Interview with the Mayor of Boumalne Dades, Mr. Mohamed Kacha

The valley of Dades: A great tourism potential and climate challenges

Interview with the Mayor of Boumalne Dades, Mr. Mohamed Kacha.

Interview by Mariem Berdouzi

The Dades Valley is a popular tourist destination. The Oued of Dades, which irrigates its desert valley and forms oases, is located between the Sarho jbel and the High Atlas Mountains.

Also called the valley of roses, it owes its green hues to the many market gardens.

Its waters cross the famous Dades Gorges, while its roads wind through the foothills of the High Atlas.

It is clear that a great tourist potential is there, and the persons in charge as well as the inhabitants are trying to maximize its value. To learn more, we interviewed Mr. Mohamed Kacha, the Mayor of the city of Boumalne Dades.

Can you introduce your town Boumalne Dades?

The territorial municipality of Boumalne Dades, is located in Morocco, particularly in the region of Draa-Tafilalt, in the Province of Tinghir. It was created in 1992 by splitting the rural commune of Boumalne Dades, which dates from the first communal division in 1960, into an urban commune “Boumalne Dades” and a rural commune “Ait youl”. It covers an area of 76km2 and is situated at an altitude of 1600m.

Administratively, it is part of the Pachalik of Boumalne, Province of Ouarzazate, until 2009, the date of the creation of the Province of Tinghir.

The population of the territorial commune of Boumalne Dades reached 12328 inhabitants in 2014. Since 1994, it has experienced a moderate demographic growth, and the population is characterized by the relative importance of the active class, the 15-59 years represent 60% of the population, while the over 60 years represent only 7.2%. This population is distributed in a balanced way between men and women with a female rate of 51%.


The Dades Valley has a considerable touristic potential, can you tell us more about it?

The valley of Dades, with its exceptional landscapes, encourages tourists to come visit. Indeed, it is none other than the famous road of a thousand kasbahs in Morocco. It is on 170 km of landscape and it presents itself with notably the marvelous picture offered by the cliffs of ochre colors, the red and burned grounds.

The local cultural and natural heritage is very rich and diversified but not much developed for the sector of tourism: captivating landscapes, varied folklore, historical monuments, irrigated agriculture on developed plots, pastoralism, earthen architecture, intangible heritage.

As a matter of fact, these tourism potentialities remain undeveloped and can be developed and exploited, but this important historical, cultural and architectural heritage can be an asset for the area if it is integrated into new development concepts, especially tourism, by creating the necessary infrastructure that is also adapted to the arid oasis context.

Images taken by : واحة دادس الكبرى

Can you describe the expected impacts?

The tourism potential as a factor of local development is on one hand a source of economic growth, and on the other hand a mean of reducing poverty. In fact, this potential allows the creation of employment, so that it allows people to leave the isolation, and thus to have access to a wage income. This plays a very important role in the economic development of this region.


What place does the Dades Valley occupy in the national and international tourist landscape? 

The Dades Valley is endowed with several touristic assets, namely the Dades gorges, the valley of roses but also its original landscapes and a remarkable earthen architecture. This natural beauty attracts and welcomes each year a significant number of national and international tourists. In addition, the majority of the tourists stop by to make a tour of the stores and buy local products, like products made with rose, as well as paintings of the valley, folkloric clothes and traditional dishes, which are very appreciated by tourists; moreover, they are a source of income for the valley.


How does this improve the employability of young people or create long-term employment?

Within the framework of the national strategy of the social and solidarity-based economy, Morocco has encouraged all economic initiatives seeking to create employment for young people; indeed, most young people have designed cooperatives and associations. They are responsible for the production of local products and their marketing. Thus jobs will be created.


How does the city plan to share its experience with the rest of Africa?

We have a lot to share on climate change and the different steps to ensure the sustainable development of the valley, as it has an arid climate and is characterized by the scarcity of resources. The local actors have decided to encourage the creation of small production units of local products instead of thinking of setting up large factories.


Do you have a specific message at the approach of the Africities 9 Summit in Kisumu, that will be held from May 17 to 21, 2022?

Morocco is a calm, peaceful and politically stable country. It is experiencing a significant development in terms of basic infrastructure that attracts investors. It is also a country of tradition, where modernity is combined with its past. The way of life and the social organization remain linked to the habits and customs. Thus, the change of scenery will always be available for tourists. Do not miss the opportunity to visit us and discover the beauty of Morocco! You’ll always be welcomed here, anywhere and anytime!


Partnership between UCLG Africa and 01Talent Africa: For the involvement of African local and regional authorities in speeding up the digital transformation process (PRESS RELEASE)

Rabat, Morocco, September 22nd, 2021

The socio-economic development of the continent will be local, or it will not be.
It will also be digital, or it will not be.

