Apply for the PLATFORMAwards before 31 January 2020

If your town or region contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, if you want to win a video to promote your development cooperation project, apply before 31 January 2020 for the PLATFORMAwards and win a free entrance to CEMR Congress in Innsbruck!

All the information you need, as well as the application form, are available on the PLATFORMAwards website and flyer.

Discover the PLATFORMAwards in video!

The aim of the PLATFORMAwards is to reward excellence in cities and regions’ internal action. This time, the PLATFORMAwards will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation at the territorial level.

The award ceremony will take place on 8 May 2020 at the CEMR Congress in Innsbruck (Austria) where the three finalists will be invited.

Discover the trailer of the of Dogbo-Roeselare partnership, winners of the 2018 edition!

If you need more information, contact us at

And don’t hesitate to share on Twitter with #PLATFORMAwards

Culture and Arts – Accelerators of progress, Maison Dentsu supports the African Capitals of Culture.

H.M. King Mohammed VI.

28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, 31 January 2017.

“For a long time, we have looked elsewhere, to make a decision, a commitment… Isn’t it time to put an end to this tropism? Isn’t it time to turn our attention to our continent? Isn’t it time to consider its cultural wealth, its human potential? Africa can be proud of its resources, its cultural heritage, its spiritual values and the future must carry this natural pride loud and clear!”

Under the impetus of the pan-African organisation “United Cities and Local Governments of Africa” (UCLG Africa), and patrons by the African Union, the African Capitals of Culture aim to federate, promote and accelerate all the creative energies of Africa.

Art, culture, design, fashion, innovation, sustainable and solidarity-based economy: with a cultural heritage of unique depth, the African Capitals of Culture wish to affirm the leading role that Africa will play in the invention of new development models, for the future of the continent as well as for the world.

By connecting private and public actors, the African Capitals of Culture are an independent, autonomous and sustainable ecosystem created by Africans for all the people and diaspora of Africa.

Officially launched in Marrakech in 2020, the program of African Capitals of Culture will be rolled out across the continent with the election, every 3 years, of a new host city.

Structured around 42 strategic projects and local actions, the African Capitals of Culture will accelerate the dynamics of African cultural, social, societal and economic reinvention while ensuring a continental and international influence for the initiatives developed.

Over a period of twelve months, the host city will host a series of events, forums and demonstrations from all over Africa, thus becoming the gathering point for the creativity of an entire continent. Mirroring this, partner cities will host artistic programing developed by the host city, ensuring a global and unifying dynamic to the program.

“Yesterday, advertising made culture, today it is culture that makes advertising. This conviction is at the heart of our transformation and that of our clients. Through the Maison Dentsu, we work daily to build close links between artists and brands to invent new models. We are convinced that the African Capitals of Culture will accelerate the transformation and international influence of the African continent. The Dentsu Group is extremely proud to support this initiative,” said Thierry Jadot, President of Dentsu Aegis Network France and MENA.

An evening of presentation of the African Capitals of Culture will be held on January 16 at the Maison Dentsu and will bring together major players in the fields of culture, the arts and the economy around an exhibition of Leila Alaoui’s works created by Galleria Continua under the patronage of the Leila Alaoui Foundation and the artistic direction of Anissa Touati and Thomas Erber.

During this event, Thierry Jadot will welcome Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, President of the Organizing Committee of the African Capitals of Culture and Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Chakib Benmoussa, Ambassador of H.M. King Mohammed VI in France and Mahi Binebine, Honorary President of the Marrakech 2020 Organizing Committee.


About the African Capitals of Culture

The African Capitals of Culture program is developed by the pan-African organization “United Cities and Local Governments of Africa” (UCLG Africa), which brings together 48 national associations of local governments from all regions of Africa, as well as 2,000 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. UCLG Africa therefore represents more than 350 million African citizens. UCLG Africa is notably a founder of the Africities summit, the largest democratic gathering on the continent.

The African Capitals of Culture are also accompanied by institutional partners: The Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, the European Commission, UNESCO, and the ACP Group of States.

Marrakech 2020 has been entrusted to a tripartite organizing committee composed of representatives of UCLG Africa, the Municipality of Marrakech and the Regional Council of Marrakech Safi, whose presidency is held by the Wali of Marrakech-Safi.


