UCLG Africa leads the advocacy for the Territorialization of NDCs





The launch of phase III of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) dedicates to UCLG Africa the responsibility for policy advocacy and strategic coordination through three pillars, namely: the mobilization and capacity building of National Associations and the mobilization of climate finance from Donors.

This third phase has four main objectives:

-Ensuring access to funding for CoM SSA signatory cities;

-Strengthen synergies between the CoM SSA and other initiatives;

– Increased support from national authorities to local climate action through a Structured Dialogue between Associations of Local and Regional Authorities and National Governments;

– Strengthen the capacity and role of local government associations to promote local climate action in cities.

Creation by GCoM of the RLDC Committee

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCom) has created an Ad-Hoc Committee whose mission is to establish a methodological guide for the development of the concept of Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs).

The Climate Task Force is part of this Committee and has put forward its LDC Initiative based on a Cooperation model that takes into account in a combined way two approaches, a bottom-up approach led by local governments and a top-down approach led by national governments. In this framework, a practical guide on the territorialization of LDCs in Africa was developed and presented at the 1st meeting of this Committee.

Read the RLDC4Africa  fact sheet submitted by UCLG Africa.

It should be noted that UCLG Africa is now part of the Paris Committee Network on Capacity Building “PCCB-Network”. This Network, which brings together entities or initiatives involved in climate-related capacity building, will further strengthen the operational capacities of Local Government Associations in the context of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Another action carried out by UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force is:

The mobilization of African local and regional authorities to take part in the survey conducted jointly with the OECD on water governance at the level of African local and regional authorities. This survey is part of the preparation of the 9th forum organized by the OECD in March 2021 in Dakar (Senegal) on “the governance and economics of water security for sustainable development in Africa”. About fifty African cities participated in the survey (see the list of cities).  During the Forum, a round table dedicated to African local authorities will be held, jointly led by OECD and UCLG Africa.


23rd Session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa (Press Release)

On 24 June 2020 the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa held its 23rd session devoted to the approval of the 2019 accounts of the organization.

This session was chaired by Mr. Léandre Nzué, the Mayor of Libreville and President of UCLG Africa.

Six items were on the agenda:

1. Adoption of the Minutes of the 22nd session of the Executive Committee held on 9 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

2. Implementation of the recommendations of the 22nd session of the Executive Committee;

3. Approval of the execution of the 2019 budget and accounts of UCLG Africa;

4. Mid-term implementation of the activities and budget of UCLG Africa for the year 2020;

5. Update on the development of UCLG Africa’s 2020-2030 strategy;

6. Miscellaneous.

The official opening of the session was made by the Minister of Local Development of Egypt, General Mahmoud Shaarawy in the presence of: Dr. Mohamed Boudra, President of AMPCC (Morocco), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the North Africa Region, President of the world organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); Mrs. Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar (Senegal), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the West Africa Region; Mr. Uwimana Innocent, President of RALGA (Rwanda), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the East Africa Region; Mr Jeffry Sibisibi, President of BALA (Botswana), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the Southern Africa Region; Ms Thembisile Nkadimeng, President of SALGA (South Africa), Co-President of UCLG; Mr. Armand Béouindé, Mayor of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), President for Africa of UCLG; General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of Cairo (Egypt); Mrs. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of the Regional Council of Nouakchott (Mauritania); and Mr. Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

In his speech, General Mahmoud Shaarawy reiterated Egypt’s commitment to UCLG Africa. “We are working for the signing of the headquarters agreement with a proper inauguration as soon as possible after the end of the global health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also working for the signature and ratification by our country of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development and the African Union Public Service Charter. Egypt, will very soon host the work of the Bureau of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee No. 8. Egypt is committed to supporting the actions of UCLG Africa in the next steps and I take this opportunity to invite the members of the Executive Committee to take part in the second edition of the conference, “African cities, locomotive of sustainable development.” We advocate for this conference to become an annual meeting in the program of UCLG Africa. It is also important to inform you that the President of the Republic has appointed women as Deputy Governors and I have appointed a large number of women leaders to take up positions at the head of cities and positions of responsibility, which will strengthen the role and activity of women in the different governorates of Egypt,” the Minister said.

