United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and the Africa and Arab Countries Region of Public Service International (PSI) signed today 24 September 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for structured dialogue and cooperation between their respective constituencies. The Partners are the most representative membership-based organisations namely of local and regional government (LRG) managers and staff in the African continent.
Building on the longstanding dialogue and continued partnership between their international secretariats, the Partners sealed in a virtual launch their joint commitment to “bring their cooperation down to the subregions and territories where they operate and close to their respective memberships” their MoU reads.
The challenges local and regional governments face in the African continent are vast and public services inequalities stark. According to the UN, only 20 percent of the African urban population (excluding North Africa) has access to safely managed sanitation services, while 23 percent of slum dwellers are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, through the Covid crisis, many African local authorities have rapidly put in place innovative emergency solutions and adaptation measures to ensure continued public service delivery. Their losses are now of up to 60 percent of average own sourced revenues.
Acknowledging these challenges, the Partners will prioritize joint initiatives towards:
- enabling equitable access to quality local public services for all;
- making cities, communities, and territories inclusive and fair;
- realizing sustainable, just local socio-economic development;
- building LRG staff’s capacity and skills, while ensuring their decent working conditions
UCLG Africa and PSI Africa and the Arab Countries will also cooperate to develop joint advocacy and actions – including in regional policy forums such as the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) – on shared strategic priorities including effective decentralization; investment in LRG human capital through institutional and staff capacity enhancement and empowerment; funding for quality local public services; social dialogue; good and effective local governance; the localisation of regional and UN global agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement to address climate change in African cities and territories, the Decent Work Agenda, and the Africa Agenda 2063.
Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, UCLG Africa General Secretary said: «Recalling that decentralisation means the transfer of power relationship, responsibilities, capacities and resources from national to all sub-national levels of government with the aim of strengthening the ability of the latter to both foster people’s participation and deliver quality services as defined by the 2014 African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development, UCLG Africa’s membership is happy to cooperate from now on with PSI as a strategic partner, to invest in human capital and quality public services at sub-national level, and make sure to leave no one and no place behind».
Sani Baba, PSI Regional Secretary for Africa and the Arab Countries said: «Addressing the dire needs of the African and Arab Countries’ people for equitable access to quality local public services such as safe water and sanitation, heath care, energy, proper waste disposal, effective public transport, and decent housing is a major challenge for both our organisations. But working together we can unleash the unique potential of our local government constituencies to co-create and bring about concrete, progressive change to African cities and territories, to the benefit of local communities, as well as of local government institutions and their workers”.
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary said: «PSI and UCLG are stronger together when their respective memberships cooperate to confront the multiple, concurrent challenges they increasingly face, including pandemic, climate, unemployment and informality, migration, public service funding, gender equality and the respect of human rights. This first regional commitment brings the spirit of the global dialogue and cooperation built over the years between PSI and UCLG down to the ground of African cities and territories and I am confident it will translate into concrete actions at a local level”.
Memorandum of Understanding between United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and Public Service International (PSI) Africa and the Arab Countries (+).
About the Partners:
United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is the Pan-African Organization composed of 54 National Associations of Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) from all regions of Africa, as well as 2000 cities and territories with more than 100,000 inhabitants, representing through its memberships nearly 350 million African citizen.
Public Service International (PSI) Africa and the Arab Countries is composed of 157 affiliated trade union organisations in 45 countries representing a combined membership of around 1.5 million women and men working at all levels of governments, including LRGs, to deliver quality public services to communities and territories. PSI Africa and the Arab Countries is a Region of Public Services International (PSI), a Global Union Federation of more than 700 trade unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries. PSI brings the voice of public service workers to the UN, ILO, WHO and other regional and global organisations, defends trade union and workers’ rights and fights for universal access to quality public services.
The digital revolution over the past decade has created a real dynamic in the way we live, lead, govern, work, manage, and deliver. All over the world, we are fully immersed in the Knowledge, Digital and Artificial Intelligence Society. Cities around the world are moving and changing, imbalances are increasing, and problems are becoming more complex, especially in terms of Local Governance, Local Management, and Delivery of Local Public Services to meet the expectations, concerns, and needs of the populations. For Africa, the changes are profound, the stakes are high; and the territorial challenges are to be taken into consideration and urgently. The time to act is now.