Khalid Tamer

Director General of the African Capitals of Culture

+212 6 61 61 88 82

+33 6 85 72 45 41

Claire Le Goff

In charge of Programmes for African Capitals of Culture

+ 212 6 61 58 59 82

About Maison Dentsu:

Artistic residence, exhibition and creation place, Maison Dentsu is a space dedicated to the reinvention of brands through art and culture.

Through Maison Dentsu, the Dentsu Group creates a bridge between its clients and an international network of visionary designers, artists and innovators, with the ambition to develop the cultural authority of brands and their ability to influence.

Press Contact:

Cédric Galonské

Associate Director Luxury Division

T: +33 (0)1 40 26 55 55

About the Leila Alaoui Foundation :

The Leila Alaoui Foundation was created in March 2016 to ensure the archiving, conservation and dissemination of Leila Alaoui’s work. A committed photographer and video artist, Leila Alaoui explored the themes of migration, the construction of identities and cultural diversity.

Through her work, she helped to bring to the forefront the forgotten of society and give them back some of their dignity. A victim of the terror attack, January 2016 in Ouagadougou, her art and her struggles are now carried by the Leila Alaoui Foundation.

UCLG Africa Secretary General’s message on the occasion of the International Migrants Day on 18 December 2019

Each year on December 18, the United Nations celebrates International Migrants Day.

This celebration gives UCLG Africa the opportunity to reiterate once again that local and regional authorities are at the frontline in the management of migration. Usually, migrants leave a city to settle temporarily or permanently in another city in their country of origin, region, and continent or outside their country of origin. The ways these migrants are received in host communities, the recognition of their rights and duties and those of their families, the way they are integrated into the host society, the opportunity to earn a living, the opportunity to educate their children, the opportunity to care for themselves and their families, all depend on the consideration and dignity with which they are treated.

This is the reason that led the mayors and leaders of African local authorities, meeting at the eighth Africities Summit held in November 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco, to adopt the Charter of African Local Authorities on Migration, which lays down a number of rules to be respected for the management of migrants, those they welcome in their localities, as well as those who leave their homes to settle in other communities.

We encourage cities and territories on the continent to adhere to this charter, and encourage them to develop partnerships and cooperation with their counterparts in other countries, regions or continents in the management of migration and the treatment of migrants.

At a time when migration management is at the root of tensions and tensions between States or regions, and when withdrawal seems to be the preferred answer to these tensions, UCLG Africa is launching a solemn appeal to cities and territories in Africa and other regions around the world to be the guardians of solidarity and equal dignity among human beings; and that they make migration management a ferment of multilateralism in cities and territories, recognizing that migration makes a powerful contribution to the dynamism and development of many African cities and territories.

UCLG Africa calls on all migration governance actors, including the diaspora, to implement the commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and to support African local and regional authorities in the implementation of the African charter of local and subnational governments of Africa on migration, including its provisions on hospitality, solidarity and the protection of migrants’ rights.

UCLG Africa fervently hopes that the day of 18 December will be used everywhere to celebrate the undeniable contribution of migrants to the cultural diversity of the territories, to the dissemination of knowledge and know-how, and to the promotion of conviviality between human groups, a sine qua non condition for the emergence of a world of peace and harmony.

The Secretary General,

The ALGA College of UCLG Africa “Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls for the Implementation of the SDG5 and the African Vision on Women’s Rights” trains and sensitizes 38 women elected local officials

In the context of supporting and accompanying the implementation of Sustainable Development Goald 5 on gender equality and the African vision for the promotion of women’s rights, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its Africa of Local Government Academy (ALGA) and the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC) through the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa ,  Morocco chapter (REFELA-Morocco) organised an international training seminar on the theme: “Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls for the Implementation of the SDG5 and the African Vision on Women’s Rights”, from 09 to 13 December 2019 at Hotel La Tour Hassan, in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.

This international training seminar, which is also part of ALGA’s Action Plan for 2019, was supported by several partners, including :

The General Directorate of Local Authorities (DGCL) of the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of Morocco;
The Ministry of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family of the Kingdom of Morocco;
UN-Women – Multi-Country Office in the Maghreb and UN-Women in Malawi ;
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM);
The Union of Cities and Municipalities of Côte d’Ivoire (UVICOCI);
The European Commission.

The beneficiaries of the International Seminar

The Seminar benefited 38 women representing Territorial Communities, Public Administration, Civil Society and the Community of Experts from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco and South Africa.

Read more in french.

