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

The International Session on Local Leadership Organized by ENDA-Ecopop in partnership with ALGA and CFAD of Tunis

The African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) launched the International Training Session on Local Leadership at the Al Akhawayn University Conference Center on Monday, December 10th, 2018 in Ifrane, Morocco. The launch was created in partnership with ENDA ECOPOP of Senegal, the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy in Africa (OIDP Africa), Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane and UN-Habitat. The 5-days training course took place from December 10th – 15th, 2018, as part of the Local Leadership College’s continuous training offer.

In several African countries, decentralization is going through significant changes with the transfer of state powers and competencies to the local governments. Such processes also encourage the greater empowerment of local governments in the management of their own affairs. It is a question of creating a better response to the requirements of economic, social and environmental development by anchoring local governance as the framework for elaboration and execution of plans and projects of development.

Today, elected officials, local managers and other territorial actors and stakeholders are more than ever, challenged to make local governance an effective development lever at the service of the population and citizens. In order to carry out their mission well, decision-makers and stakeholders in charge of the management of their communities, need to have knowledge of legal instruments and an understanding of their roles and competences, and they also need to count on their intrinsic qualities and their leadership to better understand the various options and political orientations of the State enabling them to translate these into local policies and strategies in areas as diverse as environmental management, care and socio-economic integration of vulnerable groups and precarious persons, organization and management of local public facilities and services, etc.

The Local Leadership Training Session will focus on the mastery and ownership of the 12 key competencies of stakeholders involved in improving local governance, environmental management, provision of basic local public services and local and territorial development, with the operational objectives of supporting participants to develop an action plan for using the skills acquired in their respective municipalities, institutions and countries. The session will be an opportunity to sensitize, train and build the capacity of the beneficiaries of this training with the attributes and skills of leadership, namely representation, local policy making, decision-making, social communication, facilitation, social mobilization, negotiation, financial management, control of local action, exercise of power, management of the local institution and leadership.

The training will be provided, over a period of 5 days, by Mr Mamadou Bachir Kanouté, expert, trainer, Executive Director of Co-Production Space for Popular Offers for Environment and Development in Africa (ENDA-ECOPOP), Organization of the ENDA Third World Network, (ENDA TM) and Coordinator for Africa of the International Observatory of Participatory Democracy (OIDP Africa).

The training kit is divided into lectures, practical exercises and role-plays. Participants will also benefit from support to develop an action plan based on the knowledge acquired in their respective countries.

A sightseeing visit of the city of Fes will be organized at the end of the training on Saturday, December 15 during which the participants will have the opportunity to be received at the Headquarters of the Council of the Region of Fes-Meknes and discover a part of the heritage and culture of the city of Fez.

This training session will include fourteen (14) participants from Burkina Faso, Benin, Madagascar and Morocco.

Africities 8 – The Highlights

An unprecedented participation of 8300 participants represented more than 77 countries, including 53 African countries and nearly 3,000 local elected representatives, mayors and other leaders of local and subnational governments. The Africities Summit 2018 in Marrakech has proven itself to be the most important democratic gathering in Africa.

 The Africities Summit gave a voice to local authorities. Thanks to that recognition, the idea that local Africa will change Africa is making headway’, said Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).

20 years of the Africities Summit was celebrated and highlighted with the presentation of the UCLG Africa anthem, composed by David André, Mayor of the City of Victoria, Seychelles, and Vice President of UCLG Africa.

An opening ceremony marked by the inaugural conference of Professor Felwine Sarr, from the Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis (Senegal) whose subject, “African Cities: signs, lineaments, configuration of possibilities” invites people to consider cities as places for the production of meanings which inform us about our social, political and imaginary reality.

 

The closing ceremony of the Africities 8 Summit was marked by the reading of the Royal Message by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, who, on this occasion, officially launched the pan-African campaign,  African cities without street children.”

