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.

 

Find all the exchanges below

World Water Day: Webinar on Water Governance in African Cities

On 24 March 2021, OECD in partnership with UCLG Africa, the World Water Council and the Kingdom of Morocco organised webinar on Water Governance in African Cities.

A contribution to the 9th World Water Forum (Dakar, March 2022) preparatory process, this high-level session  raise the profile of Mayors and City leaders in enhancing water security in Africa, building on the evidence and guidance from two new OECD reports on Water Governance in African Cities and Water Governance in Cape Town, South Africa. These reports, was launched by the OECD Secretary-General, were prepared as part of the OECD Programme on Water Security for sustainable development in Africa, developed as a follow-up to the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize. The Prize was granted to the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in 2018.

The session  was concluded with the launch of a new OECD/UCLG Africa Roundtable of African Mayors for Water Security to galvanise political action at the local level for better water policies.

Watch the full exchange bellow : 

UCLG Africa continues its support to the National Associations of Local Government in the framework of the negotiation of the 2021-2027 programming (NDICI) of the European Union Cooperation

During the months of February and March 2021, through general assemblies or board meetings, the national associations of local government in Africa proceeded to the validation of their roadmap to take part in the negotiations with the national government and the national delegation of the European Union within the framework of the 2021-2027 programming of the EU known as NDICI.

They held their national seminars with the technical support of UCLG Africa. This support started in May 2020 with the production of a compendium, an analytical report and a draft version of the roadmap. A total of 14 national roadmap validation seminars were held during the first quarter of 2021 for the following countries: Liberia, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Congo, Gambia, Central African Republic, Guinea, Libya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Cape Verde, Senegal. 

The meetings allowed the identification of the three priority areas of funding for the national associations that are in line with the five priorities of the European Union in their country. The five priorities of the European Union are: 1. the green economy; 2. digitalization; 3. employment and entrepreneurship; 4. migration; 5. Peace and security.

They must also choose the two priorities that align with those of the “Team Europe” initiative. The “Team Europe” initiative was launched by the European Union to support partner countries in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic and its consequences on 3 points:  1. Responding to the immediate health crisis and related humanitarian needs. This will include supporting World Health Organization and United Nations response plans and providing humanitarian assistance in affected countries; 2. Strengthening health, water, and sanitation systems, as well as partner country capacity and preparedness to deal with the pandemic; and 3. Mitigating the immediate social and economic consequences, including support to the private sector with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, and government reforms to reduce poverty.

Throughout the process, the national associations of local authorities have contacted and involved the European Union delegations in their countries, in particular through  the local consultants made available by UCLG Africa.

A total of 43 compendiums, 41 analytical reports, and 34 roadmaps were produced and made available to the national associations of local governments to enable them to carry out the negotiations and make the priorities of their people heard.

The funding made available in the new programming of the European Union Commission for the period (2021-2027) amounts to 32 billion euros. The “Team Europe” program amounts to more than 20 billion euros.

 

The documents produced per country are available via the table below: 

 

Pays Compendium Rapport analytique Feuille de route
1 Afrique du Sud Lien Lien Lien
2 Algérie x x x
3 Angola x x x
4 Bénin Lien Lien Lien
5 Botswana Lien Lien Lien
6 Burkina Faso Lien Lien Lien
7 Burundi Lien Lien Lien
8 Cameroun Lien Lien Lien
9 Cap-Vert Lien Lien Lien
10 République centrafricaine Lien Lien Lien
11 Comores Lien Lien x
12 République du Congo Lien Lien Lien
13 République démocratique du Congo Lien Lien x
14 Côte d’Ivoire Lien Lien Lien
15 Djibouti Lien Lien Lien
16 Égypte x x x
17 Érythrée x x x
18 Eswatini Lien Lien Lien
19 Éthiopie Lien Lien Lien
20 Gabon x x x
21 Gambie Lien Lien Lien
22 Ghana Lien Lien Lien
23 Guinée Lien Lien Lien
24 Guinée-Bissau x x x
25 Guinée équatoriale x x x
26 Kenya Lien Lien Lien
27 Lesotho Lien Lien Lien
28 Liberia Lien Lien x
29 Libye Lien Lien Lien
30 Madagascar Lien Lien Lien
31 Malawi Lien Lien Lien
32 Mali Lien Lien Lien
33 Maroc Lien x x
34 Maurice Lien x x
35 Mauritanie Lien Lien x
36 Mozambique Lien Lien Lien
37 Namibie Lien Lien Lien
38 Niger Lien Lien Lien
39 Nigeria Lien Lien Lien
40 Rwanda Lien Lien Lien
41 São Tomé-et-Principe x x x
42 Sénégal Lien Lien Lien
43 Seychelles Lien Lien Lien
44 Sierra Leone Lien Lien x
45 Somalie x x x
46 Soudan x x x
47 Soudan du Sud x x x
48 Tanzanie Lien Lien Lien
49 Tchad Lien Lien Lien
50 Togo Lien Lien x
51 Tunisie Lien Lien Lien
52 Ouganda Lien Lien Lien
53 Zambie Lien Lien Lien
54 Zimbabwe Lien Lien Lien
Total 54 43 41 34

 

 

Recruitment Project Assistant for Jinja GOVERNANCE, RESILIENCE AND GREENING project

In the framework of Jinja GOVERNANCE, RESILIENCE AND GREENING project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) in partnership with the Cities of Jinja (Uganda), Soria (Spain), Chefchaouen (Morocco) and Kisumu (Kenya), recruitment for the  position below  is open:

Candidates who are interested in applying for one of the positions listed above should send their applications before 21 March 2021

UCLG Retreat: UCLG Africa’s Priorities in the Global Agenda

From February 15 to February 22, 2021, UCLG Africa took part in the seventh edition of the annual retreat of the world organization of Local and Regional Governments (United Cities and Local Governments, UCLG).