Let’s talk about the New Urban Agenda, Human Capital, Peer Review and Climate

11-15 November, 2019, Durban, South Africa, hosted the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. More than 3000 participants took part in the event, organized every 3 years by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

During the five days, UCLG Africa made significant contributions through the organization of and participation in twenty sessions. African local and regional elected officials mobilized by UCLG Africa took part in the debates and shared their experiences on themes relating to local finance, urbanization, gender equality, migration, human capital, cultural policies, mobility, climate, territorial development financing and youth.

“The harm of climate change is increasingly visible in Africa. There is a need to further invest in this issue, especially at the local level,” Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, Ghana.

See a review of the highlights of the sessions for local Africa. (Last part).

African expertise in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda

The Federation of Moroccan Urban Agencies (MAJAL), in collaboration with UCLG Africa and UN-Habitat, organized a session on the theme “Implementation of the New Urban Agenda on the African continent: promotion and implementation of city-to-city partnerships.” It was an opportunity to share with local governance actors the mechanism for implementing the New Urban Agenda, initiated by MAJAL and African cities at the Africities 8 Summit (Marrakech 2018).

The best instrument for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Africa is the presence of urban agencies, expressed Mr. Alioune Badiane, former Regional Director for Africa at UN Habitat, Special Advisor at UCLG Africa. “The example of Morocco through MAJAL is a good illustration of this.  It may take another name elsewhere, nevertheless, this intermediate mechanism between the State and local authorities, endowed with human, financial and technical resources, could help to accelerate the implementation of this urban agenda, especially in an area where we still lack a lot of capacity on urban and territorial planning.”


To successfully share experiences, seven partnership agreements were signed between Moroccan cities and their counterparts on the continent: Rabat/Dakar, Casablanca/Abidjan, AlHouceima/AbomeyCalavi, Dakhla/Rufisque, Essaouira/Djinja, El Jadida/Souss and Marrakech/Yaoundé. The objective is for the twin cities to initiate a process of implementing urban agencies at the national level that work with communities to assist them in planning.

The added value of these inter-city partnerships rests on 3 pillars according to Mr. Moncef Fadili, expert in urban planning: the definition of a common vision with harmonized work on the ground; the integration of urban planning into national public policies; and for the long term, the creation of urban agencies, at the level of African partner cities, enabling cities to equip themselves with a decision-making instrument and a visibility given to the partnership for the strengthening of South-South cooperation.

This African solution to urbanization management problems will be evaluated in 2021 from 16-20 November in Kisumu, Kenya, during the Africities 9 Summit.

The panel included Mrs Najat Kouhlani, Vice-President of the Majal Federation, Mrs Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar, Mr Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat and Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

Taking part in the session, the Mayor of Ouagadougou, Mr. Armand Béouindé, confirmed his city’s choice to join the project, as did the Mayor of Bangui, Mr Émile Gros Raymond Nakombo.

Promote local governance sensitive to Culture and Heritage

On 15 November 2019, the African Local Government’s Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa co-organized a session on the theme “Promoting local governance sensitive to culture and heritage,” in partnership with the Italian Romualdo De Bianco Foundation.

This Session was in line with the 2030 Agenda, in particular SDG 11 – Objective 11.4 and Aspiration 5 of the African Vision 2063: “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics.” It was an opportunity to highlight and share the commitment of UCLG Africa and its ALGA Academy for Culture and Heritage at the African local level and their activities to support the implementation of target 11.4 of SDG 11, to “Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”

This was an opportunity to learn from the best practices of the main actors in this field, as well as UCLG Africa’s partners.  Chaired by the Honorable Mr. David Balaba, President of the Municipal Council of Iganga, Uganda, the panel was composed of Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of ALGA, Dr. Corinna Del Bianco, founder and board member of the International Life Beyond Tourism Institute and Mr. Simone Giometti, Secretary General of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, Florence, Italy.

The main discussions and presentations of the session focused on:

– The presentation of the concept as well as the different perspectives of the “Life Beyond Tourism” movement, a new way of thinking that focuses its action on dialogue between cultures. This concept also contributes to the dissemination and affirmation of universal values such as respect and harmony between people, transforming the tourist experience from a simple opportunity for leisure into a precious moment of cultural encounter.

– The main achievements and progress made in the implementation of the UCLG Africa / ALGA partnership and the Romualdo del Bianco Foundation;

– The need for a common commitment to promote local governance sensitive to heritage, culture and heritage to support the implementation of the ODD.