The initiative from the Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa, (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Gender Equality Commission, is supported by the National Observatory for the Rights of Children (ONDE) of Morocco. 20 cities in Africa have already subscribed to this campaign, including the city of Rabat, which will serve as the pilot city for the campaign in Morocco. For the implementation of this campaign, three memoranda of understanding have been signed between ONDE and UNICEF in support of this international campaign between ONDE and UCLG Africa. The campaign will be implemented across the continent by UCLG Africa; and between ONDE, the City of Rabat and four ministerial departments of the government for the national campaign in Morocco.

(Attached – ONDE press release, photos and footage available with the MAP press agency – contact: 0021 2661114798)

The political segment of the Summit started on November 23 with a round table on city diplomacy introduced by Denis Coderre, former Mayor of Montreal, Canada, with the participation of panelists including, Her Excellency Catherine Samba-Pandza, former Head of State of the Central African Republic and former Mayor of the city of Bangui.

Several recommendations and proposals emerged from the 160 sessions held across the 5 days under the general theme   “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and sub-national governments of Africa”.  All of the recommendations and proposals were submitted to ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments and development partners for consideration and adoption at the meeting of ministers, the general meeting of UCLG Africa, and the meeting of development partners, which were organized in parallel during the afternoon of November 23. The political segment ended on the morning of November 24, with a tripartite dialogue meeting between ministers, mayors and development partners.

 

UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee held its elections at which The City of Libreville, represented by its Mayor, Mrs. Rose Christiane Ossouka-Raponda was elected as the new President of UCLG Africa for a term of 3 years, which will end at the next general assembly scheduled for 2021. In addition, the city of Bagangte, Cameroon, represented by its Mayor, Celestine Ketcha-Courtès, was re-elected as President of REFELA.

 

Amongst the special events of the Summit, it is worth mentioning the meetings held between the mayors and locally elected officials of Africa and their counterparts in Asia-Pacific, mainly from China and Japan; and the meeting between the mayors and leaders of local and regional governments in Africa and their African American counterparts.  The African American network of mayors announced that, “400 years after crossing the Door of No Return, where the first boat left the shores of Africa bound for the Americas carrying children of Africa, it is now time to consider starting the opposite wave, by opening, at the initiative of the mayors and leaders of the local and regional governments of Africa, the “Door of Return” to the African Americans of the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America and declaring that Africities is the right place to launch this mobilization for the Road of Return.

 

The summary of the sessions and recommendations of the Africities 2018 Summit can be seen on the Summit websitewww.africities.org or you can download it  here .

Three special days were organized during the Summit: Migration Day on November 21; Climate Day on November 22 and Urban Planning Day on November 23.

 The Migration Day recalled the crucial role of local and subnational governments in managing migration; and the urgent need to make them stakeholders in the negotiation of the Global Compact on Migration, which must be concluded at the United Nations Conference on Migration, due to take place between December 8-11, in Marrakesh.

Climate Day emphasized the urgency of involving local and subnational governments in the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and even considering Locally Determined Contributions (LDC’s) if, as is desirable, local and subnational governments plan to participate in the Paris Agreement ambitions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century with respect to the pre-industrial period. In this context, the localization of NDCs is essential and UCLG Africa is asked to develop and implement a capacity-building program for its members, so that they have a climate plan and are able to prepare applications that are eligible for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). UCLG Africa is also asked to broaden the scope of its Climate Task Force to spearhead the climate action of African local governments. A Declaration was adopted at the end of the proceedings of the Climate Day.

The Urban Planning Day focused on urban planning as a basic tool for transitioning to sustainable cities and territories. It reiterated the importance of setting up urban agencies to monitor the dynamics of urbanization and to put in place a framework for dialogue between all actors to define the allocation and policies around the use of urban space in respect of ecological constraints. The day resulted in the signing of eight partnership agreements between 14 African cities in Morocco and their sisters in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Uganda, Tunisia and Cameroon, with the technical support of the Association of Urban Agencies of Morocco, the Moroccan “Al Omrane” Holding, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), and the United Nations Program for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat).