Members of the Executive Committee warmly welcomed the return of the Mayor of Bamako, Mr. Adama Sangaré to his pan-African family. After 7 months in prison, the Mayor of Bamako (Mali) was released on 21 May 2020. This liberation crowns the powerful movement of support and solidarity that was shown by his peers on both a continental level (UCLG Africa Motion of Support) and global level. “I am very happy to be back among you, after these 7 months of a very hard absence, but which I spent in a pleasant way with the support of my peers. I would like to thank you on behalf of the Bamako City Council for your efforts to get me back to the municipal office. Wherever the oppression continues on the mayors that we are, we will have to continue the fight because the struggle must be permanent. As long as the status of local authorities that we are, will not be determined, decentralization will not be able to evolve as we wish and the development of Africa will not be what we want for the best of our people,” said Mr. Adama Sangaré.

The Committee approved the activity report, the budget execution report and the audit report for the accounts of UCLG Africa for the financial year 2019 and discharged the Secretary General for his financial management. The Committee welcomed the continued support of the Kingdom of Morocco to UCLG Africa and requested the Secretary General send an official letter of thanks to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

It expressed its satisfaction for the work carried out by the General Secretariat team, particularly in the strengthening of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA); for the training activities carried out under the aegis of the Africa Local Government Academy (ALGA); and for the launch of initiatives concerning the involvement of local and regional authorities in the territorialization of Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Urban Agenda.

The Committee welcomed the excellent cooperation between the European Commission and UCLG Africa and expressed its appreciation for the invitation made to the territorial authorities of Africa, to take part in the programing process of the 2021-27 cycle of European cooperation in African countries, scheduled for July to October 2020. They thanked the Secretariat General for the webinars that it organized on 7 May and 19 June 2020 with a view to raising the awareness of UCLG Africa’s member associations on the programing exercise of European cooperation; and for the provision of consultancy services to members, to enable them to prepare the dialogue with the State and the Delegations of the European Union on the programing process of European cooperation.

Committee members were briefed on the progress of the study of UCLG Africa’s 2020-2030 strategy entrusted to the PwC consulting firm to which they shared their opinion on the two options proposed for the continuation of the study. The Committee agreed to the continuation of UCLG Africa’s interventions according to three pillars: 1) Institutional Development; 2) Advocacy and Mobilization in favor of decentralization; 3) Capacity Building and Knowledge Management for members, to which a fourth pillar was added 4) Technical Assistance for the development and implementation of concrete projects.

Regarding miscellaneous items, the members of the Executive Committee expressed their wish that work be carried out on the role of local and regional authorities in Africa in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary General informed members that as part of the measures taken to support cities in the fight against the coronavirus, UCLG Africa had produced a report jointly with UN Habitat, UNECA, UNCDF, Shelter Afrique and the African Union on the theme: “COVID-19 in African cities: Effects, responses and policies”. He requested members share information on the actions carried out at their level to address the pandemic, with a view to enriching the feedback of experiences and gather elements to prepare post-COVID proposals that supported local and regional authorities, to be submitted to governments and development partners.

The Secretary General further informed members of the Executive Committee about the postponement of the first celebration of the African Capitals of Culture, which was due to be launched in Rabat, Morocco, in March 2020 and its postponement to a later date, due to the containment ordered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UCLG Africa Secretariat will consult with the City of Rabat and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco to decide a new launch date for the celebration in Rabat in 2020 and 2021.

Finally, the Secretary General pointed out that the second edition of the African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) Forum of Local and Regional Government Leaders would be held during the week of 19-23 October 2020, in the framework of the next AU-EU Summit of Heads of State and Government, during which the Global Partnership between Europe and Africa would be adopted. He requested that members of UCLG Africa mobilize to take part in this important event.

For further information please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

About UCLG Africa

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is the continental organization representing Africa’s local and regional governments. UCLG Africa brings together 48 national associations of local governments and more than 2,000 cities and local governments that are direct members. Through its members, UCLG Africa represents more than 350 million African citizens. UCLG Africa’s main mission is to promote decentralization in Africa and the strengthening of the role of local and regional authorities in the development and integration of the African continent.