Read the report of all ALGA sessions in Durban here.

Peer Review – good practice?

On the last day of the summit, 15 November 2019, UCLG Africa organized the session: “Peer Review for Enhanced Diplomacy.”  Mr. Innocent Uwimana, President of the Rwandan Association of Local Governments (RALGA) and Mr. Joseph Muanda Bindi, President of the Association of Local Authorities of Sierra Leone, shared their experience in the practice of the peer review program.

Peer Review (PR) is a process in which a local government peer from one local authority assesses another against an agreed standard of behavior and/or performance. Peers are equal partners and, thus, operate as ‘critical friends’. It is a systematic examination and assessment of the performance of a local government by other local government practitioners with the ultimate goal of helping the reviewed local government improve its policy making, adopt best practices and comply with established standards and principles. The examination is conducted on a non-adversarial basis and relies heavily on mutual trust among local governments involved in the review, as well as their shared confidence in the process. PR is not an inspection; it is rather a supportive process undertaken.

The principle of peer review was accepted by Mr. Joseph Munda Bindi, who is president of the Bo District Council and whose municipality was included in the program. The Bo district also had RALGA as a partner. Nevertheless, it was not easy to convince his city council. “Many equate peer review with an audit. This is not the case. It is a learning tool and re-initiation by a sister community.  It took me six months to convince my team. The results allow us to better face the challenges of our municipality and to gain more trust from citizens through a transparent administration,” he explained.

The session was moderated by Mr. Charles Patsika, Director of the Membership Department of UCLG Africa.

Signing of a letter advocating the creation of a Covenant of Mayors for Africa

14 November 2019 was marked by a meeting between the partners involved in the implementation of the CoM SSA initiative (Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa), included among them: ICLEI, UCLG Africa, the World Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCom) and C40. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra and member of the Board of Directors of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCom).

The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the various advances made during the last four years of implementation of the CoM SSA, and to lay the foundations for the new framework on which the next phase of CoM SSA will be built.

It was with this in mind that a letter was co-signed between GCOM Africa, represented by Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa and Mr Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of CEMR, accompanied by a note proposing the main lines of focus on which the negotiation process will be conducted with regards to the next stage of the CoM SSA.

Let’s talk about the African Capitals of Culture, Financial Decentralization and the location of SDG 5 and 11.

11-15 November 2019, Durban, South Africa, hosted the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. More than 3000 participants took part in this event, organized every 3 years by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

During the five days, UCLG Africa made significant contributions through the organization of and participation in twenty sessions. African local and regional elected officials mobilized by UCLG Africa took part in the debates and shared their experiences on themes relating to local finance, urbanization, gender equality, migration, human capital, cultural policies, mobility, climate, territorial development financing and young local elected officials.

“Culture is at the beginning and end of all development.”, Ms. Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar, Senegal

See a review of the highlights of the sessions for local Africa. (Part Two).

Presentation of the “African Capitals of Culture” program

On 12 November 2019, the session, “Public policies from culture”, jointly organized by UCLG and UCLG Africa at the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, served as a framework for the presentation of the program “African Capitals of Culture (ACC)”. The creation of this program by UCLG Africa aims to structure, empower and network cultural actors on the African continent to develop a public/private ecosystem that will be culturally autonomous but economically healthy, sustainable and viable. The aim of the program is to affirm and promote the continent’s cultural identity and cultural re-appropriation by Africans.

The CACs were adopted at the last Africities 8 Summit in Marrakech (November 2018). “In all areas of transition, Africa is the key to the future. Celebrating African culture in the network of capitals means encouraging and organizing solutions based on the unique urban culture. Re-awaken Africa’s awareness of its creative power,” Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

African Capitals of Culture will be celebrated every 3 years and will highlight the particularities of African culture in the capitals of culture and in the sister cities. Simultaneous celebrations will take place in an African capital which will celebrate Africa whilst Africa celebrates the African capital. The program will be launched with “Marrakech 2020”. All African cities can then become partners every three years by supporting the artists and cultural actors of their territory. The program is based on the model of public-private partnerships with regard to the structure and financing of the initiative.

UCLG referred to the decision taken by cities to make culture the 4th pillar of the development of local authorities. It is in this context that UCLG Africa’s contribution is reflected, particularly in the community of practitioners of UCLG’s Agenda Culture 21 program.

“The African Capitals of Culture is a wonderful initiative that is an important component of our capacity building program. We will support this initiative.” Mr. Jordi Pascual, coordinator of the UCLG Committee on Culture.