The second day of the seminar under the theme of “UCLG: A Global Community that Cares” had the Africa chapter moderate the first plenary.

The goal was to share with the great UCLG family ideas and points of view on Africa’s priorities on the global agenda of local authorities.

During his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, paid tribute to the late Mr. Kadir Topaz, former mayor of Istanbul and president of UCLG (2010-2016), who died on February 13, 2021. Mr. Mbassi also reaffirmed his desire that all activities of UCLG Africa be turned towards the future and aligned with the Pact for the Future, supported by the world organization UCLG.

Ms. Rahmatouca Sow, Advisor for International Relations and Political Affairs of UCLG Africa, presented the work plan of the organization focused on the renewal of its strategic priorities, with the aim of making UCLG Africa a “one stop shop” for Local Africa over the 2021-2030 decade (GADEPPA 2.0).

The new strategic orientation includes 3 pillars (Advocacy and mobilization for decentralization, Capacity and knowledge management of local authorities and National Associations, Access to funding and Technical assistance of local authorities and their associations) and fundamentals that ensure the institutional development of UCLG Africa.

These pillars are anchored around 7 priority themes that will enable African local and regional authorities to implement the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and other global development agendas. In this new approach, the regional offices of UCLG Africa will occupy a central place for an offer of local services to members. These themes are: 1- Local Economy and Finance, 2- Gender and youth 3- Climate, biodiversity and food systems 4- Basic services and localization of SDGs, 5-Migration, 6-Culture, 7- Peace and security.

The state of play of preparations for the Africities 9 summit (April 26-30, 2022, Kisumu-Kenya) was also presented during the session.

The question-and-answer session allowed other partners such as UNDP to appreciate the new vision of UCLG Africa and to consider a more systematic collaboration with the organization.

In addition to this session moderated by UCLG Africa, the staff of the organization participated in several other panels organized as part of the annual UCLG retreat.

For more information on the annual UCLG seminar, click here. 

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr : From words to Action !

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has been mayor of Free town (Sierra – Leone) since May 2018 . First woman elected to occupy this position after Dr June Holst-Roness (1977 – 1980, Editor’s note: the position was not elective at that time), the city councilor of the Sierra Leone capital has made the transformation of her city her priority.

To achieve this goal, the ” Transform Freetown ” initiative was launched in January 2019. The three-year Transform Freetown plan outlines 19 specific targets across 11 sectors and covers issues ranging from waste management and housing, to improving urban planning, tackling environmental degradation. The plan aims to address the socio-economic challenges and environmental vulnerabilities of Freetown, which remains the country’s economic engine with a contribution of 30% to the GDP. The 11 priority sectors are grouped into four key groups : Resilience, Human Development, Healthy Cities, and Urban Mobility .

The municipal team led by Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr took stock of the progress made so far through the publication of the project’s annual report

In terms of resilience , the city has launched a reforestation campaign with the goal of planting 1 million trees by 2022. “ It’s not just about planting trees; it’s about growing trees and making sure that each of us is part of the process. A million trees is our city’s small contribution to increasing the much-needed global carbon sink.”, explained the mayor during her attendance of the famous TED conference cycle here. The report also highlights the actions taken by the municipality in the response to COVID.

Gender & Climate

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr can be presented as a woman of action, communicating and leading national and international advocacy for her municipality on major global agendas.

In 2020, Freetown implemented the Women4Climat program. The initiative aims to empower and inspire the next generation of women leaders in the field of climate change through global mentorship.

In January 2021, Freetown has notably been chosen e as one of the 5 cities of low- and middle-income countries that received the #GlobalCitiesFund grant from the Council of Mayors on Migration. “ With this grant, we will expand our sustainable waste management microenterprise program by helping young people from informal communities to create 40 new waste collection businesses to serve more households. This directly contributes to our goal of having at least 60% of solid waste collected and safely disposed of by 2022 “, says Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr.

Water and sanitation

Through the Freetown -Blue Peace project launched in December 2020, the Freetown City Council (FCC) intend to obtain innovative funding to implement a sustainable water project in the capital city. “ The Freetown-Blue Peace project considers water as an entry point for interventions that build peace and foster development, because conflict is more likely to occur where there’s no development. We start with water, but we move very quickly into sanitation, which cannot happen without adequate water. Then we will move into markets, which is a source of livelihood—over 60% of our population operates in the informal economy. You don’t often think of water when you think of markets, and that itself is a challenge: the need for water for sanitation in the markets, for cold storage, and so on. And the final element is water drainage. So, it’s beyond running taps. Significantly, Freetown-Blue Peace is about sustainability, and that has three components: first is a real water element, which consists of the provisions of water kiosks. This targets informal settlements, and 35% of our people live in informal settlements; second is sanitation, from the perspective of public toilets. We’ll be constructing 40 water kiosks and 25 public toilets; and lastly, there is the element of collection of solid and liquid waste. We will be procuring vacuum trucks for better collection of solid and liquid waste. Only six percent of liquid waste was being collected in Freetown when I became Mayor in 2018. We have a target to increase that to at least 60 % by 2022.”, she explained in the interview with Africa Renewal here

Halfway through her term, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is on the right track to keep her word , she who the day after her election said : ” Freetonians, this victory is for all of us. Thank you for believing in my vision and for doing me the honor to servr you as your mayor for the next four years. I look forward to working with all of you to make Freetown a city we are all proud of . “

Good luck , Madam Mayor !

Sources:

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