalf of Francophone organizations and local elected officials.

The training took place online around the theme of “A global strategy for the co-construction of SSE public policies for sustainable post-COVID recovery and inclusive and sustainable development of territories”. The training made it possible to provide tools to  more than 50  people from 15 countries on 3 continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia). It was 4 days of learning and enriching exchanges of views, sharing of experiences and tools, passionate discussions, and links created for the development of SSE in cities and territories.

In all, there are 4 workshops, 4 Masters Classes, 2 peer-to-peer discussion sessions, and 3 virtual site visits from which participants benefited. The participants appreciated the training and asked for the renewal of this type of program.

For Mr. Aboubakari SYLLA, from the municipality of Abobo-Abidjan, “this initiative allowed us to rub shoulders with other local authorities and other actors that we were not used to seeing. In terms of decentralized cooperation, this opens up prospects for us. For us, it is a question of matching territorial coaching and the Social and Solidarity Economy, because the territorial realities are that populations, especially in Africa, find it difficult to work in synergy with communities. In the municipality of Abobo, territorial coaching has enabled us to bring the populations together “.

The option of establishing synergy with territorial coaching was also highlighted by Mrs. Aminata Diop Samb, General Director of the Municipal Development and Solidarity Fund (FODEM), of the city of Dakar. “The training gave us an idea of ​​everything that revolves around the ecosystem of the Social and Solidarity Economy. Another example of best practice is the experience of territorial coaching which should be valued and which should profitably be taken into account in the development of SSE. The training of social entrepreneurs is also a lever to be developed”.

The Secretary General of GSEF, Ms. Laurence Kwark and her counterpart from UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, have undertaken to do everything possible to offer this type of training on a regular basis to local authorities and their stakeholders.

In her closing message, Ms. Kwark extended an invitation to the participants to attend the next SSE World Forum. “We were glad to organize this training and would like to thank you for your involvement. This year, the GSEF is organizing the 5th edition of the World Social and Solidarity Economy Forum from October 4 to 8, 2021 in Mexico City (Mexico) on the theme of ‘Local governments and social economy: co-creation of pathways for a green and inclusive economy’”.

For his part, Mr. Elong Mbassi underlined the importance of SSE for the African continent. “For us, SSE is the reality of the African economy. Almost 80% of actors in the African economy do work in the Social and Solidarity Economy. This SSE is often criticized for being too much rooted in society, but this rooting is normal because when you remove this rooting you drift away from society and you consider that this economy is outside of society. SSE shows that this disconnect should absolutely not exist and it is to the credit of GSEF and all SSE members to advocate loud and clear for this type of economy. The second reason why SSE is important to us is that SSE is probably one of the best initiation stages for young people moving from the world of education to the world of economics. Obviously young people can fall into what is called the informal sector, but the informal sector does not provide decent employment and does not create hope, which is the complete opposite of what SSE stands for “.

 

 

International Action of Local Governments and Mechanisms of Animation of Decentralized Cooperation: Seminar of Exchanges on Inspiring Practices

On Tuesday 06 April 2021, UCLG Africa in partnership with the Oriental region, the Agence of l’Oriental, Prima Terra and Echos Communication organized a webinar on the theme of decentralized cooperation.

Based on the observation that several local authorities are seeking to strengthen and increase their presence on the national, regional and international scene, as well as to give more coherence to the actions carried out by their various departments, the seminar aimed to share, through the crossed views of local authorities from the South and the North, elements likely to contribute to the sustainability of the international action carried out by local authorities.

Three panels of reflection were held, for the attention of the hundred or so participants, on the following themes :

– International cooperation, a lever for the economic development of the territory,

– The role of national associations of local governments in the implementation of international actions,

– Development Agencies at the service of decentralized cooperation at the level of local authorities.

The meeting was also marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Communes of Guisser of the Kingdom of Morocco and Obala of Cameroon.

 

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