2nd International Conference on the “Role and responsibility of Local and Subnational Governments for the Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural Heritage”

The celebration of the International Day of Monuments and Sites for World Cultural Heritage will take place on April 18, 2019. United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA), the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the City of Rabat, in partnership and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of National Spatial Planning, Town Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, ICOMOS-Morocco, UNESCO and the Italian Foundation Romualdo Del Bianco, will organize the 2nd International Conference under the theme: “The Role and Responsibility of Local and Subnational Governments in the Preservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage.”

The celebration will take place over two days with Thursday April 18, 2019, to be held at the ISESCO Headquarters and Friday, April 19, 2019 to be held at the Headquarters of the City Council of Rabat (Morocco).

The organization of this 2nd International Conference is supported by ISESCO’s proclamation that 2019 is the “Year of Heritage in the Islamic World.”

The theme, ” The role and responsibility of local and subnational governments in the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage,” will be a longstanding one. In the wake of the 2018 Conference, which focused on “Protecting Cultural Heritage through Participatory and Inclusive Governance” this is in support of the implementation of Target 11.4 of SDG 11 (Strengthen efforts to protect and preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”  Local and subnational governments have become key players in this field, because of the roles and responsibilities that are transferred to them by the national governments, and the preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage is part of a context that is becoming increasingly multi-actor with multi-levels of governance.

The main goal of the conference is to bring to the table all the actors and stakeholders concerned or involved in the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage and to create a roadmap allowing each actor and each stakeholder to grasp the importance of its role and the extent of its responsibilities throughout the chain of custody and enhancement of cultural heritage.

Cultural Heritage constitutes a fundamental lever of human life which participates not only in the promotion of peace, balance, continuity and harmony in human societies, but, when it is well protected and well valued, it is also a lever for promoting sustained, shared and sustainable economic growth, Sustainable Development Goal # 8, whose Target 8.9 aims to, “develop and implement policies to develop sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products,” by 2030.

The opening of the conference will be officially made by representatives of ISESCO; the Ministry of Culture and Communication; UN-Women; ICOMOS-Morocco; the Communal Council of Rabat; and UCLG Africa.

More than one hundred participants are expected at this important meeting, including: representatives of international organizations (UNESCO, ISESCO, ICOMOS), the ministerial departments responsible and/or involved in the governance and management of Cultural Heritage, Associations of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa and the Arab and Muslim World, as well as components of Civil Society and other participants.

The Conference will be an opportunity to highlight the best practice of some African cities in the protection and promotion of their Cultural Heritage, including: Bobo-Dioulasso Town, Burkina Faso, Praia Town (Cabo Verde), the Commune of Abobo (Côte d’Ivoire), the City of Bamako (Mali), the cities of El Jadida, Azemmour and Marrakech, (Morocco), Cities of Mauritania, the City of Lagos (Nigeria) and the City of La Goulette, Tunisia. The Conference will also be marked by the presentation of the experiences of the Arab world, including Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Mauritania.

Participants will address the theme from 5 main perspectives:

1) What is the context and what are the current challenges of preserving, protecting and enhancing Cultural Heritage?

2) What is the mapping for the main actors and stakeholders in the dynamics of preservation, protection and enhancement of cultural heritage?

3) What are the roles and responsibilities of local and subnational governments in the management, preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage?

4) What tools and strategies exist for local and regional authorities for the management, preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage?

5) What are the main pillars for a possible roadmap targeting the local level?

The national and international media based in Morocco are invited to cover the proceedings of the International Conference on Thursday, April 18, 2019   from 09:00 am   at the ISESCO Headquarters (Avenue des FAR, Hay Ryad – Madinat Al Irfane) and Friday, April 19, 2019 at 9:00 am at the Headquarters of the Municipal Council of the City of Rabat, Avenue Mohamed Belhassan El Ouazzani, Takkadoum.

Participants will finally have the opportunity to visit the jewels of the City of Rabat, a city that has made Cultural Heritage a strategic axis and a development lever for its progress and sustainable development.

About:

ISESCO: The Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) was established in May 1979 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Its headquarters are based in Rabat (Morocco). Websitehttp://www.isesco.org.ma

UCLG Africa: is the umbrella organization of the local governments of Africa whose founding congress took place in the city of Tshwane, South Africa, in May 2005. UCLG Africa has had its headquarters in the city of Rabat (Morocco) since January 2008. It is the African chapter of the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Websitewww.uclga.org

 

For more information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45

e-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

The Press release is available here in PDF.

Register for the 3rd Edition of the Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting the local level in Africa (Deadline: 30 May 2019)

UCLG Africa, through its African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) and its partners: The Regional Council of Fès-Meknès and Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane, will organize the 3rd edition of the forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting the local level in Africa. The forum will be held from June 10 – 14 at the Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane (Morocco) under the theme: Financing Learning, Training and Capacity Building for Local Elected Officials and Territorial Managers in Africa: for Innovative and Sustainable Mechanisms.

