The first steps in the drafting of the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa”

On Thursday 4 July 2019, the first meeting of the Europe-Africa committee to draft the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa” was held at the Paris City Hall (France).

This 1st meeting is part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” adopted in November 2018 by women mayors and local elected representatives, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, and signed by the Network of Women Elected and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)-Platforma and the World Organization of Local and Regional Governments (UCLG).

The meeting was opened in the presence of Mr. Pierre Aidenbaum,the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Mr. Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, Mrs Dao Macoura Coulibaly, President of REFELA, Mrs Henriette Essame, Vice-President of REFELA for the Central African region, Mrs Irma Juliandres Harilalaina, Vice-President of REFELA for the East African region.

The meeting’s agenda included:

-The presentation of the draft charter development process using a participatory approach,

-Presentation of the questionnaire for the online consultation,

– The presentation of the European Charter;

– A discussion on the draft approach and key questions;

– Adoption of the calendar of upcoming activities;

A brief presentation of the UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

In her speech, Mrs Macoura Dao, President of REFELA, expressed particular interest in seeing the charter adopted at the Durban Congress. “The next important event is the UCLG World Congress in November 2019. We would like to see this Charter finalized by the time this congress is held so that it can be discussed and adopted on this occasion,” she said.

The meeting, moderated by Mr Emil Broberg, President of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and member of the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities, was marked by very relevant exchanges and the sharing of information and proposals that enriched the drafting process of the charter.

The name of the committee has changed to: The Africa-Europe Committee for Consultation and Support to the Charter, has set itself the task of monitoring and supporting the drafting of the Charter; stressing that the Charter must be an African product. The speakers insisted on the fact that the consultation of mayors and elected women and men of African cities and communities should be broadened for their participation in this drafting process and to guarantee, from this stage, better information and communication on the Charter and thus enable it to be better anchored once it has been drafted and adopted.

One of the main recommendations is to take the time necessary for the drafting of the first drafts of this charter by the internal working group of REFELA UCLG Africa and to submit it to committee meetings, or even workshops and events such as the 6th UCLG World Congress for consultation for their enrichment; the important thing is to produce a final version of this charter in line with the expectations of local governments in Africa.

The drafting committee also approved the draft approach for the elaboration of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa”, the online consultation platform and the Committee’s calendar of upcoming activities for the period 2019-2021.

The main steps include:

– The organization of a session during the UCLG World Congress in Durban (11-15 November 2019) by UCLG Africa, in collaboration with CEMR and with the support of UCLG, to present the Pact and the drafting plan of the Charter, and to encourage the emergence of a debate at international level, in particular by convening the participation of other regional sections of UCLG;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by CEMR and UCLG Africa, with the support of UCLG, of the second working meeting of the Drafting Committee and a session during the Europe-Africa Forum to present the Pact and the draft charter for approval (during 2020);

– The finalization of the charter and the production of a strategic plan for information, dissemination and advocacy for the adhesion and signature of the charter;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by UCLG Africa and CEMR, with the support of UCLG, of a presentation, information, dissemination and advocacy session on the Pact, aimed at encouraging adherence to the Charter and launching the process of signing the Charter during the 9th Africities Summit of UCLG Africa in Kenya, (16-20 November 2021).

As a reminder, the elaboration of the charter aims to meet the commitments made by local elected officials at the level of the African continent and at the international level. With regard to : The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2008), the principles and aspiration 6 of the African Union’s Vision 2063, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG5: achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls by 2030; The commitments made by REFELA-UCLG Africa and CEMR with the support of UCLG, to translate the Declaration of the Abidjan Europe-Africa Forum (2017) into action, mainly on gender equality at local level in Africa. One of the conclusions of the Forum was to work to strengthen the role of women in the governance of local and regional authorities in Africa, and to develop an African Local and Regional Authorities Charter for Gender Equality.

“PLATFORMA, a project co-financed by the European Union, is the pan-European coalition of towns and regions – and the associations representing them – active in development cooperation”

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi : Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail:gyomi@uclga.org

African Capitals of Culture: Seminar on “Territorial Action for Effective Decentralization”    

The House of Representatives of the Marrakech Safi Region inaugurated, on 24 June 2019, the seminar “Territorial Action for Effective Decentralization” which brings together, until 30 June, in Marrakech, the African regions partners of the Marrakech Safi Region. On this occasion, Mr Ahmed Akhchichine, President of the Marrakech Safi Region and Mrs Aouatif Berdaï, Vice-President of the Municipality of Marrakech, demonstrated the commitment of the Marrakech Safi Region and the Municipality of Marrakech and affirmed the dynamic that unites them to the organizing committee of the African Capitals of Culture led by UCLG Africa (United Cities and Local Governments of Africa), to make Marrakech 2020 the first African Capital of Culture. The message is strong and clear: Marrakech is at the forefront of the development and strengthening of ties between Africa and Morocco and this ambition is demonstrated in the partnerships and opportunities that Marrakech and its Region can offer to Africa and Morocco.