UCLG Africa’s bodies include
1) The General Assembly, which brings together all the members of the organization every three years for the Africities Summit, the most important platform for dialogue on decentralization in Africa;
2) The Pan-African Council of Local and Regional Authorities comprising of 45 members (9 from each of the 5 regions of Africa), which meets once a year and supervises the implementation of the organization’s policy between meetings of the General Assembly;
3) the Executive Committee comprising of 16 members, including 3 members for each of the 5 regions of Africa and the President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA);
4) the Bureau comprising of the 5 Vice-Presidents, from whom the President of UCLG Africa is elected, who will be responsible from 2019 to 2021 to the City of Libreville represented by its Mayor, Mr Léandre Nzué;
5) the General Secretariat, placed under the authority of a Secretary General assisted by a Deputy Secretary General based in Rabat, Morocco, where UCLG Africa enjoys diplomatic status as a pan-African international organization and supported by five Regional Bureaus: in Cairo, Egypt, for North Africa; Accra, Ghana, for West Africa; Libreville, Gabon, for Central Africa; Nairobi, Kenya, for East Africa; and Pretoria, South Africa, for Southern Africa.

Visit the UCLG Africa website: www.uclga.org

Africa’s Cultural and Creative Sector Defines the New Normal

Despite the challenges of Covid19, the continent’s rich and diverse cultural and creative industries have emerged fighting for survival and facing the greatest challenge to re-define itself, as public performances are restricted and entertainment venues and tourist attractions remain closed.

In 2018 United Cities and Local Governments of Africa launched the African Capitals of Culture during its
flagship event Africities in Marrakech, Morocco. This cultural celebration, being a first on the continent, will
follow a similar model to the well-established European Capitals of Culture, which has been running for over 35
years. The European Capitals of Culture initiative was designed to:

  • Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
  • Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share
  • Increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area
  • Foster the contribution of culture to the development of citie

Read more

Closing of the GFMD 2020 regional consultation process in Africa

The official closing session of the African consultations of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) was held on 23 June for the English-speaking countries and on 25 June for the French-speaking countries, in the presence of the representatives of the co-chairs of the regional consultation process (United Arab Emirates and African Union), the 3 thematic experts and the representatives of the 3 GFMD mechanisms (civil society, mayors and the private sector).

UCLG Africa and the city of Ouagadougou took the floor during this session on behalf of the Mayors’ Mechanism.

The closing session was marked by two highlights, first the word of the representatives of the different mechanisms who thanked the organizers for holding these virtual meetings; then the exchange on possible partnerships between the different actors.

The mayors’ mechanism has highlighted three points:

– The importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms necessary for local elected officials to find new allies and partners.

– The role of local elected representatives in changing the discourse on migration, as local and regional authorities, being at the forefront of migration management, have an impact on the lives of migrants.

– The need not to forget migrants

It should be noted that with regard to partnerships, the African Union has promised to work more closely with local and regional authorities on the issue of migration in Africa.

The African consultations agreed on the following 4 points:

  • Participation and partnerships: National and regional migration policies should be designed in coordination with all stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, the diaspora, civil society and the private sector. There is also a need to test new partnerships in which cities engage directly with humanitarian and development actors and are eligible to directly benefit from technical and financial support.
  • Legal framework and access to resources: In practice, local governments are the ones who ensure the inclusion of migrants in the local community. However, they often lack the legal framework to engage in the governance of local migration. Existing migration governance frameworks need to include decentralized actions and resources.
  • The importance of data at the local level: There is a lack of reliable data on the vulnerabilities of the population, especially at the local level.
  • Access to services: The importance of providing access to protection and social security for migrants, regardless of their migration status.

Read the intervention of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa here.

Read the intervention of the Mayor of Ouagadougou (in French) here.

Read the full report (in French) here.