The Forum will be an opportunity to discuss and benchmark the issue of financing learning, training and capacity building that targets local governments in Africa, to present the successful models that exist from around the world and to present and propose innovative and sustainable mechanisms to anchor decentralization in Africa. The Forum will also offer a space to empower participants on the African and Global Agendas.

TARGET PUBLIC

  • Representatives of International Organizations
  • Representatives of Governments
  • Local Governments and their Networks
  • National Associations of Local Governments
  • Local Elected Officials
  • Territorial Managers and their Professional Networks
  • Development Partners and Donors
  • Civil Society
  • Academia
  • Private Sector Representatives, etc.

FEES FOR REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION IN THE FORUM

  • Members and networks of UCLG Africa: 300 euros
  • Non-members of UCLG Africa: 400 euros
  • Husband / Wives and Accompanying Persons: 100 euros
  • Delegations / Groups of more than 5 participants: 20% discount.

Fees can be paid through bank transfer to UCLG Africa at:

BANK: BNPPARIBAS

Address: 117, Boulevard HAUSSMANN 75008, Paris_ France

Beneficiary: CITES ET GOUVERNEMENTS LOCAUX UNIS D’AFRIQUE

IBAN/ Bank account number: FR7630004005670001009726629

BIC/Code SWIFT: BNPAFRPPINT

Transfer notification: FULL NAME OF THE PARTICIPANT + UCLG Africa / ALGA Forum2019.

– Or upon arrival to the Venue of the Forum.

 

For more details click here 

For a registration form click here 

 

The hosting of UCLG Africa Statutory Meetings and the opening of UCLG Africa’s North Africa Regional Office (NARO) in Cairo, Egypt.

At the invitation of the Minister for Local Development in Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Chaaraoui, a UCLG Africa delegation, led by the Secretary General, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, participated in a mission to Cairo, Egypt from March 6-9, 2019. The delegation included Mr. Lahcen Amrouch, Vice President, Association of Local Governments of Morocco (AMPCC); Mrs. Souad Zaidi, Deputy Mayor, City of Rabat, Morocco; Mr. Youssef Tanarhte, Director, Finance and Administration Department of UCLG Africa and Mr. Mohamed Cherkaoui, Head of Protocol and Relations with the Administrations, UCLG Africa.

The mission was one of the follow up activities planned in the aftermath of the 8th Africities Summit, held in November 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The purpose of the mission was to reconnect UCLG Africa with the Egyptian Authorities and UCLG Africa members. This was a result of the participation of a strong Egyptian delegation in the proceedings of the 2018 Africities Summit, who resolved to work more closely with the continental organization of subnational and local governments.

The Egyptian Minister of Local Development pointed out that the Africities Summit had been a revelation of the importance of UCLG Africa’s contribution to the unification of the continent and the promotion of its growth. He stressed that as the chairperson of the African Union for 2019, the Egyptian President, Abdel Fatah Al-Sissi, had committed to continue and deepen efforts to build a strong African Union and was equally determined to implement the African Free Trade Zone Agreement, which would strongly contribute to the realization of Agenda 2063 The Africa We Want.

The delegation held two important meetings on March 7, 2019. The first meeting was held with the Ministry of Local Development, attended by His Excellency and the minister, who presides over the governors of Cairo, Damietta and Kaliubia, as well as senior officials in the Ministry and corresponding governorates. On the afternoon of March 7, 2019, the delegation met with His Excellency Abubakar Hafni, Secretary for African Affairs and his staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Items on the agenda included:

– An exchange of information on decentralization and the expectations of UCLG Africa.
– The establishment of the UCLG Africa North Africa Regional Office (NARO) in Cairo;
– The hosting of UCLG Africa statutory meetings of in Egypt;
– A field trip.

The establishment of the UCLG Africa North Africa Regional Office (NARO) in Cairo was met with reassurances from the Egyptian authorities. The Minister of Local Development of Egypt, His Excellency Mahmoud Chaaraoui, confirmed that Egypt had offered to host the UCLG Africa North Africa Regional Office and that the delegation could visit the assigned premises for the office. Located in the Heliopolis airport area, the office will accommodate a meeting room and 4 offices and will be furnished, equipped, delivered and ready for operation by the end of May 2019. The headquarters agreement has been submitted to the Egyptian Government for approval and is currently being examined by the Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirming that things are going in the right direction for the upcoming opening of the NARO office.

With regard to Egypt hosting UCLG Africa’s next statutory meetings, the period, June 17-21, 2019 was selected. The Egyptian Government proposed that meetings should be organized back to back, followed by the launch of football’s Africa Cup of Nations on June 21, 2019.

The meetings will be held as follows:

– Regional Strategic Meeting of the North Africa Region of UCLG Africa, bringing together members of North Africa sitting on the Panafrican Council of UCLG Africa, as well as Presidents and Permanent Secretaries of each national association of local authorities operating in the region – June 17, 2019.

– Meeting of the Financial Management Committee – June 18 2019;
– Official launch of REFELA Egypt – June 19, 2019;
– Meeting of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa – June 20, 2019;
– Official inauguration of the UCLG Africa Regional Office for North Africa – June 21, 2019;
– Participation in the launch ceremony of the African Cup of Nations – June 21, 2019.