Now, countries and cities are insisting in their strategic vision on e-Governance, digitization, and the development of smart cities, making this choice a strategic direction to ensure the dynamics of sustainable development at local and territorial level, within the framework of the implementation of the global 2030 Agendas and the African Agenda 2063.
Despite the existence of important African initiatives, sometimes leading to awards delivered by regional or international institutions, digital transformation is not yet a priority project for decentralization, for Local Governance, and for Local and Territorial Development.
It is in this context and to answer these questions that United Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its two Development clusters, namely the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) and the Operations and Technical Assistance, decided to dedicate the 5th edition of its African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting Local Governments(FAMI), in hybrid mode (both in person and online), to the following general theme:
“LOCAL AFRICA GOES DIGITAL & SMART: TIME TO ACT IS NOW !!!”.
As this has been the case since 2017, the FAMI forum is intended to be a meeting that leaves no one behind, certainly dedicated to Local Authorities and Training Institutes in Africa, but also to all the other actors and stakeholders concerned by the dynamics of the transformation of Local Africa.
The Forum will be an opportunity to inform and exchange views and ideas on the dynamics of digital and smart transformation at the level of African Local and Regional Governments, especially in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, with a focus on the commitments made, the progress achieved, the innovations relevant to Governance and Development at the local and territorial level, the challenges and obstacles faced, as well as the most relevant means to overcome them.
Due to the persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic, FAMI V will be organized in hybrid mode, mixing face-to-face and virtual meetings.
REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION FEES FOR FAMI V-2021
- For UCLG Africa Members and Networks: 300 Euros.
- For non-members of UCLG Africa: 400 Euros.
- Spouses/accompanying persons: 100 Euros.
- For Delegations/Groups with more than 5 participants: 20% discount.
Read the concept note here.
The African Local Manager Voice is a periodical publication produced by the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG-Africa, the Network of HR Managers of African Local Governments, and the Observatory of Human Resources of Local Governments of UCLG Africa, within the framework of the enhancement, motivation and development of Human Resources of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa, as well as within the framework of regional and local initiatives.
It is a forum offered to Territorial Managers as a space for exchange, communication, debate and networking, making it possible to give visibility to Territorial Managers, to hear their voices, opinions and concerns, to exchange their experiences. success stories, and best practices. It is also a window where they can present and promote their missions, their jobs, their challenges, their innovations, and their creativity. Finally, it is an opportunity for them to discuss the various issues related to Human Resources Management at the local level. Taking due account of the cultural diversity which characterizes our continent, the Bulletin can welcome contributions in the different languages used at UCLG Africa, in particular English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic.
This 5th Issue of the “The Voice of the African Local Manager” bulletin will be a Special Issue dedicated to the following general theme: “Digital Transformation at African Local Level in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond: Benchmark of regional and local experiences”.
The choice of theme is not accidental. The Covid-19 crisis has radically changed the forecasts, the order of priorities, public policies, the action plans, as well as the strategies and prospects at all levels of governance. ICTs have proven to be a strategic lever to allow people to stay connected, to continue to govern, manage and produce, and to meet the expectations and concerns of populations. The pandemic has also been an accelerator of digitization according to the Twilio Report 2020, Covid-19 Digital Engagement Report.
The contribution must consist of four (4) pages maximum, i.e. 1,500 words, up to a maximum of 2,000 words; Font Type: Times New Roman, and Font Size 12; Any quotation from another author must be put in brackets and include its source, namely the author of the quotation or the document from which it is extracted, the exact title of the document, the date of publication, and the place of publication, by respect for intellectual property rights. You must provide your photo and a short biography (100 words maximum), mentioning the name of your Local Authority / Institution, as well as your contact information (Mobile phone, home or office phone, Fax, e- mail or Website of the Local Government / Institution to which you belong).
Deadline for submitting contributions: November 15, 2021.
Read the full call here.