African Virtual Forum of June 22, 2020 (Press Release)

168 Institutions and Participants, 16.000 followers on UCLG-Africa Facebook Page celebrated the International Public Service Day during the Virtual African Forum on:

“Reopening African Public Administrations:Leading, Managing and Delivering in time of Covid-19 and beyond”

Monday 22 June, 2020, on the platform ZOOM of UCLG-Africa

As part of their sound Partnership and the Celebration of the International Day of Public Service (23rd June each year), the African Local Governments Academy of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (ALGA of UCLG-Africa), the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM), the Faculty of Public Leadership of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, the African Public Service Human Resources Managers (APS-HRMNet), the Local Africa HRNet, and with the support of their Anchoring Institutes and Partners, including the Directorate for Public Institutions and Digital Government of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA/DIPGD), OECD-GISMA, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs/Institute for Public Management and Community Service of Florida International University (FIU)-USA and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), have organized a Virtual African Forum on : “Reopening African Public Administrations: Leading, Managing and Delivering in time of Covid-19 and Beyond”, on Monday 22 June 2020, from 2.00 pm to 19.30 pm on the UCLG-Africa Zoom platform.

The main objective of this Virtual African Forum, the first of its kind, was to organize a space for the promotion of a structured and constructive dialogue around the issues of Public Leadership, Public Services and Human Resources management at Covid-19 time and in anticipation of the reopening of Public Administrations, to exchange on challenges and obstacles, to highlight good practices and to identify areas of progress that could feed into a post-Covid-19 roadmap for a stable, sustainable and resilient Africa.

This Forum aimed to lead a serene debate on the three fundamental pillars of any stable, strong, sustainable and resilient society, namely transformational Leadership, Quality Public Services and Professional Human Capital.

This African Forum was also organized as an important moment to promote Human Capital, a strategic lever for good governance. Finally, the organizers also wanted to place this activity within the framework of the Decade for Action, decreed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, in order to demonstrate their willingness to transform Leadership, to develop, motivate and professionalize Human Resources, and to deliver quality Public Services to citizens.

One hundred and sixty-eight (168) participants from Africa and the world took part in this event, while 16,000 persons followed it on the UCLG-Africa Facebook page.

The official opening was punctuated by the respective speeches of:

Mr Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of the City of Rabat, City hosting the Headquarters of UCLG-Africa, Morocco;

Dr John Mary Kauzya, Chief, Public Service Innovation Branch, Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), UN-DESA, New York;

Dr James Nkata, Vice President of International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA), Africa Region, Director General of Uganda Management Institute, Uganda ;

Dr Roland Msiska, President of the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM), Zambia;

Prof. Zwelinzima Ndevu, Director, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, South Africa;

Ms Savia N. Mugwanya, President of APS-HRMNet, Commissioner, Civil Service College Uganda, Ministry of Public Service, Uganda ;

Ms Albertina Tivane, President of Local Africa HRNet, Mozambique.

This initiative was welcomed by all the speakers. These speeches were unanimous in emphasizing the importance of Institutional Development, Transformational Leadership, raising the collective challenges for quality public services, the perspectives of HRM beyond the crisis and the importance of constantly upgrading the skills of public service agents and in general, to have a professional and qualified human capital. The importance of the Sustainable Development Agenda was also recalled as well as the role and contribution of Local Governments in this process. Finally, it was unanimously underlined that this Pandemic of Covid 19 offered a portal to another world and reminded us all of the need for a better collaboration with a solid partnership, to value and share good practices.

The work of the Forum has been subdivided into three Panels. The first Panel was devoted to the impact of Covid-19 on Public Services through African and global experiences. This panel was enriched by the participation of eminent experts, senior civil servants, and academic researchers from Egypt, South Africa the United States and Uganda who gave their testimonies and insights on how the pandemic has impacted public services; how political and public leaders at the central level but especially at the local level have reacted to the scale and manifestations of the Covid-19 in terms of commitment, availability, listening, reactivity, adaptation, communication and resilience and finally the main challenges of the Public Administration before and after the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The second Panel focused on how to reshape the delivery of public services having highlighted above all the crucial role of having competent and professional human resources to do this. Human Capital being an undeniable basic strategic lever of good governance.

This panel brought together speakers from the UN-DESA / DPIDG of the United Nations, SIGMA-OECD, Yonsei University of South Korea, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender of Kenya as well as specialists in Human Resources issues from South Africa.