By hosting these meetings, the country of the Pharaohs reaffirms its determination to resume its rightful place in the local governance movement and local development dynamic in Africa.

The Minister of Local Development of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Chaaraoui, welcomed the election of Egyptian representatives to the governing bodies of UCLG Africa, namely:

– The Governorate of Kaliubia, represented by its governor, Mr. Alaa Abdel HALIM, on the UCLG Africa Panafrican Council.
– The Governorate of Cairo, represented by Mr. Khaled Abdel Aal, on the UCLG Africa Executive Committee;
– The Governorate of Damietta, represented by Mrs. Manal Awad Mikhaiel Aboughatas, on the REFELA Panafrican Council.

The Regional Office for North Africa (NARO) will join the other three UCLG Africa regional offices already operational in: West Africa (WARO), East Africa (EARO) and Southern Africa (SARO).

Intensification of Cultural Exchange between African Cities and European Capitals of Culture -Call for Participation

Panel Discussion and Workshop of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Rijeka (Croatia), 31 May 2019

The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) are one of the most emblematic cultural actions of the European Union with a huge potential for cultural internationalisation and exchange – also reflected in the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations. On the African continent, investments in culture are dynamic including a wide range of cultural and creative initiatives in cities providing interesting frameworks for enlarged international cooperation.

The panel discussion and workshop organised by the European Commission in the framework of an international conference in Rijeka – European Capital of Culture 2020 – allows for in depth exchange on cooperation ideas and building up sustainable networks between the two continents.

Cultural policy makers from both continents as well as the European Commission will discuss about framework conditions for enhanced cultural cooperation between the two continents. Speakers from future European Capitals of Culture and from African creative cities will provide insight in good practice approaches for city development with culture. Representatives from African cities or cultural operators with a clear urban focus as well as past, present, future and candidate ECOCs are invited to participate!

For more information and programme details please contact Sylvia Amann, Member of the European
Capital of Culture Expert Panel (responsible for the design of the encounter) as soon as possible as only
a restricted number of participants can be accepted to join the workshop. Email: office@inforelais.org 

African Cities Development Fund : Call for Expressions of Interest

Context and justification of the Call for Expression of Interest

The world population is expected to reach 8.1 billion in 2025, 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100. It is Africa that will provide more than half of the world population growth, from 2.4 billion in 2050 to 4.2 billion in 2100. With an average annual population growth of 2.4%, the highest in the world, the African population increased twofold over in the last 30 years whereas the European population, for instance, increased by only 15% over the same period.

According to the experts, between 1950 and 2050, Africa’s urban population will increase by 1.3 billion inhabitants, that is more than the overall increase in the urban population in Europe, Latin America, South America, North America and Oceania joined together. The African continent is the fastest urbanizing region of the world. It is therefore the region of the world with the highest needs for settlement investments.

Africa currently has (3) cities of over 10 million inhabitants (Cairo: 17.7 million inhabitants, Lagos: 13.2 million inhabitants and Kinshasa: 11.58 million inhabitants); 4 cities with a population between 5 and 10 million; 49 cities with a population of 1 to 5 million; 53 cities whose population is between 500,000 and 1 million inhabitants; and 85 cities with a population of 300,000 to 500,000 inhabitants. These cities produce about 60% of the continent’s GDP, and host a middle class that should match China’s in 2020. The economic weight of this middle class is estimated currently at USD 700 billion, and is expected to reach USD 1,700 billion in 2030.

The urban population of Africa is characterized by its extreme youth. The median age of the population is 19 years. Compared to other regions, the weight of youngsters in the population of African cities is both a challenge and an opportunity: a challenge of having to train and integrate into the economic and social life thousands of young people whereas the job opportunities do not live up to the expectations. The opportunity of having a large and better-trained work force thanks to the progress of education, and which is ready to invest in tapping the multiple potentialities of the continent. On the express condition that the continent should be able to mobilize annually over the next 10 to 15 years the sum of USD 80 billion needed to set up the urban infrastructures and services needed to handle effectively the management and operation of the continent’s cities.

The experts estimate the current annual value added of African cities at approximately USD 51 billion, and their annual debt capacity at USD 8 billion. On the other hand, the annual turnover of the 200 largest banks operating on the continent is estimated at over USD 1,000 billion, and their net annual income at around USD 45 billion. In other words, cities in Africa are now operating in an environment characterized by expanding and increasingly mature financial markets.

The challenge of funding African urban infrastructures and services must therefore be addressed based on this new enabling environment. It is in order to review this possibility that in collaboration with FMDV, UCLG-A organized in Marrakech, Morocco, in December 2014, the conference REsolutions Africa on the topic “Funding African Cities: Agenda, Alliances and Solutions”. At the end of the meeting, the participants who were mainly mayors and local/ regional authorities of the continent recommended the establishment of a financial vehicle dedicated to the development of African cities, termed African Cities Development Fund, ACDF (see Marrakech Declaration in Appendix 1).