Ms. Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar, chaired the session, which included presentations on the importance of cultural rights in local development by Ms. Mariana Flores, representative of Mexico City; the presentation of the results of the Pilot Cities Program in Izmir City (Turkey), by Mr. Onur Eryüce; and the presentation of the World Culture and Youth Forum in Jeju, by Mr. Chae Jong Hyub, Director of Peace and International Affairs of Jeju City.

The role of African local authorities in financing

13 November 2019 was marked by the assembly track. Each UCLG section led a session relating to a priority theme. The assembly track led by UCLG Africa focused on decentralization and local finances. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Léandré Nzué, Mayor of Libreville and President of UCLG Africa.

Mr. Philippe Heinrigs, OECD economist, addressed the situation of urbanization in Africa. His presentation highlighted the need to meet the challenge of rapid urbanization on the continent and the necessity of focusing on more than the case of large cities. Indeed, by 2050 Africa will be the most populous continent and more than 2/3 of the population will live in cities. Meeting the challenge of urbanization requires taking into account the intermediate cities that constitute the future of the continent as well as rural the municipalities.

Ensuring people’s access to basic services and managing urbanization requires substantial funding. The city of Johannesburg shared its experience of bond borrowing to finance major construction projects. “Johannesburg is a large city in Africa that faces the challenge of migration. It is a cosmopolitan city with several African nationalities. Urban growth is therefore more widespread. It is the city with the largest slum in the country, Soweto. The issue of climate change has led us to go into the financial market. Our infrastructure needs were huge,” says Mr. Geoff Makhubo, Johannesburg City Councilor (New Mayor of Johannesburg since 4 December 2019).

In South Africa, the funding model is national. Most taxes are collected directly by the central government before being subsequently transferred to local authorities. To compensate for the lack of resources, the city of Johannesburg issued its first municipal bond in 2004, which made the city very attractive to investors. The first bond issue amounted to $10 million. “Over the years we have made about 9 to 10 bond issues. The first bond issue concerned green infrastructure and resilient infrastructure. There are risks to going into the financial market. One of the risks is if you do not generate enough income to guarantee the repayment of the loan,” explained Mr. Makhubo.

Beyond investing in infrastructure, he advocated putting people at the heart of the process and creating cities where people can live together. “We must no longer depend on the transfer of financial resources. Cities must be able to create the means to collect taxes. They must have the authority to do so and to properly manage these resources by being accountable to citizens. UCLG Africa must sensitize the Member States of the African Union on this issue.”

In Mauritania, Mrs. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of the Nouakchott Regional Council, experimented with a tax collection application in the municipality of Tevragh Zeina, where she was mayor for 17 years. The purpose of the application was to improve the tax base. The implementation required an upstream consensus and creating awareness in the population, especially traders.

The first step was to identify the different taxpayers, which took two months. The application has tripled the municipality’s revenue and led to the reduction of certain inequalities, in particular, in education and social services. “Citizens did not pay according to the size of their business activity. Through this application, we have been able to restore order,” said Ms. Fatimetou Abdel Malick.

To reduce fraud, the taxpayer file is codified. “Some were exchanging cards, but with the introduction of the barcode we solved this problem. There was also re-use of the stamps, but the codification of the stamps also solved this problem of dual use. As a result, we achieved an efficiency of 72.5% in the census and collection,” explained the president of the Nouakchott Regional Council.

This inspiring practice can be adapted by other local authorities to collect taxes more efficiently.

REFELA in action for the localization of SDG 5 and 11

The Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa (REFELA) organized a session on 14 November 2019 on the location of SDG 5, “gender equality” and SDG 11, “sustainable cities and communities”.

The session was chaired by Ms. Macoura Dao Coulibaly, President of REFELA. The panel was composed of Ms. Fatna el khiel, REFELA Vice President for the North African region, Ms. Maria Elena Langa, President of REFELA Mozambique, Mr. Armand Béouindé, Mayor of Ougadougou (Burkina), Mr. Émile Gros Raymond Nakombo, Mayor of Bangui (CAR), Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and Mrs. Malika Ghefrane Giorgi, Special Advisor of REFELA who acted as moderator.

The exchanges highlighted the predominant role of women and women elected local officials, particularly in the localization of the SDGs. The approach advocated by REFELA for achieving the SDGs involves implementing the 3 campaigns carried out by the network in its 2019-2021 action plan.

