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

On April 29, 2021 at the University of Lome (UL) in Togo, Professor Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, President of the UL and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa have signed a framework agreement of partnership and cooperation between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome. The convention will be implemented through the Regional Center of Excellence Sustainable Cities in Africa (CERVIDA).

In his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa explained that without quality human resources there is no sustainable development. The partnership of UCLG Africa with the University of Lomé is a sign of recognition of the excellence of the human resources of this university and explains why the continental umbrella organization wishes to collaborate with the University of Lome to accompany local and regional governments in their development and the exercise of their mandate. The complexity of African cities calls for a new and more comprehensive look at cities by their actors, especially young people, as well as an innovative effort to propose technological packages and institutional and financial arrangements adapted to the context of African communities characterized by rapid urban growth and the limited financial and human resources of local public authorities. The challenge is therefore considerable. But it can and must be addressed. And the framework agreement signed between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé should help to meet this challenge.

In his concluding speech at the ceremony, the President of the University explained that the signing of the framework agreement is to be linked to the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Cities of the University of Lomé. He insisted on three key points to build an active partnership between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome:

  1. to work on the legal positioning of the umbrella organizations of local government such as the umbrella organization of the communities of Togo to recognize them as public entities governed by public law;
  2. mobilize academics competencies and young graduate students to support local and regional governments in the exercise of their mandate;
  3. to promote the reinforcement of the capacities of the actors of the city, and spaces of collaboration between these last ones and the academics so that they rub shoulders with the concrete lived realities at the level of the management of the territories.

 

 

Rohey Malick Lowe: Inspiring dynamism

Arriving at the head of the municipality of the city of Banjul (The Gambia) in May 2018, Rohey Malick Lowe is intensely involved in actions in favor of the development of her local authority. In particular, she has made the question of gender her main battleground.

Thus, one year after the start of her mandate, she brought together the locally elected women of the country and together set up on October 5 and 6, 2019, the country chapter of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA – The Gambia). Her colleagues have legitimately made the choice to bring her to the head of that network.

Drawing on her career as successful entrepreneur in the tourism sector, Ms. Lowe makes a point of involving development partners in the various actions of the network. The launch of REFELA – The Gambia was carried out with the support of UNDP, and as part of the actions undertaken to fight the coronavirus, the REFELA –The Gambia network received the support of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) who donated two hundred thousand (200,000) masks to her on April 21, 2021.

Ms. Lowe and her colleagues from the REFELA-The Gambia network were perfectly in line with the three campaigns carried by the continental REFELA network for the 2019-2021 period, namely: “Campaign of African Cities without Children in Street Situation”, “Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the face of violence against Women”, and the “Campaign for African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women ”. The REFELA-The Gambia chapter has initiated awareness-raising actions supported by two videos in the local language (Wolof) in favor of the first 2 campaigns to reach grassroots populations. (See the video of REFELA-The Gambia on the Campaign for African cities without children in street situations, See the video of REFELA-The Gambia on The Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the Face of Violence Against Women and Girls, and see Ms. Rohey Malick Lowe’s video calling on women to take their place in local governance).

Being the first woman elected mayor of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, Rohey Malick Lowe is also active internationally and is the voice of the continent’s elected officials on key themes like climate resilience, the urbanization and mobility. In October 2020, she was notably elected president of the African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum (ACCSF). She held that position for the three following years. With her municipal team, various projects were initiated, including: the construction of

the Banjul Youth Center of Excellence (2019), and “Greening the city center of Banjul ” (2020). This project involves planting trees to beautify the urban landscape, mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, and prevent coastal erosion and desertification.

Caring for the cause of women at different levels, Ms. Lowe on April 10 supported the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2021, which proposes to reserve 16 seats for women in the National Assembly of The Gambia. The bill has been validated by the civil society platform for gender equality and other stakeholders. Ms. Lowe as a local councilor was part of the initiative. The proposed bill aims to increase the total number of MPs in the National Assembly from 58 to 71, and to reserve 16 seats for women. This means that at least 22% of the Parliament of The Gambia will be made up of women. If the bill is adopted in its current form, it provides for the following;

-53 elected deputies, unchanged from current legislation,

-14 additional seats reserved for women, two elected in each administrative area,

-Two additional members elected by the association of disabled people, one of whom is a woman.