It is in pursuance of this recommendation that CGLUA Africa launched the initiative aimed at defining the establishment conditions and the operating procedures of the African Cities Development Fund. A workshop for the definition workshop of the format of this financial vehicle was held on 30 and 31 October 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. In addition to the Chief Financial Officers of major cities such as Port Louis and Pretoria, the other participants include institutions such as the West African Development Bank, BOAD (Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the West African Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM), Deposit and Management Fund, CDG (Caisse de Dépôts et de Gestion) of Morocco, Department of Local Governments of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Morocco, Moody’s, Bloomfield International, HSBC, Agence France Locale, Norges Kommunalbank, Municipal Capital Investment Fund, FEC (Fonds d’Equippement Communal) of Morocco, the Dakar Municipal Finance Project and the Municipal Capital Investment Fund of Cameroon, FEICOM (Fonds d’Equipement et d’Intervention Communal).

This workshop helped to define the contours of the proposed financial vehicle as well as the critical path of all the tasks to be carried out with a view to setting up the African Cities Development Fund, for both the technical component and the political component. This workshop also recalled the urgent need to set up the Club of the first cities interested in being members of ACDF.

  1. Presentation of the call for expression of interest

The purpose of this call for expression of interest (CEI) is to identify the cities as well as the local and regional governments in Africa wishing to be members of the Founding Club of the African Cities Development Fund (ACDF).

The African Cities Development Fund is designed as a cooperative fund of the major African cities (about twenty cities at the beginning) that would undertake to disburse a seed capital of Euros 100,000 Euros. This seed capital should be used to raise additional resources from the financial institutions or the financial markets.

The Fund is intended to finance the investments and services needed to cope with the rapid growth of the continent’s cities and catch up in this area, making the current operation of most African cities globally ineffective. Access requirements should also help to improve the financial performance and governance of local and regional governments; and promote economically and socially more cost-effective and efficient investment choices.

  1. Eligibility

Shall be eligible as founding members of ACDF:

–           The capital cities of African countries;

–           Rank 2 African cities

–           The intermediate level local and regional governments of the type of State Governments (in the case of countries with a federal system), Regions, Provinces, Counties, Departments or Circles, etc.

  1. Constitutive supporting documents of the application for the status of an ACDF Founding MEMBER

–           The deliberation passed by the council or the deliberative body, for the local or regional government to become a founding a member of ACDF

–           the undertaking of the authority responsible for the executive body of the local or regional government to settle the contribution of Euros 100,000 within three months following the vote of the deliberation of the council or the deliberative body

–           copy of the legal or regulatory act establishing the local or regional government as a legal entity enjoying financial autonomy

–           copy of the legal or regulatory act appointing the members of the deliberative body and the executive body of the local or regional government

–           copy of the last three administrative accounts approved by the competent authorities or by public or private auditors

–           copy of the regulatory act appointing the ACDF focal point within the local or regional government (names and contact details of the appointed person)

  1. Address for the forwarding of constitutive documents  

All the information mentioned under point 4 must be sent, as soon as possible, and no later than June 03, 2019 at 17:00 hours UT to :

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa

22, rue Esaadyine, Quartier Hassan, 10020, Rabat, Morocco

Email: Email: hbelghol@uclga.org  ; fyatta@uclga.org 

Fax: +212 5 37 26 00 60

Tel.: +212 5 37 26 00 62/ 63

Available in PDF 

Statement: Local and Regional Governments mourn the loss in the tragic crash of flight ET 302

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and United Cities and Local Governments UCLG on behalf of all the organizations gathered in the Global Taskforce, would like to express our sorrow and sincere condolences to the families of all the victims of the crash of the flight ET 302. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our dear colleagues of the United Nations, delegations, and all members of the international community who were on the way to Nairobi.

On behalf of the constituency of local and regional governments, and as participants in the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, we want to share our solidarity with all families, colleagues and friends, and to let them know their absence will be felt.

Our thoughts are with you all,

 

 

Gino Van Begin ,                                                       Emilia Saiz
Secretary General,                                                   Secretary General,
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability        United Cities and Local Governments

Source: UCLG 

International Women’s Day 2019: Focus on the status of three REFELA campaigns (Part 1)

This year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day is: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change.” Every year, the celebration of March 08 is an important milestone for the Local Elected Women’s Network of Africa (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Standing Committee on gender equality, to highlight the actions and progress taken by these actors in local governance.

For International Women’s Day 2019, REFELA has seized the opportunity to provide an update on the deployment of its three main campaigns that are at the heart of its 2019-2021 Strategic Action Plan (SAP-REFELA). These are:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street Children

Ø The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

Ø The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

 

 

 

“African cities without Street Children” in Rabat

The campaign, “African Cities without Street Children,” is an initiative driven by REFELA, supported by the Kingdom of Morocco’s National Observatory for the Rights of Children (ONDE) and UNICEF. The campaign aims to provide solutions for a shared African problem; that which is the vulnerability, accepted insecurity and invisibility of street children. It also aims to mobilize government officials and elected African territorial officials in the protection of children within a decentralized territorial approach.