The main communications from this Panel focused on the profile of an effective public servant for service delivery during a pandemic / crisis ; the main Risks, Challenges and way forward; the need to professionalize human resources, to be able to count on competent, ethical staff, well equipped and endowed with sufficient resources to be truly at the service of populations.

The third Panel was dedicated to Peer Learning. The Anchoring Institutes of the 5 African regions were invited to share their experience with their peers, focusing on the main challenges they encountered during Covid-19 and beyond, interventions, achievements and best practices during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as actions carried out on Leadership, Public Service and Human Resources Management. The Institutes that shared their experiences were:

– The National Capacity Building Programme for Cities Management (PNFMV), Cameroon;

– Association for the Love of Books and Local Development (ASSOAL), Cameroon

– Special Higher School of Architecture (ESSACA), Cameroon

– Ethiopian Public Administration Association (EPAA), Ethiopia

– Kotebe Metropolitan University (KMU), Ethiopia

– Kenya School of Government (KSG), Kenya

– School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

– Enda Ecopop from Senegal

– African Centre for Management and Executive Development (CAMPC), Ivory Coast.

Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of ALGA of UCLG Africa closed this third Panel with a presentation of the activities carried out by the Academy during the time of COVID 19 as well as the various projects in perspective.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, in his closing remarks stressed that the post-COVID 19 will necessarily be Digital and Numeric. Local governance and public services must therefore be able to become immersed in digitalisation. Entering this era of digitalization should not be done lightly, but above all, there should be a change of mindset at all levels of government and focus on “services to citizens”. He reiterated the importance of public service for citizens, requiring prerequisites, a set of principles such as planning for development, the establishment of a strategic plan, which is an important socio-economic lever that has been left aside for some time. The human resources development community and the spirit of public service for all is crucial. He stressed that the time to act is now to build the Africa we want. Finally, he warmly thanked all the Partners who contributed to the organization of the Forum./.

See pdf here

23rd Session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa (Press Release)

Rabat, 22 June 2020

The 23rd ordinary session of the Executive Committee of the Pan-African organization of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 24 June 2020 in virtual format, due to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid- 19).

The meeting will be mainly devoted to the approval of the accounts of the organization; the 2020-2030 strategy of UCLG Africa and the implementation of the recommendations from the Executive Committee held in Durban (South Africa) in November 2019.

The proceedings will be chaired by Mr. Léandre Nzué, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon) and President of UCLG Africa.

The following leaders of UCLG Africa will also participate in this virtual meeting via the Zoom platform:

Mr. Mohammed Boudra, President of GCCA (Morocco), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the North Africa region and President of the world organization UCLG;

Mrs. Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar (Senegal), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the West Africa region;

Mr. Uwimana Innocent, President of RALGA (Rwanda), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the East Africa region;

Mr. Jeffry Sibisibi, President of BALA (Botswana), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the Southern Africa region;

Mrs. Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo (Côte d’Ivoire), President of REFELA (Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa);

Mrs. Thembisile Nkadimeng, President of SALGA (South Africa) and Co-President of the world organization UCLG;

Mr. Armand Béouindé, Mayor of Ougadougou (Burkina Faso) and President for Africa of the world organization UCLG;

Mr. Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

As a reminder, UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee is the body in charge of the political leadership of the organization. The Executive Committee is comprised of 16 members, 15 members equally representing each of the 5 regions of the continent, (3 for each of the 5 regions), plus the President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA – UCLG Africa’s gender committee).

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi:
Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45
E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org


UCLG Africa: United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), is the umbrella organization that represents the local authorities of Africa. UCLG Africa has 48 national associations of local authorities and more than 2,000 cities and local authorities that are direct members. Through its members it represents more than 350 million African citizens. UCLG Africa’s main missions are to promote decentralization in Africa and the establishment of African local and regional authorities as an autonomous sphere of governance, distinct from, but complementary to, the national government; to support the creation and strengthening of national associations of local and regional authorities with a view to promoting structured dialogue between the Government and local and regional authorities in the definition and implementation of public policies, including decentralization policies; and to contribute to the development and unity of the African continent from the cities and territories.

