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 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.





The Truth About Migration

“Can Development Co-operation Provide Solutions” Between the 4th and 5th of February the European Commission hosted the 6th edition of the forum “Cities and Regions for Development Co-operation.” Cities and Regions from across the globe are at the heart of sustainable development and there are many lessons and practices that can be shared with peers to address some of the critical issues ranging from poverty and food security to gender equality and climate change. What is Development Co-operation? Often described as development assistance offered by one region to another, usually a developed one to a developing one, and is a broad description for international action between two cities or regions that can be about

-Financial Support – traditionally what we recognise as “Aid”

-Capacity Support– human or organisational capacity building, technical support and sharing policy experience.

-Policy Change – of which decentralisation is a major component.

The Forum addressed sustainable urban development through twinning, pairing and matchmaking of Local and Regional Authorities from EU and Partner countries which included Cities and Regions from Africa. The 2-Day event not only initiated discussion and debate on cooperation and development it also highlighted successful partnership initiatives including the Platforma Awards which aims to reward the best town-to-town and region-to-region development projects, promoting decentralised cooperation. The towns of Roeselare (Belgium) and Dogbo (Benin) received the first prize for their joint birth registration programme and after six years, Dogbo has become a reference in the field of civil registration in Benin, a country where more than 40% of births are not registered.

The Mayor of Dogbo, Vincent Codjo Akakpo spoke of the benefits of development co-operation and Cities and Regions across Africa are encouraged to explore the possibilities of such partnerships to drive sustainable development.

Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa lead a delegation from Africa to participate in a number of discussions on topics of interest including that of Migration.

As one of the hot topics between the EU and Africa UCLG Africa hosted a side event “Co-operate Around Migration” to provide a platform to interact and generate insights and recommendations directed to the European institutions on this important issue. Migration today is discussed as if it were a new phenomenon but this has been going on since the dawn of time from the “incredible human journey” when humans first ventured out of Africa some 60,000 years ago, and here we are talking about it in 2019 as if it were something new.

Read more …

Read the report of the Side Event.

UCLG Africa Annual Retreat (18 -21 February 2019)

Initiated in 2017, the third edition of UCLG Africa’s annual retreat will be held from 18 to 21 February 2019 in Ifrane, at the Conference Center of the University of Al Akhawayne (Morocco).

This retreat provides a space for dialogue to reflect on how best the organization can help its members grow and how to strengthen their organizational capacities and abilities.

The meeting will be attended by all UCLG Africa staff (headquarters , regional offices: West Africa region, East Africa Region,  Southern Africa region and ALGA Ouagadougou) and some partners.

The retreat has four main objectives:

Develop a deeper understanding of the continental context;

– Refine the collective understanding of the purpose of UCLG Africa;

– Collectively assess the current state of the organization with a view to ongoing   improvement;

– Clarify the roles, functions, skills and capacities that UCLG Africa will need to thrive.

The program includes workshop work, round tables and plenary sessions.

Watch the video of Day 1 ! 


Africities 8 Summit : Summary of sessions and recommendations

The general theme for the Summit is “The transition to sustainable cities and territories, the role of African local and regional authorities”. This theme reconciles the need to provide concrete responses to the demands of the populations for the improvement of their conditions and living environment, with the need to adapt to an environment marked by climate change and the growing divorce between expansive growth models and the impossibility of continuing to borrow from natural resources at the rate that such models do impose, under threat of jeopardizing the lives of future generations. Africa will become the world’s largest home to humans in just less than two generations. The continent can and must take the path of sustainable development now, especially in its cities and territories, because it is the region of the world that is the least entrenched in the globalized economy, and therefore most likely to branch off to a more sober economy in terms of borrowing and discharges into the natural environment, an economy that is fairer and more socially inclusive.

Read more here. 

Africities Summit 2018: 20 years of Pan-Africanism of Cities and Regions Celebrated in Morocco

“For an  Africa of all Transitions, for Cities and Regions as Drivers of Changes  Strategies”

Press Release 

Rabat, on 24 October 2018,

The flagship pan-African event of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA Africa) will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It will bring together the 5,000 expected participants for creating a shared vision of the «Africa We Want».

By hosting the Summit for the second time in 10 years, the Kingdom of Morocco and all the Moroccan stakeholders, mobilized under the aegis of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), support this event which amplifies «the Voice of Territorial Africa».

Press Notice 

Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco hosts the Africities Summit for the second time, addressing the theme: «The Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories: the Role of Territorial Communities of Africa.»

Indeed, it is a decisive role, as more than 60% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations fall within the competence of territorial communities, as recognized by decentralization laws. The actual achievement of these objectives depends thus on the strong involvement of elected representatives, local public administrations, and territorial actors (communities, businesses, artists, women, young people, banking institutions, etc.).