During a visit to Marrakech City Hall, Mrs. Aouatif Berdai, Vice-President of the Municipality of Marrakech, introduced Marrakech 2020 and called on the delegations present to participate in the programme. During the discussions, a draft cooperation agreement between the Commune of Marrakech and the Commune of Agadez in Niger was put forward. The Municipality of Marrakech and the Region of Marrakech wish to make this Capital Year “a festive year for Africa, Morocco and Marrakech”. It’s in these terms that the President of the Marrakech Safi Region, Mr Ahmed Akhchichine, joins the invitation of the Municipality of Marrakech to ensure that the partner cities and territories of Marrakech and its Region join the Marrakech 2020 process and the African Capitals of Culture “For cities, territories and their civil societies, acting as a network in a continental dynamic, sustainable, inclusive and supportive”.

 

 

 

Press Release-Meetings of Statutory Bodies of UCLG Africa (Cairo, Egypt)

At the invitation of the Ministry of Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) held its first statutory meetings on 17 and 18 June 2019 at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, after the organization’s general assembly held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 23 November 2018.

The statutory meetings of UCLG Africa included the first meeting of the Bureau of Women Elected and Leaders of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa (REFELA); and the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLGA Africa.

These meetings were officially opened by General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, in the presence of General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of the Governorate of Cairo, and Mr Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the North Africa region.

The REFELA Bureau meeting reviewed and adopted the REFELA Action Plan for the period 2019-2021, focusing on its three main campaigns: the African Cities without Children on the Street Campaign; the African Cities with Zero Tolerance to All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls Campaign; and the African Cities Campaign for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The meeting also elected a new President of REFELA in the person of Mrs Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo in Côte d’Ivoire, and Vice-President of REFELA for the West African region. Ms Macoura replaces Ms Célestine KETCHA, who has been appointed Minister of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon. The REFELA Bureau meeting also elected Mrs Mboula, épse Essame Elise Henriette, Mayor of Nkongsamba 3 Municipal District and President of the REFELA National Section in Cameroon, REFELA Vice-President for the Central African region.

The REFELA Bureau then congratulated and installed the REFELA national section in Egypt and its President, Mrs Manal Awad Mikhail, Governor, Governorate of Damietta (Egypt).

The REFELA Bureau also welcomed the proposal to include the members of the REFELA Bureau among the African candidates to be elected to the UCLG World Council at the next UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa; and also to include the REFELA President among the African candidates to sit on the UCLG World Executive Bureau.

At the opening of the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa, the members first received the profession of faith from Mr Léandre Nzue, who, in his capacity as newly elected Mayor of Libreville, was installed as the new President of UCLG Africa for the period 2019 to 2021, and therefore chaired this 20th session of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee examined the organization’s financial reports, including the execution of the budget and the audited accounts for the 2018 financial year. He also invited members to honor their membership dues obligations in order to strengthen the organization and enable it to implement its action plan. At the end of these deliberations, the members of the Executive Committee approved the accounts and discharged the Secretary General for the management of the 2018 financial year.

The members of the Executive Committee then discussed the issue of UCLG Africa’s regional offices. The Secretary General informed that with the establishment of the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) in Cairo, scheduled to open on 19 June 2019, UCLG Africa should have completed the establishment of its regional offices by the end of 2019 as initially planned; except that the Regional Office for the Central African Region, which was supposed to be operational in Yaoundé, Cameroon, since 2015, has still not materialized despite several reminders.

The members of the Executive Committee appreciated Egypt’s offer to host the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) and welcomed the proposal to inaugurate the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) on 19 June 2019.

In order to comply with the initial plan to complete the establishment of the regional offices by the end of 2019, the President proposed that the Executive Committee consider the offer of the city of Libreville to host the Regional Office for Central Africa (CARO). This proposal was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee. The UCLG Africa Regional Office for Central Africa will now be established in Libreville, Gabon, with the responsibility for the Secretary General of UCLG Africa to take the necessary steps with the Gabonese authorities to formalize and implement this decision as soon as possible.

The members of the Executive Committee then discussed two other important issues: first, the organization of the next Africities Summit to be held in 2021 in Kisumu, Kenya; and Africa’s representation in the bodies of the World Organization of UCLG for the period 2020-2022.

Regarding Africities 2021, the Governor of Kisumu County, speaking on behalf of the Kenyan delegation led by the Minister of Devolution, presented the state of preparation of the 9th edition of the Africities Summit. The Committee welcomed the progress made so far in the preparations and the offer made by the President of the AMPCC of Morocco to assist the various Kenyan teams to better prepare for the Summit if they so wish.

With regard to Africa’s representation in UCLG’s World bodies, and in accordance with the requirement that, to be eligible, any list of candidates for UCLG bodies must have at least 30 per cent women, the Executive Committee has nominated 45 candidates from Africa to sit on the UCLG World Council, and 15 candidates from Africa to sit on the UCLG World Executive Board.

The Executive Committee then deliberated on the representation of Africa at the level of the UCLG Presidency, first for the nomination of Africa’s candidate for the post of Vice President Africa of UCLG, and for the merits for Africa to stand for the post of World President of UCLG. This discussion follows the appointment of the current President of UCLG, Mr. Parks Tau as Deputy Minister in the Government of South Africa, which means that he can no longer run for a second term as World President of UCLG. However, the custom observed so far in UCLG management is that each region presides over UCLG for two successive terms. On the basis of the observed track record, the Executive Committee decided that Africa would nominate a candidate for the position of UCLG World President at the next UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa. Consultations will continue between members to agree on the name of the African candidate for the position of Vice-President Africa of UCLG, and on the name of the African candidate for the position of World President of UCLG. These consultations should be completed in the next few weeks and no later than 15 July 2019.