If this double conviction was still the prerogative of a few players 18 months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world that local governments and the digital transition are now a necessary condition for development, cohesion, and social peace.

To permanently anchor African local governments and the continent as a whole in the digital world and reduce the digital divide that has widened over the years, the pan-African organization of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and 01Talent Africa signed on May 30, 2021 an innovative and ambitious strategic cooperation and partnership agreement, based on both the power of digital education and the extraordinary potential of the talents of African youth.

The UCLG Africa – 01Talent partnership aims to train more than 500,000 talents on the continent free of charge and according to the best global standards over the next 10 years. It provides a clear response to Africa’s most precious resource, an ever-growing, creative, and dynamic youth and offers a promise of social and economic integration through the creation of 01Talent Africa / UCLG Africa collective intelligence zones: the Zones01.

The continent’s first Zone01 will be inaugurated in Praia in Cabo Verde in early 2022 and will host 300 young talents from Cabo Verde and 26 other African partner countries. These talents will be selected solely on the basis of their potential and motivation without any form of discrimination at entry. They will follow an innovative curriculum based on a “peer to peer” and gamified pedagogy that relies on 01Edu, the learning platform developed by Nicolas Sadirac and his team. Training in digital programming and coding professions will take place over 24 months. At the end of this period, the selected talents will be employed and paid by Zone01 Cabo Verde, in partnership with the leading companies of the local and international networks of 01 Talent.
Within the next 18 months, the UCLG Africa / 01Talent Africa partnership aims to set up the first 5 regional collective intelligence zones on the continent: North Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa. The choice of their location will be made on a voluntary basis according to the “first come, first served” principle.


Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa):

“Young people are Africa’s strength. They have to be its luck too. This has proven to be true in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also true for the conversion of institutions and organizations to digital that the pandemic has helped popularize. This conversion gives young people new employment opportunity and the space to exercise their creativity. The partnership between UCLG Africa and 01 Talent offers a unique chance to African local authorities to contribute to the training of young people in the digital field and to speed up their entry into digital culture as well as that of companies operating in their territories.”

Deror Sultan, CEO and cofounder of 01 Talent:

“Youth is a priority for Africa, its most precious human capital. People aged under 25 will represent more than half of the African population in 2050. By committing ourselves to this partnership with UCLG Africa, we wish to give them hope and release their creative potential so that they contribute to innovative and digital transformation of the African continent.”

For more information on the initiative, please contact:

UCLG Africa
Christophe Lumsden
Head of Strategy & Partnerships
+212 661 082 281

01Talent Africa
David Sultan
Global COO
+ 33 6 19 66 48 92

Press contact:

UCLG Africa
Gaelle Yomi
+212 06 10 56 71 45

01Talent Africa
Adama Ba Gueye
+221 70 603 38 03

About UCLG Africa
United Cities and Local Governments of Africa is the umbrella organization and the united voice ensuring the representation of local authorities from across the African continent. It was born from the merger of the three pre-existing associations of local governments: the African Union of Local Authorities (AULA), the Union of African Cities (UVA) and the African chapter of the Portuguese-speaking organization of local authorities, União das Cidades Capitais Luso-Afro-Américo-Asiáticas (UCCLA). The founding congress of the organization was held in May 2005 in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. UCLG Africa brings together 51 national associations of local authorities from all regions of Africa, as well as 2,000 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. UCLG Africa represents more than 500 million African citizens. Its headquarters are based in Rabat, capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, where it enjoys diplomatic status as a Pan-African International Organization. It also has regional offices on the continent. UCLG Africa’s vision is to build African unity and drive Africa’s development from the bottom up.

About 01Talent Africa
01Talent Africa is the pan-African talent agency of the 01Talent International group which aims to identify, develop and connect to the professional world 1 million high-level developers in the world by 2035 thanks to the combination of a proven educational model in more than 40 countries and a sustainable and exponential economic model.
01Talent Africa is based on 01Edu, the ultimate upgrade of the “peer to peer” pedagogical approach (without a teacher) and gamified and developed by Nicolas Sadirac and his team, which is a learning platform intended to respond to the lack of growing number of IT developers.
This educational model which develops the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and collective intelligence has already been deployed by our co-founder Nicolas Sadirac and his Alumni in more than 40 countries around the world, thus training more than 100,000 Talents in the last 10 years.

REFELA: Ten years is worth celebrating !

From March 08 to March 11, 2021, the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Created in Tangier (Morocco) in 2011, REFELA has since come a long way.

On March 8, in addition to the celebration of International Women’s Day, REFELA, which is the Standing Committee of UCLG Africa for Gender Equality, will take the time to celebrate on the one hand this important women’s day but also to celebrate until March 11 its 10 years of presence within the African municipal movement.