Partnership agreements for urban planning and the establishment of urban agencies have been entered into between: the cities of Dakar  (Senegal) and Rabat (Morocco); Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Casablanca (Morocco); Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Marrakech; Jinja (Uganda) and Essaouira (Morocco); Sousse  (Tunisia) and El Jadida; Rufisque  (Senegal) and Dakhla; and Abomey (Benin) and Al Hoceima.

Another remarkable fact is the launch of the celebration of the African Capitals of Culture, aiming at giving  back to the continent’s cultural and artistic expressions the place and the role they deserve in the building,  integration and unity of Africa. The City of Marrakech has been unanimously designated to be the African Capital of Culture in 2020.

The Summit highlighted two key players, without whom the transition to sustainable cities and territories cannot be envisioned in Africa:  they are women and youth. 25 percent of Summit sessions were dedicated to gender issues, including the fight against violence against women; and the economic empowerment of women.

The Youth Forum  – Twenty young people aged 16 to 35 were selected on the basis of a call for ideas to participate in a Creative Lab on the theme, “Imagine your city and imagine Africa in 2030 and 2063“. These young people were invited to submit their projects to the delegates of the Summit, using the Africities new innovative voting platform, of which three projects would be awarded. The following three projects were the successful recipients of the Creative Lab awards:

First prize: Yvette Ishinwe, from Rwanda, for her project on the use of new technologies for optimal use of drinking water at standpipes (Iriba tap and drink innovation);

Second Prize: Zaheer Allam, from Mauritius, for her smart urban regeneration project;

Third Prize: Oulimata Sourang, from Senegal, for her E-Learning Assistant project.

 

Climate Initiatives Trophies  – A further competition was organized and also decided by the voting of delegates at the Summit: the Climate Initiatives Trophies celebrating cities and territories that have implemented the most remarkable actions in the fight against climate change. These were awarded to three categories of cities and territories.

For the small towns category  (less than 20,000 inhabitants), the winner was the Municipality of Ndiob (Senegal) for the implementation of its “green and resilient commune” project;

For the category of cities and territories of intermediate size (between 20,000 and 200,000 inhabitants), the laureate is the City of Chefchaouen in Morocco, for the realization of its “Energy Info Center”.

For the category of cities and large territories, the laureate is the Tivaouane Departmental Council (Senegal) for the implementation of its project “Preserving a sustainable agricultural environment”.

The Africities Exhibition, which was organized simultaneously, saw the participation of 84 exhibitors, coming from Morocco (39 exhibitors), other regions of Africa (29 exhibitors from 11 countries), Europe (14 exhibitors from 6 countries), from Asia (1 exhibitor from South Korea), and from America (1 exhibitor from Canada).

The Projects and Partnership Exchange Forum  – The Africities Exhibition gave the opportunity to effectively organize 150 B2B appointments out of the 512 requested by the delegates, who came from 44 countries. These B2B appointments led to 129 requests for partnerships, 40 proposed solutions to problems that delegates deemed urgent, and 39 projects identified as needing immediate implementation.

Best Exhibition Stand – As part of the Exhibition, a competition was also organized concerning the best booth. The results of this competition were:

Stands presenting the most innovative offer:

– Ragni SAS – Street lighting (France)

– Anemoi Magnova – Fans for large public spaces (Spain)

Stands with the best design:

– City of Marrakech (Morocco)

– United Cities and Local Governments (Barcelona)

Liveliest Stands:

– National Initiative for Human Development, INDH (Morocco)

– Special Fund for Intermunicipal Intervention and Equipment, FEICOM (Cameroon)

These awards were announced at the awards ceremony during the closing Gala Dinner held on November 24, 2018 at 20:00 in the Menara Gardens in Marrakech.

Delegates paid tribute to King Mohammed VI of Morocco for agreeing to grant his High Patronage to the eighth edition of the Africities Summit and thanked the Government of Morocco, the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils, and the City and administrative authorities of Marrakech who made every effort to ensure that the Africities Summit took place in excellent conditions.

The call was made for the ninth edition of the Africities Summit, scheduled for 2021, to be hosted by Kisumu, Kenya.

See you in Kisumu Kenya for Africities 9 in 2021!