Finally, the members of the Executive Committee welcomed the establishment of the Africa Territorial Agency, a financial institution designed to raise funds on the financial market to direct them towards investments within African cities and territories. In this regard, they encouraged cities and territories to subscribe to the cooperative society created for this purpose, and called on African governments to support this initiative.

The members of the Executive Committee also approved the takeover of the African Capitals of Culture program by UCLG Africa, whose first celebration will e held in Marrakesh in 2020/2021.

The members of the Executive Committee finally agreed that UCLG Africa should be involved in the Door of Our Return initiative launched by the Afro-Descendants of the Americas and asked the Secretary General to take necessary steps tp make this involvement a reality.

Within the framework and following of the meetings of UCLG Africa’s bodiesan international Conference was also organized from 18 to 20 June 2019 at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, under the High Patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, on the theme: “African Cities: Engines of Sustainable Development”. The following collaborated in the organization of this Conference: the Ministry of Local Development of Egypt, UCLG Africa, UN Habitat, and the European Union.

This Conference was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Egypt, Dr. Mostafa Madbouli, and was attended by a large number of Ministers from the Government of Egypt; members of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union (STC 8) comprising African Ministers of Public Service, Urban Development and Housing, Decentralization and Local Governments; members of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa and the REFELA Bureau; representatives of civil society organizations and academia; and representatives of development partners.

Attached are the conclusions of the Conference proceedings presented by the Minister of Local Development of Egypt. The final report of this Conference will be released in due course.

Cairo, 21 June 2019

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa

The conclusions of the work of the Conference available here
PDF version available here

Local Elected Women of Africa in the spotlight in Egypt

The first meeting of the Bureau of the Network of Locally Elected Women and Territorial Leaders of Africa (REFELA), was held on June 17, 2019, in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was officially opened by Mr. Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, in the presence of Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta; Mrs. Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for North Africa; and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

The meeting’s agenda included:

– The adoption of REFELA’s three-year work plan for the period 2019-2021;

– The participation of REFELA members in the UCLG World Congress, to be held from

November 11-15, 2019 in Durban, South Africa;

– The election of the President of REFELA;

– The election of the Vice President of REFELA for the Central Africa Region;

– The installation of the national chapter of REFELA in Egypt.

The REFELA Three-Year Plan for the period 2019-2021 provides for:

– The broadening of the implementation of REFELA national chapters in all African countries.

– The launch of activities of the three campaigns adopted by the Network’s General Assembly

at the Africities Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2018, namely: (1) The

campaign for African Cities without Street Children, sponsored by Princess Lalla Meryem of

Morocco; (2) the campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women

and Girls; and (3) the campaign for African cities in favor of women’s economic

empowerment and female leadership;

– The elaboration of the Charter of Local and Regional Authorities for Gender Equality in

Africa;

  • The mobilization of funding for the implementation of activities provided for REFELA’s Three-Year Plan (2019-2021).

REFELA had 23 national chapters at the close of 2018. The objective is to increase this figure to 36 by the end of 2020 and to have chapters in all African countries by the end of 2021.

In order to comply with the requirements to include at least 30 per cent of women on the lists of candidates for the UCLG World Council, it has been proposed to include the 15 members of the REFELA Executive Board amongst the 45 candidates that Africa intends to present to sit on the UCLG World Council for the period 2020-2022.

In accordance with REFELA’s Internal Regulations, Mrs. Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo in Côte d’Ivoire, Vice President of REFELA for the West African Region, was elected President of REFELA for the period 2019-2021, replacing Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes who became a member of the Government in Cameroon. Mrs. Mboula, wife Essame Elise Henriette, was elected Vice President of REFELA for the Central African Region for the same period.

The REFELA Bureau installed the national chapter of REFELA in Egypt, whose President is Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta.

In her inaugural speech as President of REFELA, Mrs. Dao stated:

“First of all, let me thank the people and authorities of Egypt for the quality of the welcome we have received since our arrival in Cairo. I would particularly like to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Egypt and convey to him the sincere congratulations of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa for his brilliant election as President of the African Union. I would also like to thank the Egyptian government for encouraging and supporting the establishment of a national chapter of REFELA in Egypt (…) I would like to recall that the leitmotif of REFELA is to promote greater participation of women in the governance of local authorities and a better integration of women’s concerns into the policies pursued in our cities and territories (…) The statutes of UCLG Africa stipulate that wherever there is a national association of local authorities, the national chapter of REFELA must be considered as the permanent “Gender Equality” commission of the said national association. The fact that Egypt has accepted the establishment of a national chapter of REFELA reassures us of Egypt’s willingness to take better account of women’s place and concerns in the governance of Egypt’s cities and territories. We would like to congratulate the women leaders and members of the territorial assemblies of Egypt for this noble initiative and assure them of the constant support of the REFELA Executive Board.”

REFELA Egypt was officially installed by the new President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao; Mrs. Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; and Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for North Africa. They congratulated its President, Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta, for the extraordinary work accomplished since the 8th Africities Summit in Marrakech, November 2018, to unite Egyptian women leaders from local authorities within REFELA Egypt.