Thus on Monday March 8, 2021, a webinar will be held at the level of UCLG Africa and at the level of each of the National Chapters of REFELA in their respective countries. In a second phase, from March 11, a second webinar will be held by REFELA with all REFELA-Country Chapters under the aegis of the President of REFELA, Ms. DAO Macoura COULIBALY.

The meetings of March 8 will be devoted to the theme chosen by the UN for the celebration of the International Women’s Day: ” Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

From March 09 to March 11, festivities will be held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of REFELA. This will be the opportunity to review the network’s support for the promotion of female leadership and gender equality in local authorities in Africa, but also to honor the various presidents who have taken turns at the head of the network: Ms. Milouda Hazib (Morocco), Ms. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick (Mauritania), Ms. Maria Elena Langa (Mozambique), Ms. Célestine Ketcha Courtès (Cameroon), and Ms. Macoura Dao (Côte d’Ivoire).

On March 09 and March 10, an online capacity building workshop will be held through the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa and in partnership with the International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Level (under the auspices of UNESCO). The theme chosen is: “Local Approaches to Guarantee Women’s Rights”.

The discussion panels on March 11 will be held on the themes of “REFELA, a Network, a Vision and an Agenda at the service of the promotion of female leadership and gender equality in local Africa” and “Role and commitments of REFELA for the promotion of gender equality in Africa”.

In ten years, REFELA has managed to set up 30 national chapters in order to achieve its vision of building a gender-balanced, inclusive and gender-sensitive local Africa. Indeed, Indeed, the Standing Committee on Gender Equality of UCLG Africa is mobilizing for the presence of more women in municipal councils, is committed so that cities and local governments in Africa fight against the vulnerability of children, and works to make gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls effective, in accordance with the vision of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the Global Development Agendas.

Some key dates of REFELA

2011: Creation of REFELA and integration of the network as a Standing Committee on Gender of UCLG Africa video here:
Video 1
Video 2
video 3
video 4

2015: Training on gender-sensitive budgeting, in collaboration with UN-Women
link 1
link 2

2016: Integration of the President of REFELA as a member of the Presidency of UCLG Africa.

2018: Launch of the “ Campaign of African Cities without Children in Street Situations ”, under the Effective Presidency of Her Royal Highness Princess LALLA MERYEM of the Kingdom of Morocco, as part of a ceremony during the Africities 8 Summit, in Marrakech, (November 24, 2018).

2018: Signing of the Europe – Africa Pact for Local Equality, in Marrakech.

2019: Launch of the campaign: “African cities with zero tolerance for violence against women ”.

2019: Launch of the online consultation for the drafting of the Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa.

2020: Launch of the campaign: “African cities conducive to the economic empowerment of women”.

2020: The REFELA honored with the IDEALKENT Award for the Woman-Friendly City, at UNESCO

2020: Development of the analytical report of the results of the online consultation for the drafting of the Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa.


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in a profound way with countries racing to find ways of stemming its spread through various strategies such as controlling travels, avoiding large gatherings and most recently by the introduction of medical intervention such as vaccination.

In the process of stemming the spread of the virus, almost all the nations of the world focused their attention and resources towards implementing such control strategies.

Africities planning process was not spared either.

In racing to cover the lost time, the Africities stakeholders; the Government of Kenya, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), Council of Governors of Kenya and the County Government of Kisumu have made very good progress towards the successful realization of this premier Pan African and international event.

The leadership of the four partners are also quite impressed with the gains made around the world in managing the effects of the virus and its spread and are convinced of an impressive attendance to the Conference.

Despite the good progress experienced in the opening of economies and Summit planning process, a lot still needs to be done.

In view of the foregoing, the Executive Committee of Africities convened virtually on the 17th of February 2021, having considered the outstanding preparatory work and cognizant that some parts of the world are still under various levels of restrictions, has mutually taken the decision to move the date of the Summit from to 26th – 30th April 2022 in Kisumu City.

The Executive Committee has also deliberated on the proposed conference theme and pronounces itself that the Summit theme shall be “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and African Union Agenda 2063”.
The two agenda focus on the urgent need to develop resilient and sustainable urbanization in Africa that are cognizant of livable urban space where over 50% of the African population will be found by 2050. Intermediary cities like Kisumu are likely to be the fastest growth points for this urbanization. Hence the need to focus on INTERMEDIARY cities at the Summit.

As part of the planning process to the new date, the Executive Committee working with various Africities Institutional Structures, will hold the official launch of the Africities website and the Early Bird Registration in Kisumu in the first week of April of 2021.

Welcome to the 9th Edition of Africities Kisumu April 2022.