Media Communication  UCLG Africa 
Gaëlle Yomi:       + 212 610 56 71 45:                 gyomi@uclga.org
Claude Lisbonis: + 33 6 20 67 18 66 / WhatsApp:    clc@claudelisbonis.com

 

 

 

Africities 8:  Meeting of mayors – preparation of the African Cities Development Fund – ACDF

Introduced by Parks Tau, President of UCLG, and by Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, the meeting of mayors has made it possible to take stock of the preparatory process for the creation of the African Cities Development Fund – ACDF.  The mayors and presidents of local authorities had decided to do this in Africities 7.

Parks Tau clarified the vision he had introduced in his introductory address of the Africities 8 summit, detailing the reasons and the main steps to establish the fund. The autonomous access of cities to financing is a major challenge for real decentralization.

The 40 participants validated the main conclusions stemming from the work of expert groups and from the meetings with potential partners, including African development banks. These options are   :

–           The choice of an organization that will ensure the control of mayors and presidents of local authorities over the fund and the independence of financial management from any political pressure. This management will be provided by professionals from the banking sector.

–           The importance of pooling resources in all the dimensions of the management of the fund.

–           The high priority given to securing excellent financial credibility, as a condition of access to the financial markets at competitive rates.

–           The need for close cooperation with institutions and programs that support local authorities to improve their financial management.

–           The indispensable support of States to authorize and facilitate the participation of cities and local authorities in the fund: subscription to the capital and then loans.

The exchange of views and ideas made it possible to specify points of attention, to be treated within the framework of the financial, legal and taxation studies which must now be conducted.

The participants validated the roadmap in all its components.

The steering and financing of the stage that will lead to the start of operations within 4 years will be provided by a club of founding cities and local authorities.

19TH SESSION OF THE UCLG AFRICA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IN MARRAKECH

UCLG Africa is holding the 19th session of its Executive Committee on November 18, 2018 from 9:30am at the Sofitel Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. The meeting is organized in collaboration with the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC) and is held as a prelude to the 8th Africities Summit that will take place under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, from November 20-24, 2018 in the city of Marrakech. The theme of the summit is: “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and subnational governments of Africa.

This 19th session of the Executive Committee will focus, among other things, on the financial matters of the organization, including the adoption of the budget for the year 2019 for UCLG Africa and the holding of the elective General Assembly of UCLG Africa, scheduled for November 23, 2018 as part of the Africities 8 Summit.

The meeting will take place in the presence of:

– Mr. Khalid Safir, Wali, Director General of Local Authorities at the Ministry of the Interior,

-Mr. Mohamed Larbi Belcaid, Mayor of Marrakech.

 Mr. Mohammed Boudra, President of the AMPCC;

– Mr. Mpho Parks Tau, President of the World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments    (UCLG) and Vice President of UCLG Africa for the Southern Africa Region;

–  Mrs. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, Mayor of Libreville, UCLG’s Vice-President for Africa;

–  Mr. Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo), Vice President of UCLG Africa for the Central Africa Region;

–  Célestine Ketcha Courtès, President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA);

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

 

The meeting of the Executive Committee will be followed by a meeting of the Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa, on November 18, 2018 at the Sofitel Hotel in Marrakech. The participants in the Pan-African Council meeting will review the report of activities of the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa as well as updates concerning the organization of the 8th Africities 2018 Summit.

As a reminder, UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee is the body in charge of the political leadership of the organization. The Executive Committee is comprised of 16 members, 15 members equally representing each of the 5 regions of the continent, (3 for each of the 5 regions), plus the President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA). UCLG Africa’s Pan-African Council is made up of forty-five (45) active members, nine (9) for each African sub-region.

 

For more information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi:  Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45

Email:  gyomi@uclga.org

Visit our websites:

 

For UCLG Africa: www.uclga.org

For the Africities Summit: www.africities.org

For the Africities Exhibition : www.SalonAfricites2018.com

 

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

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

Press Release 

Rabat, on 24 October 2018,

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

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

Press Notice 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more… 

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

  1. Preamble

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

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

  1. Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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