-Two members appointed by the President of The Gambia, at least one of whom must be a woman.

The number of members appointed by the president will thus increase from five to two.

Express biography

Being the daughter of the former mayor of Banjul, Alhagie Malick Lowe (1981-1983), Rohey Malick Lowe began her career as a hotel receptionist before goin into business and then studying international relations in Sweden. She also had the opportunity to sit on the Child Welfare Committee of the Nyköping Municipality, responsible for supervising schools. She speaks English, Swedish, Mandinka, and Wolof.

Do not miss any of the actions carried out by the city of Banjul, follow Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe Twitter and Facebook


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Capitalization and sharing of experience on Migration during COVID-19 in Rabat and Oujda


On April 12, 2021, the closing webinar of the project “Towards a shared governance of migration: promoting the integration of migrants in the cities of Rabat and Oujda (Morocco)” was held. Started in January 2021, the series of webinars organized by UCLG Africa and IOM in partnership with the municipalities of Rabat and Oujda has highlighted the central role that local authorities play in the management of migration and national associations of migrants as front-line actors in this management. About a hundred participants took part in the closing meeting of the project funded by the Municipality of Madrid (Spain) and implemented by IOM Morocco and its partners.



The opening remarks were made by Mr. Ettayeb El Masbahi, Vice-President of the Regional Council of the Oriental, Mr. Omar Hjira, Mayor of Oujda, Mrs. Sabah Boucham, Deputy Mayor of the City of Rabat, Mr. Ahmed Skim, Director of Migration, Representative of the Ministry Delegate for Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans living abroad, Ms. Ana Fonseca, Head of the IOM Morocco Mission, Ms. María Jesús Guerra, representative of the Head of Mission of IOM Spain, and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

In addition to sharing the experience of the cities of Rabat and Oujda on their actions towards migrants during COVID, the cities of Dakar and Kaolack in Senegal also presented the actions they have implemented.

In Rabat, emphasis was placed on psychological support for migrants, and in particular for pregnant women. Support was also provided in terms of access to basic services. Sensitization targeted small and medium-sized enterprises for the hiring of migrant staff.

In Oujda, we note the intervention of the administrative police to ensure compliance with the lockdown and sanitary measures , and the strengthening of the municipality’s actions in the field of green spaces.

For the city of Dakar, with the onset of the pandemic, the response was organized to unify a series of humanitarian and social actions on behalf of populations, including migrants. The town hall notably targeted schools, markets and bus stations. The city of Dakar has made 150,000 Euros available to the central Government, equipped hospitals, and rehabilitated a health center.

On the Kaolack side, it was no longer a question of taking care of households whose head of the family is an immigrant and in some cases, households that recorded the return to the country of the head of the family because of the pandemic .

Towards a multi-player network s for better management of migrants at local level

The second part of the workshop was used for the presentation of the Charter of African Local and Subnational Governments on Migration, the mapping of migration actors in Africa developed by UCLG Africa, and the IOM toolbox developed as part of the project.

The Charter of African Local Authorities on Migration was adopted in Marrakech in 2018 on the sidelines of the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which was also put in place in Marrakech.

As part of the project “Towards a shared migration governance”, a mapping of the different actors acting on the ground has been drawn up by UCLG Africa, which has retained migration among the 7 main intervention themes of its 2021- action plan. 2030. This document provides a referral to the various stakeholders, including migrant associations, who now benefit from a showcase to build synergies of actions. 32 organization files are already on the platform (link). The “Maroc Solidarité Médico-Sociale MS.2” association, which participated in the webinar through its president Mr. Tarik Oufkir, is included in the database.

The IOM Toolkit developed as part of the project includes 7 points that highlight the efforts deployed at the global level by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as part of the global response to the pandemic of COVID-19. The Toolkit also includes contributions from a few other international actors with the aim of strengthening the capacities of territorial actors for the planning and implementation at the local level of coherent reference frameworks for migration.