Dr. Maya Mosi, President of the National Council of Women of Egypt, has made commitments to improve the representation of women on the executives of Egypt’s governorates and in all elected councils of Egyptian cities and local authorities, following the example of other African countries.

To mark the event organized in Cairo, Mrs. Chrystel Limbourg Iwenga, 2nd Deputy Mayor of Libreville in Gabon, President of UCLG Africa, presented a memoire on behalf of all the women mayor leaders and local elected representatives of Africa, to the President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao; Mrs Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; Dr. Maya Mosi, President of the National Council of Women of Egypt, and Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damiette, President of REFELA-Egypt.

 

Download the press release here. 
Read the declaration of Mrs. Dao here.

 

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

Cairo hosts statutory meetings of UCLG Africa and the forum, “African cities driving sustainable development on the continent.”

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), in collaboration with the Minister of Local Development of Egypt and the Governorate of Cairo, are organizing its statutory meetings in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, from June 17-21, 2019

The Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa (REFELA) will meet on June 17, 2019. The meeting will be an opportunity to launch the national chapter of REFELA in Egypt.

On the morning of June 18, 2019, the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa will be held, devoted to approving the organization’s accounts; preparing the 9th edition of the Africites Summit, scheduled for November 16-20, 2021 in Kisumu, Kenya; and organizing Africa’s participation in the UCLG World Congress, scheduled for November 11-15, 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

On the afternoon of June 18, 2019, a strategic meeting of UCLG Africa’s members from the North African Region is planned to define their priorities for action and the dynamics of setting up national associations of local authorities in countries that do not yet have them. There will also be a meeting of the members of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union on the Ministers of Public Service, Urban Development and Housing, Territorial Communities and Decentralization, which will be held at the invitation of the Minister of Local Development of Egypt.

On June 19 and 20, 2019, a conference will be held under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Egypt on the theme, “African Cities as Drivers of Sustainable Development.” This conference will be officially opened by His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Egyptian Government, Dr. Mostafa Madbouli and will be attended by members of the government, leaders of African local authorities and representatives of technical and financial partners.

The opening ceremony of the conference will be marked by the official signing of the Headquarters Agreement for the hosting of the UCLG Africa Regional Office for North Africa (NARO) in Cairo, Egypt, followed by the inauguration of the office on Friday, June 21, 2019.

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 umbrella organization that represents the local authorities of Africa. UCLG Africa has 47 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

Dowload the press release here.

 

 

Celebration of International Public Service Day in Ifrane : 3rd edition of the FAMI

From June 10 to June 14, 2019 in Ifrane (Morocco), the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the Regional Fez-Meknes Council and the Al Alkhawayn University of Ifrane, will organize the 3rd edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes, targeting local and subnational governments, (FAMI).

The third edition of the Forum is in celebration of the International Public Service Day (decided by the UN General Assembly to take place on June 23rd annually) and is also a part of the implementation of the U.N. Resolution No. 72/235, dated December 20th, 2017 on Human Resources Development, which states, “The development of Human Resources is the keystone of economic, social and environmental development … Health and education are at the heart of the development of human resources.”

The Forum has the support of the Interior Ministry of Morocco (Directorate General of Local Governments), the Ministry Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the Reform of the Administration and of Public Service, the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM), the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), the Council of the Fez-Meknes Region and the Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane. The theme for 2019 is, “The financing of learning, training and capacity building of local authorities and the staff of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa.

The question of means and resources remains a big challenge, if not a real obstacle, for the upgrading of the local public administration, for the modernization of the Management of Human Resources of the local and subnational governments, and the learning, training and capacity building of the Human Capital of these entities, whether local elected officials / elected officials or the staff of the local and subnational governments in Africa. This finding is apparent from a multitude of reports and studies, including the 1st Report on the state of the Human Resources of African Local & Subnational Governments (2018 edition) of UCLG Africa’s Human Resources Observatory of African Local and Subnational Governments. Indeed, local governments in Africa are still finding it very difficult to attract and retain human resources and talent in sufficient quantity and quality. Studies have shown that local and subnational governments operate with less than half of the workforce they need to be successful. The budget allocated, in general, to human resources management (motivation mechanisms including salaries, training budget, acquisition of modern tools for career management, including the computerization of services and procedures, etc.) is below the needs of local and subnational governments and below the ambitions of a successful territorial public administration. The central governments, as well as local administrations themselves, are therefore required to acquire the means to actually invest in human capital at the local level.”

With this in mind, the 3 rd edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting local and subnational governments, is intended to be a forum for the discussion of issues of funding for apprenticeships, training and capacity building and targeting local and subnational governments in Africa, in order to present successful models that exist around the world and to propose innovative and sustainable mechanisms for the anchoring of decentralization in Africa. The forum will also provide a space for awareness-raising, training and capacity building on the state of implementation of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the Global Development Agendas (Agenda 2030 relating to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, the Climate Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the African and international conventions on the prevention and fight against corruption).

Representatives of central governments, local and subnational governments, international organizations, territorial managers, representatives of training institutions, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society, will meet over 5 days to discuss concrete alternatives to providing a financing model adapted to the African environment and to get updates concerning the implementation of African and global commitments.