Since her arrival in 2013 at the head of the municipality of Foumbolo (Côte d’Ivoire), Ms. Macoura Dao Coulibaly has climbed the ranks within the sphere of local governments of Côte d’Ivoire but also on the continental level. Being the current vice-president of the Union of Cities and municipalities of Côte d’Ivoire (UVICOCI), Ms. Dao who has been president of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) since 2019, first joined the executive board of the Network in 2015 during the general assembly of the 7th edition of the Africities summit (November 29 to December 3, 2015 in Johannesburg).
The flagship actions carried out for the benefit of her municipality (Foumbolo) include the creation of road communication channels and support for women’s associations to contribute to their empowerment.
During her re-election at the end of the municipal elections in April 2018, Ms. Dao confided that she had placed her second term in office under the sign of bringing the daughters and sons of Foumbolo together for social harmony, a guarantee of real development.
Faced with the resurgence of motorcycle accidents recorded in his locality, in particular during the Monday weekly market, the local councilor has promoted the creation of separate roads in the city to curb accidents. Statistics showed around ten motorcycle accidents every Monday, the weekly market day.
As part of the support for women’s associations in the field of social and solidarity economy, a “partnership was forged with women from Burkina Faso to allow the association of women producers of attieké from Foumbolo to sell their products in this brotherly country. This enabled these women to increase their turnover, “Ms. Dao told the Agence Ivoirienne de Presse (AIP).
Last May, the REFELA Côte d’Ivoire country chapter, of which she is also the president, organized the second edition of the gala evening called “The Mother’s Day”. It was an opportunity to celebrate the locally elected women of Côte d’Ivoire as mothers, but also as major actors in the development of Côte d’Ivoire, working effectively to improve the living conditions of their fellow citizens at the local level.
Promoter of continental female leadership
At the head of REFELA, Ms. Dao advocates for the promotion of female leadership in cities and local authorities on the continent. This requires the setting up of the national Chapters of the network. Thus, she does not hesitate to provide assistance to the new national REFELA chapters in their deployment. This was particularly the case in April and June 2021 for REFELA Togo which benefited from a capacity building workshop for a draft roadmap to be submitted to Delegation of the European Union in Togo as part of the Programming of the European Cooperation Process in Africa for the 2021-2027 period.
The Raising awareness and inviting the various REFELA country chapters to implement the 3 campaigns launched by the network is also its main battle horse. These are the Campaign of African Cities without Street Children (launched in 2018 and which is supported so far by 54 members), the Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the Face of Violence Against Women (launched in 2019 and which has 22 memberships), and the Campaign of African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women (launched in 2020 and which is supported by more than 80 members).
Following consultations with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya and the lead partners in the organization of the Summit, namely UCLG World, UN Habitat, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Executive Committee of the ninth edition of the Africities Summit to be held in Kisumu, Kenya, informs the public and interested institutions, organizations, associations, and stakeholders, that the ninth edition of the Africities Summit initially scheduled on 26 to 30 April 2022, will be held on 17th to 21st May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya.
As a reminder, the theme of the 9th Africities Summit is: “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063”.
These two Agendas call for the urgent need to develop resilient and sustainable urbanization in Africa, cognizant of the fact that by 2050 the bulk of African population will be living in cities, and that the majority of city dwellers will settle in intermediary cities. The improvement of the living conditions of the African people and the economic and social structural transformation of the African continent is therefore closely linked to the way the realization of these agendas will be addressed in African intermediary cities, which are for sure the places where Africa will be inventing her own approach and trajectory to sustainable human development based on her realities but also taking stock of the knowledge and experiences accrued across the world. As much as possible, the development models to be implemented in Africa should be more energy efficient, low carbon, more inclusive, and more resilient.
Do join us in Kisumu on 17 to 21 May 2022 at the Africities Summit, to be part of this endeavor in a place where Africa will be defining her new development trajectory based on African intermediary cities.
Download press release here.
For further information, please contact:
Gaëlle Yomi : Tel : + 212 610 56 71 45
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the UCLG Africa website : www.uclga.org
On 27 July 2021, UCLG Africa held the first virtual meeting of the Network of Young Elected Officials of Africa, on the theme of « Young local elected officials facing the effects of Covid -19 ».