The program piloted by UCLG Africa and IOM was appreciated by the migrant associations involved in the process. As evidenced by the words of Mr. Serge Aimé Guemou, President of the Council of Sub-Saharan Migrants in Morocco association: “The exchange of experience made it possible to understand the gaps that we once had in exchanges with partners. We have been fully involved in the process and we are satisfied with our position. I would like to extend my thanks to IOM and UCLG Africa “.



For Ms. Ana Fonseca, Head of Mission of IOM Morocco, the program was an excellent tool to “consolidate and facilitate the sharing of experiences and reflect on initiatives that involve all this international cooperation. This is essential to manage migration issues. I am glad to have had contributions from African cities on sharing their practical initiatives. The project has stimulated and consolidated tools that can be used “.used ” .



Statements

Ms. María Jesús Guerra, Representative of the Head of Mission of IOM Spain: “Local authorities are the main actors in migration. The Pact on Migration calls for a comprehensive approach to migration. It is a great privilege to work on this project on strengthening local capacities for shared governance ” .

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi , Secretary General of UCLG Africa, said: “I am particularly pleased with the holding of this meeting to capitalize on and share experience on the involvement of local authorities in migration management. I would like to stress how the term shared migration governance is quite appropriate to describe the lived experience around the management of migration in the cities of Oujda and Rabat. UCLG Africa is deeply convinced of the importance of involving local authorities in the management of migration and is working for the ratification by national Governments of the Charter of African local and subnational governments on Migration. The first point of contact of migrants are the communities in which they settle during their mobility journey. The first public authorities they have to deal with are the local public authorities. Most of the associations that intervene in support of migrants are established locally and some of them benefit from grants from local authorities in support of their activities. It is therefore quite logical that local governments are required to deal with migration management. It is undoubtedly necessary to change this de facto intervention towards a de jure intervention in the perspective of a partnership between the three levels of Moroccan local and subnational governments o that migration is approached according to the principle of multilevel governance and active subsidiarity. The experience carried out in Oujda and Rabat shows that the establishment of a migration office within the municipality is likely to facilitate the identification of migrants, whether they are in a regular situation or not, which is particularly important in times of health crisis, as is the case with the COVID-19 pandemic, so as to organize the fight against the spread and support the most needy. Indeed, any weak link in the struggle front weakens the overall effectiveness of the struggle. The establishment of a platform for sharing information between all stakeholders allows for better synergy between them and better targeting of the support to be provided in order to avoid duplication of efforts and also to avoid forgetting certain migrants”

The full webinar is available here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Find all the exchanges below

Call for applications for the recruitment of a Consultant for the drafting of the “Charter of local authorities for gender equality in Africa”. (Deadline April 30, 2021)

The project to create a “Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa” is part of the implementation of the “Africa-Europe Marrakesh Pact for Local Equality” which aims to strengthen cooperation between United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UCLG Africa and its Network of local elected women of Africa (REFELA) and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the PLATFORMA network to advance equality of women and men in local life in Africa. The “Pact” was adopted during the 8th Africities Summit that took place in Marrakesh, November 2018.

Since then, REFELA-CGLU Africa, CEMR/PLATFORMA and UCLG have been workingtogether to draw up the approach for the implementation of this Pact, the main expected product of which is the drafting of the Charter, according to a participatory and consultative approach. And to give concrete expression to this approach, two provisions have been adopted:

· 2 mechanisms have been set up (1) the Africa-Europe Support Committee, composed of mayors, local elected representatives and experts from Africa and Europe, and (2) the REFELA-UCLG Africa Working Group, composed of the Secretary General and the Directors of the departments of UCLG Africa.

· An online consultation was conducted by REFELA-UCLG Africa, which was open from July to September 2019. This call had 2 objectives:

– to associate and involve a wide public in the drafting of the Charter;

– to collect the expectations, opinions and proposals of the public on how to write and adopt the Charter.

OBJECTIVES OF THE MISSION

The main objectives of the mission are to:

• Develop and draft the Charter text, from the first draft to the final text which will be adopted by African local authorities;
• Organise consultation workshops with local elected officials, civil society experts and
partners to collect opinions and suggestions on the drafts produced, informing and leading to the final product of the Charter;
• Provide African local authorities with a legal, political and technical framework document for the promotion of gender equality, adapted to their context and scale of
action and competences.