The official opening of the forum will see the participation of:

Mr. Mohand Laenser, President of the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM), President of the Regional Council of Fez-Meknes;

– Representatives of the governments of the Kingdom of Morocco;

– Representatives of local and subnational governments of Morocco.

Mr. Driss Ouaouicha, President of Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane;

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

The forum will also serve as a framework for the holding of the 4th Meeting of the Academic Board of UCLG Africa’s African Local Government Academy (ALGA), which will be marked by a peer review between the African institutes of ALGA, a presentation of the balance of the Academy’s activities, as well as strategic orientations for the future.

The national and international media, based in Morocco, are invited to cover the opening ceremony on June 10, 2019 at the Al Akhawayn University Campus in Ifrane (Building 4, Auditorium).

 

For more information:

Consult the forum website: http://www.aui.ma/algafami3/index.html

Please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45

 

email: gyomi@uclga.org

About:

UCLG Africa and ALGA: United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), is the umbrella organization and the united voice that ensures the representation of local authorities in Africa. UCLG Africa brings together more than 350 million African citizens, more than 40 national associations and more than 2,000 cities.

Promoting decentralization in Africa and within the local and subnational governments of Africa as autonomous and distinct spheres of government, and also contributing to the unity of the African continent, thanks to the dynamism of local authorities, are amongst the main missions of UCLG Africa.www.uclga.org 

Created in 2009 and operational from 2016, the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) is a subsidiary body of UCLG Africa, whose main mission is to promote quality standards in terms of training and capacity building, targeting local and subnational governments to invest in the human capital of these entities and to anchor efficiency and professionalism at the territorial level in Africa.

THE FEZ-MEKNES REGIONAL COUNCIL: The Fez-Meknes Regional Council is the deliberating assembly of the region elected through direct universal suffrage by the voters of the region. Like other local and subnational governments in Morocco, its members are elected for a six-year term. Regional activities are carried out under the control of the “Wali” (“head governor”) of the region, representing the central power. As regards the areas of competence, and according to Article 140 of the Moroccan Constitution, the local and subnational governments have their own competences, as well as competences shared with the central government and those, which are transferable to them by the latter, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle. http://www.region-fes-meknes.ma

AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY: The Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane, created in 1993, is an independent, public, mixed and non-profit, Moroccan institution engaged in the training of future leaders-citizens of Morocco and the world through an educational program in the field of liberal arts with an international calling, taught in English and based on the American system. The university showcases Morocco and associates the world with cutting-edge teaching and research programs, including continuous education for executives. The University adheres to the highest academic and ethical standards and promotes equity and social responsibility. www.aui.ma

Daowload the Press Release. 

African Development Bank hosts first-ever pan-African dialogue on achieving climate change goals for adaptation and mitigation

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire 15 May, 2019 – While Africa enjoys unprecedented economic development and strong demographic and urban growth, large parts of the continent are also highly vulnerable and already face the dramatic consequences of climate change. Local governments, civil society and the youth are getting increasingly vocal, asking more commitment at all levels to fight climate change. This makes Africa a key player in the global challenge to meet goals set in the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to adapt to climate change. Across the region, cities and local authorities are moving forward.

The first-ever conference for exchange and cooperation between national and local authorities in Africa to address climate issues and support decentralization territorial approach of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), kicked off today in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Ministers, mayors and heads of African municipalities will explore opportunities for cooperation and mutual assistance in a “Structured Dialogue” conference convened by the Climate Task Force of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) in partnership with the European Commission and the African Development Bank.

The two-day meeting from May 15 to 16, 2019 held at the Bank’s headquarters brought together presidents of local government associations and technical and financial partners.

“The African Development Bank is committed to assisting African countries to implement their NDCs through the Africa NDC Hub,” Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth of the African Development Bank said.” We are delighted to host this conference that brings together key players at the central and sub-national levels to agree on decentralization territorial approach of the implementation of the NDCs.”

In Africa, the European Commission with the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative (CoMSSA) and the  Clima-Med project) support African Cities in their efforts to plan and implement sustainable energy and climate action plans and regional activities in line with the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.   The UCLG Africa Climate Task Force brings together key partners, including some involved in the Global Covenant of Mayors, and with technical support from ICLEI Africa, who are joining forces with the African Development Bank to step up their climate support for cities in Africa. The first Structured Dialogue will explore concrete opportunities to enhance multi-level governance, with a specific focus on inclusive and participatory development for African countries, cities and regions to manage the risks of a changing climate while unlocking new investment opportunities.

Recognizing that Climate Change is a major threat to Africa’s efforts to meet all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the importance of aligning the NDCs with the broader national development agenda, the European Commission is increasing its efforts to support partner countries in mainstreaming climate change considerations and NDCs into all their policies and plans. Through the EU-funded Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) cities and municipalities receive technical support to develop Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAPs) as well as direct financial support to implement actions at local level. With additional EUR 25 million the third phase of the CoMSSA aims to scale-up the initiative’s impact by expanding and sustaining the network and reaching a greater number of beneficiaries, bridging the gap to finance investments and fostering coordination. SEACAPs will be an instrumental tool to the decentralization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

At this occasion, the Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, a signatory of the CoMSSA has been appointed to represent cities participating in the regional covenant for Sub-Saharan Africa on the GCoM Board. This is a recognition of the involvement of African cities in the global fight against climate change and in promoting collaboration on research, innovation and investment between local governments, national governments, academia and private sector through the Global Covenant of Mayors and regionally through the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It is a real honour to join the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors and to sit with peers from across the world. The direct link that we, mayors, have with our citizens and the impact cities can have on people’s daily life make it one of the most relevant levels of action to fight climate change,” said Mayor Sowah of Accra.  “What makes the difference is the vision that we carry as Mayors, but also the support and collaboration that cities and municipalities can contribute to discussions like the Structured Dialogue with the AfDB. It is at the heart of climate action and we should endeavour to amplify it in Abidjan and beyond, to the whole Sub-Saharan Africa region,” he added.