The future of Africa and its evolution are increasingly played out at the level of the Continent’s cities and territories. Globalization and rapid urbanization are the two powerful trends that mark this evolution. These two trends have a significant impact on the development of African societies. They raise questions about the effectiveness of the current growth and development models pursued in the African context, and even prompt one to consider a paradigm shift in the way people think about the Continent’s sustainable development.

In choosing the theme of «the Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories» for the Africities 2018 Summit, the territorial authorities of  Africa have opted for a break proposal that justifies the urgency for a farreaching change in the growth and development patterns, and a paradigm shift in the Continent’s development in order to achieve the structural transformation sought by the African Union Agenda 2063. The Summit will discuss the various dimensions of transition, without disregarding the interactions they maintain among themselves: demographic, ecological, democratic and political, economic and social, geopolitical, as well as culture and communication.

It is further recognized that it is rather in cities and territories that the fight against climate change and poverty would be won or lost. This is why cities and territories of Africa are now key actors in the process of implementing the international agendas adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and 2016, and more particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG), the Paris Agreement that builds on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the implementation of the said Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecuador. It is for the sake of raising awareness of the new responsibilities incumbent upon them and exploring the ways and means for fully assuming these responsibilities that the leaders of territorial communities of Africa invite all relevant stakeholders to explore with them at the Africities Summit, to be held from 20 to 24 November 2018 in Marrakech, the strategies to be defined and the paths to move along in order to start now the transition towards sustainable cities and territories in Africa.

This eighth edition is therefore a not-to-be-missed event for the territorial communities of Africa, and a significant anniversary date, as it marks the 20 years of existence and organization of the Africities Summits !

Read more… 

Re-defining AU-EU Partnership Perspectives of CSOs, Private Sector and Local Authorities

  1. Preamble

From the 8th to 10th of October 2018, Gaborone, Botswana played host to the Africa Regional Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD). The Policy Forum on Development (PFD) is a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Organized Private Sector and Local Authorities (LA) from around Africa to dialogue on critical development issues. The PFD recognises the European Commission’s 2012 communication on the “The roots of democracy and sustainable development” which clarifies the definition of CSOs in all their diversity and specificities. The PFD is supported by the European Commission and provides a platform where identified stakeholders’ together with EU Members States meet to debate on development matters. The regional PFD is organized on a rotational basis in addition to an annual global meeting.

The 2018 edition of the Africa PFD focused on the recommendations which emanated from the November 2017 African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Summit of Heads of States and Governments; the vision for the proposed post-Cotonou framework, and further examined the AU theme of the year on Combatting Corruption.

  1. Observations

The Africa PFD witnessed extensive deliberations across critical development and governance issues. Subsequently, at the end of the three days, the PFD observed the following:

  1. A mutual and balanced relationship between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) is essential for both to play a leading role in world governance, now and the future. However, this relationship ought to be to be further cultivated and effectively harnessed for mutual benefit and to foster meaningful outcomes.
  2. The PFD as a multi-stakeholder platform should be a model that seeks to contribute to facilitating dialogue across crosscutting development issues and sustain critical platforms that promote knowledge and information sharing between the two continents.
  • Climate change is a real challenge to both continents and is already disrupting livelihoods.
  1. Rising inequalities on both continents is an issue of political and social concern for sustainable peace and development.
  2. Africa has a youthful population that can be a demographic dividend or a bulge. This youthful population is often lacking requisite skills and competences to express their ingenuity and play their rightful role in the overall development of their societies and continent at large.
  3. Existence and implementation of institutional frameworks and mechanisms that support effective governance systems are either lacking and/or not fully enforced in many countries. These countries also demonstrate very little corresponding political will to introduce and implement such systems.
  • Development at the national level has not been inclusive and has not reached the farthest behind in the spirit of the leave no one behind principle.
  • Leadership has a fundamental role in determining the development trajectory of States. The challenges in quality leadership can be directly attributed to slow development.
  1. Corruption and illicit financial flows hurt everyone as necessary resources that are meant for the general good of huge populations are diverted for personal gain. The overall attainment of both the Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) face existential and attainment threats due to pervasive corruption.
  2. The evolving global context of migration greatly impacts on socio-cultural dynamics. The EU Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the upcoming UN Global Compact on Migration presents a great opportunity to reengage on these issues.
  3. The proposed European Investment Plan has the potential to contribute to Africa’s development. However, the involvement of the local private sector is so far limited.
  • The 20-year Cotonou Partnership Agreement comes to end in February 2020. The upcoming Post-Cotonou agreement negotiations provides a unique opportunity to re-define the AU-EU partnership.
  1. Recommendations

In the spirit of dialogue and partnership of the PFD, the following recommendations were thus put forward:

  1. Future AU-EU partnerships, including the bi-annual Summits of Head of States and Governments should embrace a multi-stakeholder approach that ensures the voice, contributions and priorities of all stakeholders are incorporated in all mechanisms. AU and EU should take steps to ensure that they are aligned in their future visions regarding the direction of the partnership, and the impact they will make.
  2. The AU and EU should deliberately initiate and sustain mutually beneficial development models which will directly translate into clear improvements in the political and socio-economic wellbeing of the respective populations. These models should include development frameworks that adhere to the SMART principle that demonstrate clear-cut linkages between the initiatives and their impact.
  • Multi-stakeholder and multi-level engagement that seek to promote wider ownership and deepen local stakeholder reach across all spheres of society should be initiated. Therefore, a PFD approach should also be implemented at the national level to ensure important voices and concerns that represent the critical mass of societies are adequately captured and taken on board.
  1. Given the persistent challenges of climate change, the partnership must adopt a sustainable approach to strengthen adaptation and mitigation interventions at all levels. The partnership should also support the implementation of the nationally determined contributions as prescribed by and agreed under the Paris Agreement.
  2. The AU-EU partnership should strive to deliberately target inclusion and justice at all levels as a priority agenda.
  3. The AU-EU partnership should give higher attention to making adequate investments in the continent’s youthful population, training them in requisite skills and competencies, providing opportunities and the enabling space which is essential to transform the continent to a digital age and a knowledge economy.
  • The AU-EU partnership should promote enabling environments that foster the contribution of all stakeholders to build effective institutional frameworks that are required for effective governance and development across the continent.
  • Strengthening local structures and fostering inclusive development initiatives should be at the heart of national efforts at implementing both the Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  1. The AU-EU partnership should promote the building of resilient institutions and capable leadership that is able to deliver on development outcomes.
  2. Anti-corruption efforts must go beyond lip-service. The AU-EU partnership should advance efforts to use existing mechanisms to curb corruption and illicit financial flows, and where necessary, push for the creation of new mechanisms.
  3. The AU-EU partnership should push towards a deeper understanding of migration issues and advance a common descriptive narrative that abolishes the innate contestation between the opposing views of migration being exclusively a security issue or it being a multi-dimensional human rights issue.
  • The implementation of the EIP should enhance an enabling business environment following a structured dialogue between all parties involved, including local private sector to ensure mutual benefits as well as inclusive economic development.
  • Negotiations for the Post-Cotonou Agreement should be undertaken in a timely manner and should take into adequate cognisance lessons learned from implementing the initial 20year Agreement, as well as changing dynamics and realities of the signing parties. African countries must anchor their negotiations within their commonly adopted visions and goals, especially Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030 and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and marshal the best strategy to realise these.
  1. Conclusion

The Africa PFD was a rallying point for advancing the development and governance dialogue amongst critical stakeholders. The Forum, like other previous editions saw the active participation of Regional Institutions, Trade Unions, Foundations, Diaspora, Civil Society Organizations, Organized Private Sector amongst other actors.

The Forum afforded the relevant partners a platform to reinforce commitments that promote mutually agreeable and beneficial African Union (AU) – Europe Union (EU) relations. In this regard, the Forum noted that identified gaps that exist within the current working frameworks as constituted, remain subject to further engagement with the relevant stakeholders as the debate remains an ongoing one for enhancing future relations and promoting safer, just and equitable societies for all.


Practical information for your participation at the Africities 8 Summit (20-24 November 2018, Marrakech)

In order to optimize the participation and the process of payment of registration fees for the Africities 8 Summit (20-24 November 2018, Marrakech), please note below the practical information for your participation or the participation of your delegation , we strongly recommend you to:

  1. Pre-register each member of your delegation by filling in the required fields on: . Please copy the link to your browser and proceed to register the members of your delegation one by one. An automatic pre-registration message will be sent to you.
  2. Send to UCLG Africa ( the list of all delegation to calculate and edit a corresponding invoice that will be sent to you;
  3. Make the payment by bank transfer to the UCLG Africa account according to the details of the bank account attached and send us the payment document (transfer order / Debit Notice);
  4. Complete the registration confirmation process upon receipt of a second message to get the Bar-Code giving each participant access to the Africities Summit8
  • As far as hotels in Marrakech are concerned, we strongly recommend that you send your requests for hotel reservations in Marrakech to the Shems Travel Agency Booking Center, Mrs Salwa

Please find below the first list of 4 * and 5 * hotels with negotiated rates pending a complementary list with all other categories to be communicated later on :

Hôtel Catégorie Prix Single en BB Prix Double en BB
Mogador Menara 5* 85 110
Essaadi HOTEL 5* 125 140
RIAD ENNAKHIL 5* 760 100
Atlas Asni 4* 95 120
Hôtel Labranda 4* 95 120
Meriem 4* 51 64
NASSIM 4* 56 70
Mogador Guéliz 4* 50 65
WAZO 4* 62 73
ZALAGH 4* 72 89
RAWABI 4* 67 75


We strongly advise you to regularly check in the website:  for potential and frequent updates.

For any further information please contact :