This Pan-African Campaign was launched under the presidency of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, at the Africities 8 Summit in Marrakech on November 24, 2018. Expressing his support for the campaign, which was delivered by the Princess, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, called on African leaders to make, “African cities truly worthy of their children.” As President of the ONDE, the Princess stressed that, “what is important is not the world we leave to our children, but rather the children we leave to this world.”

Since the launch of the campaign, a national pilot project, named “Initiative – Rabat without Street Children”, is being implemented under the guidance of ONDE and UCLG Africa, in partnership with the various departments of the Government of Morocco. During two meetings, initiated by ONDE (January 22 and 29), targeting institutional stakeholders, as well as elected officials and representatives of civil society, participants were presented with a work agenda for the creation and development of mapping a three-year action plan and an urban strategy for the protection and promotion of children in Rabat. The initiative, ”Rabat, a city without Street Children,” will lead to the implementation of guides, toolboxes and communication kits, for a city protecting its children, which will be presented at an event that will bring together the 60 African cities subscribing to the campaign.

Discover the 60 Cities subscribing to the campaign (Photo)

 

See articles on:

The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Reports on the 3 campaigns are available here

International Women’s Day 2019: Focus on the progress of 3 campaigns prepared and launched by REFELA  (Part 2)

This year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day is: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change.” Every year, the celebration of March 08 is an important milestone for the Local Elected Women’s Network of Africa (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Standing Committee on gender equality, to highlight the actions and progress taken by these actors in local governance.

For International Women’s Day 2019, REFELA has seized the opportunity to provide an update on the deployment of its three main campaigns that are at the heart of its 2019-2021 Strategic Action Plan (SAP-REFELA). These are:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street Children

Ø The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

Ø The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

 

 

 

“African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls.” Cities say, “STOP IT.”

The call for expressions of interest, launched on January 31, 2019, targeting territorial communities wishing to voluntarily take part in the, “Campaign of African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls”, welcomed its first members. The cities and national associations of the following 9 countries have already made commitments: Rabat (Morocco), Saint-Louis (Senegal), Banjul (Gambia), Maradi (Niger), Paynesville (Liberia), Tunis (Tunisia), Bangui (Central African Republic), the National Association of Local Governments of Zambia, and the National Association of Local Authorities in Namibia.  The local authorities for these communities expressed their determination to play their part in eradicating this scourge, which is increasingly plaguing the African continent.

REFELA’s analytical report  shows some progress has been made across the continent, however it also highlights a resurgence of this phenomenon in Africa. According to WHO figures, more than 40% of women in West Africa are victims of violence, with this figure escalating to 65% in Central Africa, leading REFELA to adopt the slogan: “Cities and territories of Africa, it is up to you to act against violence against women and girls.”

In Niger, the Maradi region hosts the highest number of poor people (73.4%) and is also one of the regions with the highest rate of violence against women. “Of the surveyed Nigerian population as a whole, 53% report having experienced at least one act of violence in their lifetime. This proportion is 44% for men and 60% for women. The regions of Zinder and Maradi are the areas with the highest percentage of victims (93% and 83% respectively), (Extent and determinants of GBV in Niger – 2015),” says Ms. Habiba Saadou, the 3rd Vice-President of the Special Delegation from the Maradi region. This situation has motivated local governments to support the REFELA campaign. “Violence, in our area of ​​responsibility, cannot leave anyone indifferent. This violence is so widespread and has such serious consequences that our municipality is committed to reducing it, or, if possible, to putting an end to it,” said Ms. Saadou.  As part of this process, she has formulated two key expectations of the Campaign of African Cities’ Zero Tolerance Against Violence Against Women and Girls:

Ø    Support for the organization of mass campaigns on gender-based violence. These campaigns will include local decision-makers, religious leaders, traditional leaders, etc. The latter are guarantors of traditional authority and have a great influence on community life.

Ø    Support for the implementation of community programs aimed at collective decision-making, for a change in behavior that necessarily implies a change in social norms.

In Senegal, unlike the Maradi region, the city of Saint-Louis is the least affected by violence over the entire national territory, according to statistics in 2017, based on a study produced by the Gender and Society (Gestes) Laboratory at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis. The region of Diourbel is said to be the area where there would be the most cases of this violence, with a rate of 72%.  The least affected region is that of Saint-Louis, whose figures are around 45%, and for the region of Dakar, the rate is estimated to be around 52.5%. Statistics, hovering around 50%, were also given for the other regions of Senegal.

Ms. Penda Diouf, the municipal councilor representing the city of Saint-Louis, highlighted the emergence of a new type of violence via mobile phones. Saint-Louis has begun to initiate actions to deal with this violence. “Following action-oriented research on gender-sensitive budgeting of the municipality of Saint-Louis, it has been shown that the problems of gender-based violence are not supported by the budgets of programs and municipal plans,” indicated Ms. Diouf. At present, the Gender and Development Observatory of Saint-Louis (OGDS) is making a plea for the municipal budget to take charge of, “issues of violence in budgets, programs and plans, within the area of the municipality: schools, public places, households and workplaces, etc., through training, information, awareness, and support. Actions will be agreed with elected officials, civil society and technicians.”