Media Contacts:

African Development Bank, Amba Mpoke-Bigg, Communication and External Relations Department, email: a.mpoke-bigg@afdb.org, tel: +225 57 25 77 00

UCLG Africa, Em Ekong, Communications Director, email: eekong@uclga.org, tel: +44 7801 701 675

Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMSSA): Jude Fuhnwi, Communication officer, communication@comssa.org; Tel: +233 544506505

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy: Brett Kobie, Special Advisor for Communications, email: bkobie@globalcovenantofmayors.org, tel: +32 476 97 46 30

Download the press release here.

African local governments commit to preserving the continent’s cultural heritage

On April 18 and 19, 2019 in Rabat (Morocco), the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) and the city of Rabat, celebrated the International Day of Monuments and Sites of the World Cultural Heritage.

Two activities punctuated this celebration, namely: the 2nd International Conference under the theme: ” Role and Responsibility of Local and Subnational Governments in the Preservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage,” held on April 18, 2019 at ISESCO Headquarters and the meeting on the presentation of strategies of the city of Rabat in terms of protection and valorization of Cultural Heritage, organized on April 19, 2019 at the Headquarters of the Communal Council for the city of Rabat.

These actions were organized in partnership and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of National Spatial Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, ICOMOS-Morocco, UNESCO and the Foundation Romualdo Del Bianco (Italy).

At the conference’s opening session, addresses were delivered by Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of ISESCO, read out on his behalf by Dr Amina Al Hajri, Deputy Director General; Mr Mohamed El Aaraj, Minister of Culture and Communication of the Kingdom of Morocco, delivered on his behalf by the General Secretary of the Ministry; Ms Golda El Khouri, Director of the UNESCO Office in Rabat; the Representative of UN-Women Multi-Country Office for the Maghreb; Mr Mohamed Saddiki, Mayor of Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco; and Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

The Mayor of Rabat expressed his solidarity with the city of Paris following the recent fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as is the case for the 9 heritage sites of the city of Rabat.

In his address, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa emphasized that the organization of this second international conference testified to the, “common will to see the theme of tangible and intangible heritage included in local development policies. Our cultural heritage reflects the identity of our territory and connects the population to its past. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 presents an Africa with a common heritage. The tangible and intangible heritage constitutes the potential of any territory and any population. Only then can we achieve target 4 of SDG 11 that calls on strengthening efforts to protect and preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage.” He concluded by stating that culture is the first thing that people start their lives with and political authorities were wrong not to put culture at the heart of development policies.

A hundred participants from 20 countries were treated to an inaugural conference on the “Life beyond tourism” movement.  They then continued with this theme in plenary sessions where they looked at the issue of cultural heritage at the local level.

Mr. Paolo Del Bianco, President of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, presented the vision of the “Life beyond tourism” concept, which aims to ensure that tourism triggers a real synergy in promoting historical heritage and is a motor for intercultural exchange. Local and subnational governments have the opportunity to train their staff in this concept through the training of trainers, organized annually by the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation in partnership with the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa.

Culture, the 4th pillar of sustainable development

The first plenary session focused on, “Protecting and Promoting Cultural Heritage: a multi-stakeholder and multi-level issue of governance.” The session was chaired by, Mr. Majid Batambuze, President of the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU) and Mayor of Jinja.

The presentation of the results and recommendations of the World 2016 UNESCO report on “Culture and sustainable urban development”, was made by Mr. Karim Hendili, Culture Program Specialist at the Multi-country Office of UNESCO. He welcomed the positioning of the global organization of local governments, UCLG, which has made culture the fourth pillar of sustainable development. The report shows that very few countries have legislation on the management of urban heritage.

This session was also marked by the presentation of the program for the sustainable use of the ksours (hamlets only built with clay, without lime for binding) and kasbahs (citadels of Berber architecture) as a pillar for the safeguarding of a threatened national heritage in Morocco. The country has nearly 4,000 kasbahs dating back to the 6th century of which, only one quarter is used. This program launched by the Moroccan government aims first and foremost at improving the living conditions of the population of these sites which has about 1 million inhabitants. The program also aims at providing Morocco with an integrated strategy for the promotion of the ksours and kasbahs by 2050.

The sharing of experiences from other African countries and the Arab world fueled the debates, particularly during the second session, which focused on “Protecting and valuing the cultural heritage at the local level: Sharing African local best practices.” This is the case, for example, of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso where the celebration of funerals is an important part of people’s lives and funeral ceremonies are marked by the wearing of traditional masks. These masks are assets for tourism and the municipality plans to develop exhibitions in the airport of the cultural capital of Burkina. In Tunisia, the city of La Goulette is revitalizing its main cultural events after years of lethargy following the revolution of 2011. This is particularly the case for the celebration of Victory Day every June 1, in the city where Habib Bourguiba, the first President of the Tunisian Republic, made his triumphant entry;;of the Fish Festival, which will resume (after 8 years absence); and of Madonna Day, every August 15.