This meeting was attended by about fifty participants, which included elected youth, researchers and entrepreneurs, who assembled to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on young people, and the initiatives and role of the youth in the context of the ongoing health crisis.
Two panels structured these exchanges. The first, on the theme “Youth and responsibility“, addressed the political dimension of youth engagements at the height of the crisis, which was handled by Mrs. Thérèse Faye Diouf, Mayor of Diarrere; the impact of digital on the security dimension of our territories, was taken care of by M. Tom Marten.
The second panel on “Youth as a workforce in the growth of the continent” focused on the role of young people in economic recovery. This slot was marked by the intervention, of Mr. Frederik Tchoungui, Founder of “Community of Global Leaders”. Mr. Oliver Bastienne, President of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made an impressive presentation with explanation and examples of how young entrepreneurs were faring the recovery of the effect of the pandemic. Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Director of the Gender and Youth Department at the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa, moderated this meeting in the presence of the Secretary General, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.
The first panel highlighted two important points; the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 crisis on young people, both politically and in terms of mobility of people, and the importance of involving young people in the stimulus strategies.
The closure of public places and restrictions of movements have completely changed the behaviour of the youth in African cities. The Mayor of Diarrere, emphasized on the importance of the involvement of young people in the economic recovery and in building the future of African cities. She encouraged young men and women to invest in municipal councils and to actively participate in decision-making processes and deliberations relating to budgets.
For his part, Mr. Marten emphasized the constraints of COVID-19 on international travelling particularly for tourism purposes. The tourism industry has been brought to its knees by the pandemic. The closure of frontiers worldwide indirectly accelerated the use of technology and innovation in the digital field. The use of digital technologies by governments, for example Seychelles has been favored to revive and foster tourism, in and to create the conditions for a return to normalcy and equally ensuring the health security of citizens and tourists. During this panel, the questions were mainly focused on the political aspects of the contribution of young people to the revival of urban economies: how to mobilize young people? How to increase the participation of young people in political parties? It was proposed that UCLG Africa and the national associations of African local governments, should develop advocacy for national governments and political parties, to facilitate the access to electoral lists and political affairs.
The second panel addressed the issue of economic recovery by highlighting the role of young people in the field of entrepreneurship. In this panel, it was first a question of promoting the initiatives of young people who aim to create and find sources of funding, despite the context of the health crisis. Mr. Tchoungui thus encouraged young entrepreneurs and elected officials to make digital technology one of the keys to the development of African cities. To achieve this, improving and upgrading telecommunications infrastructure is essential, hence the appeal to the public authorities for more investment in this sector.
Mr. Bastienne’s presentation showed how COVID-19 has impacted all areas of the private sector employing young people (drop in productivity, unemployment, etc.). The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce has supported young people by providing them with financing, technical support, and training, especially for entrepreneurs. The government, together with the private sector also designed a recovery and prosperity plan in which the youth participated actively. The importance of Information and Communication Technologies was underlined to show the impact of young people in digital development as a provider for the jobs of the future.
The summary of the discussions highlighted the need to network and form coalitions because the many issues facing young local elected officials cannot be addressed without the participation of all stakeholders. Synergies is of utmost necessity towards building the Africa we want.
The exchanges on this vital issues allowed the participants to realize that “one cannot build Africa without its driving force, namely the youth”, and that the COVID-19 crisis has brought changes that will be here to stay. We have to learn to adapt. It is only through solidarity that our African cities and the world will overcome this pandemic.
By way of closing this meeting, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa stressed on the importance that the national and local levels should work to produce youth policies and youth participation, and to include youth representation at decision making level, in order to have credible and lasting responses.
Find the concept note of the meeting here.
On the 10th and 11th June 2021, was held in Lome, Togo, under the patronage of His Excellency, M. Faure Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo, the regional Forum on Local Authorities and the Role of Cities and Territories in Addressing Climate Change, under the theme “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing Climate Ambitions of Local Governments in Africa”. This Forum was co-organized by UCLG Africa, the Government of Togo, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (COM SSA), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the West African Development Bank (WADB) and Expertise France.
The final report of the Forum is available here.
On the occasion of the celebration of the African Decentralization and Local Development Day (ADD) on 10 August 2021, we have collected the wishes of some African mayors.