Visit UCLG Africa’s website: www.uclga.org

UCLG Africa resolve to support local authorities and their national associations in dialogue and interaction with central government and the European Union delegation at country level in the framework of the new programming of EU cooperation (2021-2027)

UCLG Africa organized a second webinar on 19 June 2020 as part of the preparation of local and regional authorities and their national associations in dialogue and interaction with central government and the EU delegation at country level at the next EU programming cycle (2021-2027).

Aimed at permanent secretaries of national associations of local and regional authorities and national consultants in charge of technical support to the national association, this second meeting followed the webinar held on 7 May for the benefit of presidents and permanent secretaries of national associations.

The European Union will start the programming process of its cooperation with partner countries for the period 2021-2027 in July 2020. For the first time, local authorities will participate in this process as public actors alongside the central state, which was previously the only public actor involved in defining the priorities of European cooperation.

In order to carry out this process, it is important for African local and regional authorities to focus on two stages:

– The first step must concern the dialogue with the State and Government to build a united front of public authorities and have a common position on the priorities that the public authorities of the country wish to put forward in the framework of the European Union’s cooperation program.

The second step will involve negotiating with the European Union delegation the priorities for the new cooperation and the concrete arrangements for its implementation.

The meeting saw the participation of 22 national associations of local and regional authorities and consultants retained by UCLG Africa, to support them technically in order to succeed in the negotiation process. The secretariat of UCLG Africa proposed that the associations that wish to mobilize the services of a consultant do so at their own expense.

In his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, recalled the selection process of consultants that was done jointly with the national associations. The latter has submitted a short list of five country consultants, one of whom was selected by the selection committee of UCLG Africa.

Mr. Mbassi referred to the new context favorable to the participation of local authorities in European cooperation, the obstacles to be overcome for the full participation of local authorities in the programming process of EU cooperation, the preparation of local authorities to play a proactive role in the programming process, the strategic dialogue to be engaged between the central state and local authorities and the importance for EU delegations to interact with local authorities.  He concluded by presenting the 5 steps proposed by UCLG Africa to facilitate the integration of local and regional authorities in the programming of EU 2021-2027.

Step 1: Strategic dialogue between the national government and the national associations of local authorities;

Step 2: Joint/concomitant consultation between public authorities (central government and local authorities) and the European Union’s delegations as part of the European cooperation programming process;

Step 3:  Negotiation and Conclusion of a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPAs) between the EU Delegation and the NALAs for the duration of the cycle;

Step 4: Exploration with the central State and the EU delegation of funding mechanisms guaranteeing direct access and LAs to European cooperation funds;

Step 5: Influencing the drafting by DG DEVCO of guidelines and a political orientation note relating to the integration of LAs in European cooperation.

Following Mr. Mbassi, the President of UCLG and President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), Mr. Mohamed Boudra, gave a word of encouragement to the participants. He stressed that the work to be carried out was at two levels, “The political level and the technical level.  We have a platform for the Africa-Europe dialogue through the first Africa-Europe Local Government Forum to be held in 2017. The declaration produced at this meeting must be used as a basis for negotiations at the political level.  The struggle for decentralization is not easy. It is a permanent struggle to make it a success and it must be conducted in such a way as to avoid breakdowns. Partnership with the EU is important for the success of decentralization.

The space was then given to exchanges with the permanent secretaries and consultants on three fundamental aspects: the understanding of the consultants’ terms of reference, the nature of the relationship between the State and the association in each country and how participants appreciate the 5 proposed steps. The terms of reference were accepted by the different associations and the consultants.

The relationship between the central government and the associations of local and regional authorities will materialize through dialogue in several countries. This is the case in Senegal, Cameroon, Zambia, Liberia, Mozambique, Burundi, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Nevertheless, tensions can arise when it comes to the transfer of resources. “The challenge is to create good relations with central governments for finance,” says Maurice Mbolela, Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Association of Zambia.

Guinea’s relations with the central government are considered to be average. In Libya, the context of crisis in which the country finds itself with two governments at the helm, does not allow local authorities to play their role fully.

Some associations have already contacted the EU delegations in their countries. For Mali, the AMM (Association of Municipalities of Mali) made initial contact after being informed of the new dynamics adopted by the EU, during the first UCLG Africa webinar.  This is also the case for Comoros, Zambia, Mozambique and Mauritania. In Benin and Burkina, ANCB and AMBF are used to working with the EU delegation.