The various presentations made it possible to see the richness of the Cultural Heritage in Africa and in the Arab-Muslim world with the cases of the Commune of Abobo in Côte d’Ivoire, the City of Bamako in Mali, the City of Lagos in Nigeria, and the cities of El Jadida, Azemmour and Marrakech in Morocco.

 

Recommendations

Presentations and discussions also made it possible to reveal the state of general degradation and peril that characterizes cultural heritage in Africa. Participants made the following key recommendations:

– The need to put in place mechanisms to monitor the implementation of recommendations made at the level of international organizations, such as UNESCO and ISESCO;

– The need to create frameworks like this conference for a better sharing of expertise and experiences between countries and between local authorities in Africa and in the Arab world ;

– The need to maintain strong advocacy with the states to strengthen the role and skills of local and subnational governments in the management of culture and heritage;

– Promotion of the Agenda 21 for Culture in local and subnational governments;

– Include training and capacity building in priority actions to address key challenges;

– Give preference to the use of local expertise to keep the authenticity of the works that have been produced;

– Integrate the importance of culture into educational programs;

– Strengthen the role of the media in promoting culture;

– The creation of traditional arts schools to preserve and transmit local traditional knowledge.

The second day of the meeting allowed the Rabat City Council to present its strategies for the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage. Attending the meeting, Mrs. Fatna El Khiel, State Secretary at the Ministry of Planning of the National Territory, welcomed the organization of this second edition of the international conference on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Monuments and Sites of World Cultural Heritage. The State Secretary also called for the sustainability of the initiative.  We hope that this conference will become an annual meeting gathering the African cities and the Arab world around the sharing of experience. I hope that next year we shall be able to organize this ceremony in one of the kasbah in the process of being renovated to show what the Ministry of Planning of the National territory is doing. ”

The participants then visited six places of the heritage of the city of Rabat: the Oudayas, the Old Medina, the Chellah, the Bouregreg Marina, and Avenue Mohammed V.

Photos Album available here. 

Download the press release. 

Concept note. 

Agenda.

 

About :

ISESCO : The Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) was established in May 1979 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Its headquarters are based in Rabat (Morocco). Website : http://www.isesco.org.ma

UCLG Africa : is the umbrella organization of the local governments of Africa whose founding congress took place in the city of Tshwane, South Africa, in May 2005. UCLG Africa has its headquarters in the city of Rabat (Morocco) since January 2008. It is the African chapter of the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Websitewww.uclga.org

 

2nd International Conference on the “Role and responsibility of Local and Subnational Governments for the Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural Heritage”

The celebration of the International Day of Monuments and Sites for World Cultural Heritage will take place on April 18, 2019. United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA), the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the City of Rabat, in partnership and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of National Spatial Planning, Town Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, ICOMOS-Morocco, UNESCO and the Italian Foundation Romualdo Del Bianco, will organize the 2nd International Conference under the theme: “The Role and Responsibility of Local and Subnational Governments in the Preservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage.”

The celebration will take place over two days with Thursday April 18, 2019, to be held at the ISESCO Headquarters and Friday, April 19, 2019 to be held at the Headquarters of the City Council of Rabat (Morocco).

The organization of this 2nd International Conference is supported by ISESCO’s proclamation that 2019 is the “Year of Heritage in the Islamic World.”

The theme, ” The role and responsibility of local and subnational governments in the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage,” will be a longstanding one. In the wake of the 2018 Conference, which focused on “Protecting Cultural Heritage through Participatory and Inclusive Governance” this is in support of the implementation of Target 11.4 of SDG 11 (Strengthen efforts to protect and preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”  Local and subnational governments have become key players in this field, because of the roles and responsibilities that are transferred to them by the national governments, and the preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage is part of a context that is becoming increasingly multi-actor with multi-levels of governance.

The main goal of the conference is to bring to the table all the actors and stakeholders concerned or involved in the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage and to create a roadmap allowing each actor and each stakeholder to grasp the importance of its role and the extent of its responsibilities throughout the chain of custody and enhancement of cultural heritage.

Cultural Heritage constitutes a fundamental lever of human life which participates not only in the promotion of peace, balance, continuity and harmony in human societies, but, when it is well protected and well valued, it is also a lever for promoting sustained, shared and sustainable economic growth, Sustainable Development Goal # 8, whose Target 8.9 aims to, “develop and implement policies to develop sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products,” by 2030.

The opening of the conference will be officially made by representatives of ISESCO; the Ministry of Culture and Communication; UN-Women; ICOMOS-Morocco; the Communal Council of Rabat; and UCLG Africa.

More than one hundred participants are expected at this important meeting, including: representatives of international organizations (UNESCO, ISESCO, ICOMOS), the ministerial departments responsible and/or involved in the governance and management of Cultural Heritage, Associations of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa and the Arab and Muslim World, as well as components of Civil Society and other participants.