· The Campaign for African Cities without Street Children (SDG 11),

· The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls (SDG 5),

· The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment (SDG 5 & SDG 11).

The panelists highlighted the progress made by REFELA since its creation in 2011. Concerning the section on partnerships, Mr Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), welcomed the project currently being drafted and the redaction of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa.” This project is part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” drawn up by REFELA-UCLG Africa with CEMR-Platforma-Section Europe and the world organization UCLG, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit in Marrakech, (20-24 November 2018).

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders was marked by the mobilization of REFELA women, who also held working sessions with their counterparts of Europe and Asia Pacific.

Last part here

Apply for the 4th edition of the UCLG International Prize – Mexico City – Culture 21

The 4th edition of the UCLG International Prize – Mexico City – Culture 21 is launched. As in previous editions, the Prize will recognize good practices from cities and local and regional governments in the field of culture and sustainable development, as well as individuals who have made a fundamental contribution to the recognition of cultural aspects in sustainable development.

Over the past three editions, the Prize has received a total of more than 230 nominations from cities and local and regional governments around the world. Several of them were recognized as winners, special mentions or good practices, and thus contributed to a better knowledge and practice of culture and sustainable development.

The International Prize is an initiative of Mexico City and the World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). It has an endowment of EUR 50,000 in the category “City / Local or Regional Government” and EUR 25,000 in the category “Personality”.

The rules and application forms are available here.

Participation in the Prize is free of charge and the deadline for nominations is 18 March 2020.

UCLG Africa invites its members and the continent’s local authorities to participate massively in this prize.

The REFELA “Campaign# of African Cities, with zero tolerance for violence against women and girls”, selected to the Idealkent Awards for Women-friendly City

The Local Elected Women’s Network of Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa launched on 31 January 2019 a call of expression of interest to cities wishing to voluntarily take part in the, “Campaign of African Cities, Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls”.  22 African cities have voluntarily joined this campaign.

On November 2019, this “Campaign# of African Cities, with zero tolerance for violence against women and girls” has been selected to Idealkent Awards for Women-friendly City.

The REFELA campaign is qualified as an “innovative and outstanding project” by The organizers.

The Idealkent Award Ceremony will take place on 16 January 2020 in Paris UNESCO building.

The Idealkent Awards is an initiative of the Institute of Urban Studies.

The Idealken Awards aims to support planning projects that calculates growth in the future in a multidimensional way, the protection of urban and architectural structure, the human-centric urban transformation applications, the efforts for identity and culture construction, the arrangements of human ecology and environmental planning, the pedestrian-centric city planning, incentivizing mass transportation practices; and encourages urban actors who care about and make efforts to maintain participatory democracy in the cities.    

To no more about the Idealkent Awards and all the categories visit the website  here .

Read the motivation of some cities involve in the REFELA Campaign here.





EXTENSION- Call for Expressions of Interest: African Cities Development Fund (now Africa Territorial Agency)

Context and justification of the Call for Expression of Interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Presentation of the call for expression of interest

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

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

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

  1. Eligibility

Shall be eligible as founding members of the Territorial Africa Agency:

–           The capital cities of African countries;

–           Rank 2 African cities

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

  1. Constitutive supporting documents of the application for the status of an the  Africa Territorial
    Agency Founding MEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Address for the forwarding of constitutive documents  

All the information mentioned under point 4 must be sent, as soon as possible, and no later than 02 March, 2020 at 17:00 hours UT to :

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa

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

Email: Email:  ; 

Fax: +212 5 37 26 00 60

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

Available in PDF 

The brochure is available

The GOLD V Report is now available

The 5th Report of the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD V), The Localization of the Global Agendas, was presented in Durban at the UCLG World Congress, on November 14 , 2019.

The report is the result of a participatory process which brought together the expertise of researchers from different regions, the work and feedback of all UCLG Regional Sections, Committees and partners, as well as the direct contribution of local and regional governments and their national associations and networks. The Report is the outcome of a collective effort by UCLG and its membership, and it marks a new milestone of collaboration and commitment for our constituency as a whole.

The report showcases local and regional governments’ efforts to achieve the global sustainable agendas, and analyses the evolution of institutional frameworks for local, metropolitan and regional governments in each world region.

The full report (currently available in English only) and the Executive Summaries are now available at the following link.

To consult the Africa chapter of the report, please click here