In addition, the national associations present adhered to the 5 proposed steps and committed to holding national webinars to prepare their members for further negotiations.  Some countries expect to manage tight deadlines due to the installation of new mayors (Comoros) and the renewal of the national associations’ bodies (Cameroon).

Others raised the difficulty of access to the Internet for the holding of the national webinar, (Burundi, Liberia, and Chad). The schedule of national webinars for those who can attend will be established at the end of June. The meetings will be held with the logistical support of UCLG Africa.

At the close of the meeting, Mr. Mbassi emphasized that, “it is important to work with the State for the recognition of local and regional authorities as public actors. In this sense The African Charter on Decentralization is a strong argument to start the dialogue with the central state,” he explained. “Furthermore, the EU recognizes local and regional authorities as partners and all countries have adopted Agenda 2030, which will have to be localized so not to leave anyone on the sidelines. We must therefore seize the opportunity offered to us by European programming. The central state must know that it has a new ally, the local and regional authorities, to improve the lives of its citizens. At the end of these dialogues, a framework agreement must be concluded between the three parties.


Webinar REFELA: review and prospects in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic

On 3 June 2020, the members of the Pan-African Council of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) hosted a webinar for their 3rd statutory meeting and their 1st meeting of the year with the theme: “REFELA: Assessment and perspectives in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic.” The webinar was chaired by Mrs. Dao Macoura Coulibaly, Mayor of the commune of Foumbolo (Ivory Coast) and President of REFELA, in the presence of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.  More than 68 people attended, made up of women, mayors and local elected women, members of REFELA and also members from the national chapters of REFELA.

In her opening speech, the President of REFELA said that the main objectives of the webinar were to : (i) take stock of achievements; (ii) examine the prospects in the light of the current situation marked by the Covid 19 health crisis; (iii) and define the most appropriate trajectories to pursue for the achievement of the objectives that the Network had set in the framework of its three-year action plan 2019-2021, around the five points on the webinar’s agenda.

The debate opened on three points relating to the impact of Covid-19 on the implementation of the 3 campaigns by African cities; on the process of drafting the Charter of Local and Regional Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa and on the implementation of the national chapters (REFELA-Countries), as strategic and priority actions, inscribed in the agenda of REFELA 2019-2021. These 3 points were introduced successively by Mrs. Mariam Iddrisu, Mayor of Sagnarigu and President of REFELA Ghana, Mrs. Ratsimbazafi Sahondramalala Esther, Mayor of the Commune of Fianarantsoa in Madagascar, REFELA Vice-President for East Africa, and Dr. Malika Ghefrane Giorgi, the Network’s Special Advisor. Elements of the discussion were synthesized by Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of ALGA.

Read More.

New report, COVID-19 in African Cities: Impacts, Responses and Policies, launched by ECA & partners

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 16, 2020 (ECA) – With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic crippling economies the world over and set to trigger into motion Africa’s first recession in 25 years, the Economic Commission for Africa and its partners teamed-up to produce a new report which proposes several interventions to promptly and effectively address COVID-19 challenges on the continent at the urban level.

The report titled; COVID-19 in African Cities: Impacts, Responses and Policies, analyses the current situation within the African continent and efforts channeled at mitigating the global pandemic within the context of cities in the region.

Produced by the ECA, UN Habitat, UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), African Development Bank (AfDB), and Shelter Afrique, the report, which was virtually launched Tuesday, proposes responses for short, medium and long-term interventions to be led by national and local governments with the support of international and regional development Institutions.

To adequately address the challenges of COVID-19, five key recommendations have been identified in the report.

  • Applying local communication and community engagement strategies
  • Supporting SMEs and the informal economy
  • Deepening decentralized responses to COVID-19 through strengthened local government capacities
  • Targeting informal settlements through tailored measures
  • Establishing mechanisms to promote rapid access to housing and prevent forced evictions
  • Integrating urban planning and management as key priorities for recovery and rebuilding strategies towards long-term resilience

In their remarks during the virtual launch, officials from the partner organisations agreed COVID-19 has revealed the high vulnerability of African cities to the effects of shocks, and their limited capacity to mitigate and recover from the associated impacts. All this as Africa’s cities continue to grow rapidly under conditions of severe infrastructure and service deficits, absence of adequate productive jobs, weak planning and management capacities and institutions, among others.