Ms. Diouf is counting on the REFELA campaign to exchange, share, learn and experience projects from other African cities. Her commitment to the cause is unwavering. “I have the duty, the honor and the great pleasure to participate in the eradication of this scourge, which spoils the lives of women and young girls.

 

Operation zero rape, zero murder, zero violence against women and girls: Liberia

In Liberia, the mayor of Paynssville, Pam Belcher-Taylor, has made the fight to end violence against women and girls her main issue. Indeed, in a recent case, she was reminded of the tragic fate suffered by women who experience violence, in the case of a young lady from her own city.  “A little over two months ago I received a phone call on my way to work. The caller on the other end informed me of a corpse near my residence. I changed course and drove to the scene. Upon my arrival the stench of death permeated the air,” she recalled with horror. “With anticipation I walked towards an abandoned building where I saw from a distance, a figure lying on the ground partially clothed. I focused on the body trying to pretend that the odor was not nauseating and realized it was a woman, probably in her mid-forties, with furrowed lines on her face, eyes closed and facing the heavens. A week later, the investigation to identify this ‘lonely lady’ discovered she had been raped by five people. Since then, I have promised to fight relentlessly, to have ZERO Rape, ZERO Murder, ZERO Violence against WOMEN and GIRLS in PAYNESVILLE!!!!! (Sic).”

In the field, the municipality launched an awareness campaign entitled, “Say NO to violence against our women and girls.” The City Hall team has a door-to-door campaign to share this message with the public. “We are teaching our young girls what signs to look out for to protect themselves from predators and molesters. We don’t want our mothers, daughters and sisters to be another ‘lonely lady’ in an abandoned building,” she said.

In terms of her expectations for this continental campaign, Pam Belcher-Taylor emphasizes the importance of “eradicating this disease.” “Yes, violence against women and our girls is a disease!!!! We, as women leaders, must be courageous and steadfast in our fight. I expect to start the first registry through the Ministry of Gender and Sex Offenders in Paynesville City. I think that, thanks to this campaign, we will be able to give as many women and girls the strength to be heard and to speak out against violence.”

For Ms Belcher-Taylor, REFELA is a platform where dynamic women converge under the values of sisterhood and unity. “I have been a member of many organizations. REFELA has a diverse culture and is a torch for women and girls in Africa. I believe that with determination and instruments for change, REFELA can achieve our goals by 2030.

Situation in CAR

The city of Bangui, (Central African Republic), headed by Mayor Emile-Gros-Raymond Nakombo, is also engaged in the fight to end violence against women and girls. This phenomenon has been accentuated during the multiple crises that the country has experienced. “Most women, who are victims of violence in Central Africa, are those who are economically dependent on their husbands and those who are abandoned by their husbands who are unable to provide for themselves. 79% of the cases of violence against women are due to marital breakdown,” said the Bangui Listening Center which, in January 2012, welcomed 96 women who were victims of violence, 79% of whom left home, 10.4% who experienced physical violence (marital abuse, assault and battery, deprivation of material and financial resources), 4% who experienced ‘moral violence’ in the form of insults and social discrimination, and 3% who experienced sexual violence (including rape of minors, sexual slavery and forced marriages).

In response to this situation, the municipality of Bangui has set up Safety Committees in its 8 districts, in order to carry out local action in the fight against all recorded violence. The celebration of weddings has provided a platform for the President of the Special Delegation of the City of Bangui and the other civil status officers, to raise awareness.

The African Cities Zero Tolerance Campaign on Violence Against Women and Girls will focus on 3 main actions for the eradication of this scourge by 2030.  This will be high on the agenda in the development of policies and strategies of cities and local authorities in Africa to: (i) Raise awareness and develop effective means to combat the trivialization of acts of violence suffered by women and girls in their relationships, in the family, on the streets, in the workplace and in the community and institutions, in the name of stereotypical, socio-cultural practices; (ii) to make the fight against violence against women and girls a priority action in programing, delivery of services and the organization of cities and local communities for the facilitated mobility of women and girls, safe practices in the public space and for urgent, coordinated responses to violence by the various parties concerned; (iii) establish a system for assessing the tolerance levels of local cities and territories to violence against women and to note them, classify them and direct them towards concrete action, to create a climate of change and zero tolerance  to this scourge.

See articles on:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street children;

ØThe Campaign for African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women

Reports on the 3 campaigns are available here:

UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa announce a new strategic partnership to accelerate the localisation and implementation of global and African sustainable development goals and targets at the subnational level

27th of February 2019 in Rabat, Morocco

United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLG AFRICA) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa (ICLEI Africa) are very pleased to announce a strengthened collaborative partnership to accelerate the localization and implementation of the global and African development goals and targets at subnational level.