On 14 and 15 July 2021, a broad consultation workshop was held via the Zoom platform in the framework of the drafting of the “Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa”.
Open to the public, the two day workshop aroused the interest of many.
A total of seventy three participants were registered, of which 42.5% were men and 57.5% were women, they came from about twenty African countries, and also Belgium, Spain, France, and Canada.
The Workshop aimed at providing a platform for dialogue, allowing local and regional government representatives, gender experts and civil societies organisations from Africa and Europe to exchange on the Charter in order to have a more inclusive final document, which will reflect the diversity of the African realities and therefore facilitate its application. This was also a first step towards ownership.
In accordance with the established programme, the two-day Workshop was held under the moderation of Mrs. Jacqueline MOUSTACHE-BELLE, Director of the Gender and Youth Department of UCLG Africa.
The opening speeches for the Workshop, were made by Mrs. Macoura DAO COULIBALY, President of REFELA, (Reseau des Femmes Elues Afrique), Mrs. Emilia SAIZ, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments – World and Mr. Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa.
Mrs. DAO COULIBALY, recalled the history of the process of elaboration of the Charter and noted its importance as a political instrument aiming at truly engaging Local Authorities on the path of equality between women and men. She affirmed REFELA’s conviction that this Charter will be the starting point of a new era for gender equality in Africa and expressed her confidence that the final version of the Charter will be adopted as planned during the 9th edition of the AFRICITES summit in Kisumu, Kenya, which will be held from 26 to 29 April 2022.
The Secretary General of UCLG World, Ms. Emilia SAIZ, noted the importance of the Charter and the involvement of Local Authorities in the battle for equality between women and men, especially that women
represent more than 50% of the world’s population, and yet remain the most exposed to violence and discrimination. She expressed the wish that the consultation be open to actors from other continents.
The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI, recalling the history of the birth of REFELA in 2009. He emphasized on the importance of the Charter to guarantee the presence and participation of women at the local level to become concrete.
He praised the cooperation and collaboration with UCLG World and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), which allowed the idea of this Charter to emerge and become a reality. He also acknowledged that by involving the other branches of UCLG at global level, the dynamics aiming at addressing the issue of gender equality would be more effective and sustainable.
Finally, Mr MBASSI thanked the teams of UCLG, CEMR and UCLG Africa for their excellent work, the fruits of which are visible today. The Consultant, Ms Silvie SIYAM was also commended for her remarkable work. The consultant then presented the Charter to the participants following which they went into three groups work for deliberations of the draft.
Dr. Najat ZARROUK, Director of the African Academy of Local Authorities of UCLG Africa, headed the Arab speaking, Mr. Brygo GAUTIER, Director of the Department of Territorial Coaching of UCLG Africa was with the francophone and Mr. Charles PATSIKA, Adviser on Decentralisation and Local Governance of UCLG Africa was the moderator for the English speaking participants.
The day concluded with a plenary debriefing session of observations and suggestions from the groups.
On the second day the Consultant presented the newly amended draft which had taken into consideration the comments proposals and suggestions the participants had made the day before.
The concluding remarks was made by Mr Frédéric VALLIER, Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) said he was impressed by the challenge undertaken since 2018 to make the
Charter for Equality for women in Africa a reality, whereby he referred to the similar work carried out in Europe more than 15 years ago. Mr Vallier congratulated the dynamic that, through REFELA, has allowed African women to be involved in the elaboration of this Charter, thus ensuring that the particularities of the African continent are taken into account. Finally, he reaffirmed the support that CEMR will continue to give to the elaboration of the Charter.
As for the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr MBASSI wished for a strong commitment from all in the implementation of the Charter which, once adopted, will be the subject of a call for voluntary adhesion in the direction of African Local Authorities. UCLG Africa, CEMR and UCLG will need to be ready to support local and regional governments in the implementation of the Charter, in particular through decentralised cooperation with certain European local authorities.
It was on this note that the moderator, Mrs. MOUSTACHE-BELLE, ended the Workshop by thanking the secretary generals of UCLG Africa, UCLG World and CEMR, the team of focal points, the facilitators of the working groups, the consultant and especially the participants.