See the terms of reference here

A Framework Partnership Agreement signed between UCLG Africa and ISIC (Press release)

Rabat, Thursday, March 25, 2021Mr. Abdellatif BENSFIA and Mr.Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI, respectively Director of the Higher Institute of Information and Communication (ISIC) and Secretary General of the pan-African organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), signed, on Thursday March 25, 2021 at the ISIC headquarters, a framework partnership agreement.

This framework agreement aims to define the general framework and the basis for the collaboration between the two institutions in the fields of training and continuing education, research, study and capacity building for Moroccan and African journalists, as well as local elected officials in the area of territorial communication and the media.

Concluded for a period of 3 years, this framework agreement will enable the two institutions, among others, to conduct joint research, organize seminars and conferences, as well as training and continuing education workshops in the fields of information and political, institutional and territorial communication.

A three-year action program will set out joint activities between the two partner institutions, particularly in the areas of training, continuing education and academic research both in Morocco and in the rest of Africa.

The pan-African organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), representing Local Authorities in the five African regions (Center, East, North, South and West) since May 2005 and representing the voice of Local Africa within the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) as its regional chapter in Africa (UCLG-Africa), works for the achievement of three main goals:

– Promote decentralization and the recognition of local governments as a level of governance, with legal personality and political and financial autonomy;

– Be the voice of Africa’s local governments and represent them at the pan-African and international level;

– Strengthen the capacities of local governments.

ISIC is a public higher education institution responsible for the training of senior executives operating in the media and communication fields of organizations and who are intended to serve public and private institutions as well as local governments.

Find photos from the ceremony here
Find below the video of the signing ceremony (in English and Arabic)

See the press release in Arabic here

The city of Libreville continues its term at the head of UCLG Africa (PRESS RELEASE)

During the general assembly of the pan-African organization of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) held in Marrakech on November 23, 2018, the members chose the City of Libreville (Gabon) to chair the organization for the 2019-2021period. In accordance with UCLG Africa’s Constitution, the city of Libreville is continuing its mandate as president of the organization through Mr. Eugène M’Ba, leading the municipality of Libreville (Gabon), since January 4, 2021.

Libreville’s candidacy was approved by the city’s Municipal Council, supported by members of UCLG Africa for the Central Africa region. The election of the city of Libreville at the head of UCLG Africa demonstrates the confidence that the city has always had in the movements aimed at creating the unity of action of local authorities, unity which is necessary for cities and territories to fulfill at best the missions bestowed upon them with a view to improving the living conditions of the populations and public governance at the territorial level. This election of the city of Libreville also reflects the commitment of that city to continue its action in the service of UCLG Africa after the city was Vice-President for Africa of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the world organization of local governments.

In the political statement of the mayor of Libreville addressed to the members of the executive committee of UCLG Africa, the mayor of the Gabonese capital undertakes to chair the organization with dedication and determination, with the main goal of making UCLG Africa a force in terms proposals and innovation at the service of local Africa, so that the organization contributes to the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, as well as the various global agendas promoted by the United Nations, in particular the 2030 Agenda relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

For further information please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi :
Tél : + 212 610 56 71 45
e-mail : gyomi@uclga.org
Visit the UCLG Africa website : www.uclga.org

World Water Day: Webinar on Water Governance in African Cities

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

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

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

Watch the full exchange bellow : 

Register to the webinar on “Capitalization and Dissemination – Africa: The Role of Local Authorities in Migration”, ( March 30, 2021)

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the city of Rabat and the city of Oujda are organizing a Webinar on “Capitalization and Dissemination – Africa: Role of Local Authorities in Migration”, on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (GMT+1) on the Zoom Platform.

The objective of this Webinar is to present and exchange on the actions of the Territorial Governments in favor of the migrant populations and the mechanisms of sustainable dialogue involving the relevant actors in the migration field. 

This capitalizing meeting will bring together around the same table representatives of African local authorities, representatives of national governments, national associations of local authorities and international institutions, concerned by the inclusion of migrants in the city.  

Join us on March 30 from 15:00 (GMT+1) for this collective learning webinar and to share your experience in Migration . 

Kindly confirm your participation by registering for this event. Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information.