This collaboration builds on and complements the existing formal partnership between UCLG and ICLEI at the global level, as was renewed and strengthened in 2018 through a new global-level MoU. It is particularly important in the framework of the UCLG Africa Climate Task Force, which brings together all interested parties in the strengthening and empowerment of subnational and local governments’ role in the climate change and sustainability agenda.

To ensure full alignment with Agenda 2063 and accelerate access to new and existing financing mechanisms and partnerships for implementation at the subnational level, UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa have agreed to build on their long-standing cooperative relationship by entering into a new level of intensified collaboration.  This will be facilitated by a more robust and sustained Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to be signed during the upcoming Africa Climate Week in Accra, in March 2019.

General cooperation on urban sustainability

    • UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa commit to complement each other and seek synergy for the benefit of their shared constituency in the field of sustainable development with a special focus on addressing climate mitigation, adaptation to climate change, resilience, access to energy and climate finance.
    • UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa confirm the leading political role of UCLG Africa and its associated core advocacy mandate to promote the recognition of subnational governments within the African and global contexts.
    • UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa confirm the leading technical role of ICLEI Africa in supporting climate and sustainability actions at subnational level within the African and global context.  
    • Other agreed areas of collaboration include the promotion of local and territorial solutions in the fields of circular economy, food security, biodiversity, green and sustainable infrastructure, water and sanitation, sustainable mobility, gender and youth development and private sector partnerships in the field of climate change and sustainability, along with support for the development and implementation of south-south and triangular decentralized cooperation partnerships regarding climate change and sustainability.
    • UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa remain committed to collaborate within the context provided by the    African Union and its institutional mechanisms, in particular AMCEN and CAHOSC, and commit to jointly approach other key players on the continental landscape, such as the African Development Bank, other regional development banks, as well the Regional Economic Communities and other pan-African bodies within the African Union Governance Architecture, etc.
    • UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa will cooperate with appropriate stakeholders and participate jointly in the lobbying of national governments and African Union bodies in order that the management of urbanization and the transition to sustainable cities and territories in Africa are considered priority issues on the political agenda of Africa.
    • The Secretary General of UCLG Africa and the Regional Director of ICLEI Africa will meet (in person) at least once a year in a dedicated meeting, to review the progress of relations between the two institutions and prioritize actions for the year ahead, in collaboration with their respective senior staff, complemented by regular online meetings and further opportunities provided through events and platforms.

Cooperation in the field of research

Read more. ..

Watch Kobie Brand interview 

 

UCLG Africa Retreat 2019: Revitalization of the African Municipal Movement

UCLG Africa held its third institutional retreat during February 18-21, 2019, at the Al Akhawayn University Conference Center in Ifrane, Morocco. The 4 days retreat was attended by sixty participants including: staff from the UCLGA headquarters, three regional offices (West Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa), and partner organizations: UCLG, Metropolis, Cities Alliance, UNECA, World Resources Institute (WRI), CAFRAD; and UCLG Africa Special Advisers:  Mr. Daby Ndiaye, Mr. Gustave Massiah, Mr. Alioune Badiane and Mrs. Claire Mandouze.

The goal of this retreat is to take stock of the situation. For an organization, it is very important that we take a new impetus. The retreat is held to rebuild a momentum. The organization is the political part of the equation, the members, the Executive Committee, the Pan-African Council, the UCLG Africa presidency, the staff, and the citizens. We expect from this retreat more synergy, a remobilization of our members and our staff and new goals, so that we meet our members’ expectations,” said Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, who recalled the components of UCLG Africa that stood at the heart of the retreat.

Day 1   : Who are we   ?

The first day was marked by the opening speech of the Secretary General who recalled the history of the organization and the creation of the municipal movement in Africa.

Today, UCLG Africa consists of 47 national associations of local government. We are a unitary organization, not a confederation. We went through years of division whose unity (sic) was consolidated in 2012, in Dakar, during the 6th Africities Summit.’

He also discussed the fragility of this unity, which only subsisted through the commitment of its members and that of the staff of UCLG Africa.

Our unity is always fragile and it is your duty to fight and keep the unity             of this organization. We need to make members understand that the love of the continent is what will save them and save their children’s future. There is a different level of decentralization on the continent, which implies that specific approaches are needed. The role of regional offices is crucial at this level. The goal is to improve the service rendered to the populations by the implementation of decentralization. Multilateralism is losing ground. There is an inward-oriented identity movement that is extremely damaging for Africa. Tribalism is gaining ground and this is an additional difficulty for the continent. We must make room for youth in the political space and local level is the level of where this is possible. The hope for the continent rests on your shoulders,” he told the young participants at the meeting.

A “fishbowl” which is a round table with 2 or 3 main speakers. When other participants whant to ask questions or made a contribution they rejoin the box where  are the speakers, but they are not allow to stay, only the main speakers are allow to stay in the bowl. This “fishbowl” was a platform of exchange of ideas on how to work in synergy with partner organizations for the implementation of the Global Agendas and of African Union’s Agenda 2063. The moderator was Mr. Sithole Mbanga. Afterfollowed by the construction of a “time line” of the organization, from 2005 to 2019, by UCLG Africa staff.