The Conference will be an opportunity to highlight the best practice of some African cities in the protection and promotion of their Cultural Heritage, including: Bobo-Dioulasso Town, Burkina Faso, Praia Town (Cabo Verde), the Commune of Abobo (Côte d’Ivoire), the City of Bamako (Mali), the cities of El Jadida, Azemmour and Marrakech, (Morocco), Cities of Mauritania, the City of Lagos (Nigeria) and the City of La Goulette, Tunisia. The Conference will also be marked by the presentation of the experiences of the Arab world, including Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Mauritania.

Participants will address the theme from 5 main perspectives:

1) What is the context and what are the current challenges of preserving, protecting and enhancing Cultural Heritage?

2) What is the mapping for the main actors and stakeholders in the dynamics of preservation, protection and enhancement of cultural heritage?

3) What are the roles and responsibilities of local and subnational governments in the management, preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage?

4) What tools and strategies exist for local and regional authorities for the management, preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage?

5) What are the main pillars for a possible roadmap targeting the local level?

The national and international media based in Morocco are invited to cover the proceedings of the International Conference on Thursday, April 18, 2019   from 09:00 am   at the ISESCO Headquarters (Avenue des FAR, Hay Ryad – Madinat Al Irfane) and Friday, April 19, 2019 at 9:00 am at the Headquarters of the Municipal Council of the City of Rabat, Avenue Mohamed Belhassan El Ouazzani, Takkadoum.

Participants will finally have the opportunity to visit the jewels of the City of Rabat, a city that has made Cultural Heritage a strategic axis and a development lever for its progress and sustainable development.

About:

ISESCO: The Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) was established in May 1979 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Its headquarters are based in Rabat (Morocco). Websitehttp://www.isesco.org.ma

UCLG Africa: is the umbrella organization of the local governments of Africa whose founding congress took place in the city of Tshwane, South Africa, in May 2005. UCLG Africa has had its headquarters in the city of Rabat (Morocco) since January 2008. It is the African chapter of the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Websitewww.uclga.org

 

For more information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45

e-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

The Press release is available here in PDF.

UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force Cements Partnerships at Africa Climate Week

ACCRA, Ghana. 18 March marked the start of structured dialogue around Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at Africa Climate Week hosted by the Ghana Government. Delegates from all over the world gathered in Accra to, “discuss climate change actions and to strengthen stakeholders’ engagement in key sectors including energy, agriculture and human settlements. This very important event highlights Africa’s commitment to the implementation of NDCs in the lead up to the United Nations Summit for Climate in New York later in the year. The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s (UCLG Africa) Climate Task Force are playing a critical role during Africa Climate Week where UNFCCC asked the Task Force to co-ordinate and lead on Policy Block 2 promoting Cities and Local Action. In this context the structure is a perfect platform of exchange on the common challenges and opportunities faced by all African stakeholders. Building strong strategic partnerships is at the heart of The Climate Task Force, that also hosts the Covenant of Mayors for Sub Sahara Africa’s (CoM SSA) ‘Help Desk’ based in UCLG Africa’s Regional Office in Accra. With the recent appointment of the Mayor of Accra on to the Executive Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Africa Climate Week provides a great opportunity to cement Accra as a strategic climate hub and bring cities and local governments into the process of the Paris Agreement.

Day 2 – Tuesday, 19 March saw the launch of a new strategic partnership agreement between ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa (ICLEI Africa), and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), where they cemented their partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement at the ‘Pitch Hub’, during the United Nations Climate Week in Accra, Ghana. The Memorandum of Agreement strengthens an existing collaboration to accelerate the implementation of global and African development goals at subnational level in Africa. This new partnership is fundamental within the Framework of the UCLG Africa Climate Task Force and brings together all interested parties to strengthen and empower subnational and local governments to play a key role in the climate change and sustainability agenda. UCLG Africa providing political advocacy and the voice of Local Africa which is backed by the technical support of ICLEI – Africa.

The collaboration between ICLEI Africa and UCLG Africa will come on the heels of a side event at the Climate Week, led by the UCLG Africa Climate Task Force, to facilitate an agreement between states and local authorities for the territorialization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). On Thursday 21st March in Committee Room 1 a session, led by the Secretary General Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, will facilitate a roundtable discussion and a Davos style structured dialogue with Ministers and Mayors including the Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister For Local Government & Rural Development of GHANA; and Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra. Partners, CoM SSA and ICLEI Africa, will illustrate how African Mayors can properly understand their roles and responsibilities in taking action on climate change issues, as well as how to access technical support for the development of climate actions at a local level. Such robust partnerships within countries and internationally also provides a mechanism for stakeholders to share experiences and data on climate change issues and action in Africa. This session will be Followed by a Press Briefing on Cities and Local Action at 13.30 – 14.00 with the Secretary General, UCLG Africa Mr Elong-Mbassi, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Mayor of Accra, in Committee Room 1.

This bold step to deepen the existing partnership between UCLG Africa and ICLEI Africa, in further support of local action to implement the NDCs, strongly resonates with the strategy and mandate of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa that provides much needed access to practical support for cities across the continent.

Media Contacts:

For further information, please contact:

Em Ekong:

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa)

Tel: + 44 7801 701 675 or +233 50 933 3000

Email: eekong@uclga.org

Click here to download the Press Release