Informality, poverty and inequality persist as a manifestation of the underlying structural constraints of Africa’s urbanization. Under these conditions, and without deliberate policy responses and adequate investments, cities may well become liabilities for inclusive and resilient future growth and transformation, the report notes.

It also notes that considering the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 on national economies and the need to ensure that people have access to adequate food, housing, safe water and sanitation and reliable information, it was fast becoming clear that there is a need to increase and specify the role of local governments.

“These authorities are important in advancing community engagement, supporting risk communication and awareness building and facilitating adaptation measures,” reads the report.

COVID-19 has shown that it is important to rehabilitate the function of stabilization and redistribution of financial transfers from national to local and regional governments.

Strengthening local economies is one of the most effective responses to reducing the sensitivity of national economies to pandemics like COVID-19 and to the cycles of the global economy, notes the report.

“The degree of economic and financial impact of COVID-19 in Africa has been severe at all scales from national to local,” said Ms. Edlam Abera Yemeru, Chief of the Urbanization and Development Section at the ECA in remarks during the launch.

“The economic effects of COVID-19 have been particularly severe due to underlying vulnerabilities in African economies. The pandemic has exposed pre-existing underlying vulnerabilities in the economy of African cities that have made the urban impact of the crisis severe.”

She said in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for example, the impact of COVID-19 on hotels has been severe with 88 percent of hotels with membership in the AA hotel association being partially or fully closed due to low occupancy. Monthly losses are estimated at US$35 million and 15,000 workers have so far been laid off.

Ms. Yemeru said the local economic and financial effects of COVID-19 have a direct impact on economic development broadly and industrialization specifically.

“Going forward, local economic recovery and rebuilding should be at the core of economic recovery and rebuilding strategies of the continent and countries, and related stimulus packages,” she said.

“Continental and national COVID-19 discussions and efforts do recognize the vulnerability of cities and local governments, and acute impact, but insufficiently consider the role of productive, job rich and competitive cities in economic recovery, rebuilding and resilience in the medium and long term.”

Priorities should be on creating economically resilient cities, concluded Ms. Yemeru.

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

COVID-19 IN AFRICAN CITIES: Impacts, Responses and Policies- Webinar, 16 June

COVID-19, a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), is crippling the global economy and upending people’s lives therebythreatening sustainable development across all its dimensions. Africa is also facing the dire consequences of the crisis, necessitating timely response, recovery and rebuilding policies and strategies. Globally, urban areas are the epicenters of the epidemic accounting for most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases. UN-Habitat in collaboration with UNECA, UNCDF, UCLG Africa, AfDB, and Shelter Afrique will be co-hosting a virtual launch of the report titled COVID-19 in African Cities: Impacts, Responses and Policies on June 16, 2020 at 1;00 – 2;30pm EAT. The report analyses the current situation within the African continent and efforts channeled at mitigating the global pandemic within the context of cities in the region. To promptly and effectively address the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa at the urban scale, the report is proposing responses for short,medium- and long-term interventions to be led by national and local governments with the support of International and Regional Development Institutions.


Moderator:Alioune Badiane, President Urban Think Tank


  • Oumar Sylla, Director Regional Office for Africa, UN-Habitat

Urban and informal settlements

  • Edlam Yemeru, Chief Urbanization and development Section, UNECA

Economic development and industrial transformation

  • Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary-General UCLGAfrica

Role of local Government

  • Dmitry Pozhidaev, Regional Technical Advisor, UNCDF
  • Protecting, transforming and improving resilience of municipal finance
  • Muhammad Gambo, PhD; Manager in charge of Policy, Research and Partnerships, Shelter Afrique

Increasing housing provision beyond the pandemic

  • Stefan Atchia, Chief Urban Division, AfDB

Role of financial institution

The report can be accessed via:


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Tuesday, June 16, 2020
1:00 pm  |  Nairobi Time (Nairobi, GMT+03:00)  |  1 hr 30 mins


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