Exchanges took place in a relaxed atmosphere and staff engaged in a range of group activities, including‘Rock-around-the-Clock,’ which required them to partner with new colleagues to allow them to interact.

Synergy with UCLG and Metropolis

The Deputy Secretary General of UCLG Africa Mr. Sitholé Mbanga moderated a debate with keynote speakers, Mrs. Firdaous Oussidhoum, Special Adviser to the Secretary General of UCLG and Mr. Octavi De La Varga, Secretary General of Metropolis.

Speakers addressed how best to localize the Global Agendas, Agenda 2030 (SDG), the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Contributions called for synergy in order to localize these agendas on the continent through a territorial approach, a gender-based approach, an appreciation of human capital, a reinvention of local democracy and a revision of statistical systems in Africa.

The construction of the “UCLG Africa (2005- 2019) timeline” highlighted how far the organization had come since 2015, and the implementation of GADDEPA (Program of Governance, Advocacy and Decentralized Development for Africa), as part of UCLG Africa’s strategic vision until 2021.

 

Day 2   : Rebuilding together

Tuesday, February 19, was marked by the Market Place. An exercise where UCLG Africa present his service offerings. Representatives from the different departments and regional offices including members, programs, REFELA, ALGA, the Climate Task Force, Communications, WARO Regional Office, SARO Regional Office and EARO Regional Office, were invited to present their best service offerings and the two main difficulties encountered in the exercising of these functions. The purpose of the activity was to share the role and functions of the different departments and to do this is in a fun way. Participants agreed that this initiative allowed them to have a greater understanding of each other’s work, ‘fine-tune their pitch’, and get to know each other better.

A “fishbowl” debate and exchange of ideas also took place with the partners, Cities Alliance, UNECA and WRI, on the various ways they could collaborate better with UCLG Africa.

 

Ms. Abera Edlam Yemeru, Chief of the Urbanization Section of UNECA commented that, “There is a need to connect the Urban Agenda to other sectors and to build African cities around the importance of planning. Agenda 2063 is an opportunity for collaboration. We operate at the national level and with UCLG Africa we can reach the local level.

Mr. Leo Horn Phathanothai, Director of International Cooperation at WRI, declared himself open to materializing a partnership in the research sector, particularly through the African Local Government Academy (ALGA).

“We need to ensure that local governments are credible career spaces. The current system of urbanization policies is not adequate in Africa. Youth unemployment is a major challenge for local governments in Africa. UCLG Africa should formalize the partnerships over a period of at least 5 years, said Julian Baskin, Cities Alliance Senior Urban Specialist.

The day ended with a group task on the construction of a new narrative for UCLG Africa and defining the objectives, strengths and weaknesses of the organization. The participants expressed their entire creativity to realise model building (Photos).

Day 3   : Rethinking our actions for the people

Wednesday, February 20, saw participants discuss strategies to determine how best way UCLG Africa could intervene at the global, continental, national, and regional levels and work with the associations of local governments, localities and citizens.

The main messages were:

  • UCLG Africa’s core interest are Africa’s citizens
  • The role of the organization is to help build local governments
  • UCLG Africa’s Agenda should be updated in accordance with GADDEPA
  • Priorities for the organization include empowering young people and regional offices, repositioning the organization and promoting a gender-based approach
  • UCLG Africa must write its own history and proceed to Communication 2.0.

 

  • Participants voted for 7 priorities on which the organization should be rebuilt.
    • Human Resources Management, Training and Development
    • Financial Viability and Sustainability
    • Good Governance
    • Vision and Strategic Orientation
    • Clear Communication Strategy Plan
    • Learning and Knowledge Sharing Organization
    • Africities

 

Day 4   : New Roadmap

The retreat closed with the design of a new roadmap for 2019 based on the various proposals presented over the 4 days and covering the following key stages:

  • Activity Matrix
  • Political Executive Committee Meeting in April 2019
  • Meetings with Regions and Partners (May-July)
  • Meeting with the financial partners (June or September)
  • Mobilization meeting of national associations on the sidelines of the UCLG World congress, planned to take place in Durban, South Africa in November 2019
  • UCLG World Congress
  • Annual UCLG Africa Retreat (February 2020).

The Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Sithole Mbanga, expressed his commitment to closely monitor its implementation.

In his closing message, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, thanked the President of the Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane, for hosting the retreat.

“It is important to love what you do. I would like to thank our facilitators and the entire UCLG Africa team. We are part of a fantastic journey and we must be militants. The only fight that must be waged is that of the dignity of this continent. Dignity begins with knowing one’s strengths. Only Africans will develop Africa. It is time to rediscover the culture and history of our continent. Be proud of your continent, dear young people, you have the capacity to do it. Let’s be humble, we are a political organization. A 5-kilometer journey begins with a step in the right direction… During this retreat, we took the first step in the right direction (sic).”

 

Watch the videos of the retreat here.

Watch the interviews of the retreat here .

Retirement photo album.