Given under our seal on this 17th day of February 2021

Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, EGH
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands
Republic of Kenya

H.E. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi
Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa
(UCLG Africa)

H.E Martin Wambora
Chairman, Council of Governors
Republic of Kenya

H.E. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, EGH
Governor, County Government of Kisumu.
Republic of Kenya

UCLG Africa Celebrates World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture

Since 2019, UNESCO has proclaimed January 24 of each year as the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture. For the 2021 edition, UCLG Africa and the African Network of Cultural Promoters and Entrepreneurs (RAPEC) have celebrated the event by organizing a panel discussion on the theme of the day: “Celebrating African culture for a reconciled humanity”.

The panel was made up of : Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat ; Mr. Mouhamadou Youssifou, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Morocco, Mr. Abdelilah Afifi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture (Morocco), Mr. Driss El Yazami, President of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME), Princess Stella Aicha, spokesperson for the “Messengers of Messages” musical group, Mr. Monceyf Fadili, author of the book (Rabat, un printemps confiné) (“Springtime in a quarantined Rabat city), Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, and Mr. John Ayité Dossavi, President and founder of the RAPEC NGO. The discussions were moderated by Ms. Farida Moha, journalist.

The meeting which was held at the headquarters of UCLG Africa and via the Zoom platform was attended by a hundred persons representing members of the diplomatic corps, local authorities, international organizations, cultural actors, and civil society associations.

The message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, was read before the start of the discussions. The Director General underlined the importance of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture. “As we begin 2021, which African Heads of State have declared the Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage, this World Day is therefore an opportunity to promote these African and Afro-descendant cultures in order to enable them to play their full part in development and peace. The Promotion of African and Afro-descendant cultures is all the more important as the global crisis has exacerbated all the tensions in our societies. The fact is that these cultures offer pride, answers and something to heal even the deepest wounds. Yet these cultures offer pride, answers, and what to heal the most intimate wounds”, she declared. (Read the full post here ).

The panelists addressed the theme : ” Celebrating African culture for a reconciled Humanity “, around three pillars : 1) The emergence of memorial issues with a demand for a new ownership of African history, 2) The importance of culture in the context of the search for the dignity of Africa, 3) The need to train young Africans in cultural and digital professions.

For Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, it is important to make the voice of Africa heard through its culture because “ culture is what makes us who we are ”. “ We are what we are because we are rooted in a culture. Losing one’s culture is losing oneself. Many leaders have lost sight of this. We are here to reiterate this simple truth : If you don’t know where you came from, you would never know where you are going. Amadou Hampaté Bâ is absolutely right when he says that our roots are what project us best into the future. The fact that most of our countries have given so little importance to cultural public policies is simply unconscionable. As of today, Africa is unable to have a radio channel which broadcasts African culture. This situation needs to be addressed by the African Union: it is extremely important that culture be rooted in this continent”, he said. “This is why UCLG Africa has taken the initiative to ensure that the debate on culture be also a local debate, a debate on local authorities. When we met at Africities 2018 in Marrakech, it was decided to celebrate the African Capitals of Culture and the city of Rabat was selected as the first African Capital of Culture. We believe that it is extremely necessary for our children and our young people to rediscover the African culture ”, pleaded Mr. Mbassi.

Faced with the observation that African authorities do not give enough importance to the cultural aspect, His Excellency Mouhamadou Youssifou, Ambassador of Cameroon to Morocco and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Morocco, recommended that ” Africa should invest in all areas of culture, so that the continent takes its place in the global cultural arena. It should be noted the importance of the exchange of intangible goods in the collective consciousness. It should be known that Africa has also contributed to the development of human civilization”.

Mr. Abdelilah Afifi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture (Morocco) shared Morocco’s actions to make culture more visible. “We are aware of the impact of the cultural component on socio-economic development. Actions have been taken to make culture more visible. The strengthening of cultural facilities with the construction of the Great Theater of Rabat, the Great Theater of Casablanca, and museums. We have also invested in training people for cultural professions. We have completed the construction of the Higher Institute of Music and Choreographic Arts (Rabat). By boosting culture, we also boost the economy. Cultural tourism can strongly contribute to the country’s GDP ”.

Mr. Monceyf Fadili underlined the importance of Afro-descendant culture marked by participation in festivals organized on the continent. About fifty festivals are organized in Africa. But South Africa and Morocco do stand out. Half of the festivals are organized by these two countries which are also the top tourist countries in Africa.

For Mr. Driss El Yazami, one cannot talk about African culture without talking about the diaspora. “Aimé Césaire played a central role in this area. It is through the diaspora, through our encounter with other people that we recover our sovereignty. There is no development without culture. Culture is at the center of development. It is culture that gives meaning to development. Our children who were born in European metropolises are in demand of African cultures in order to build their own identity”.

The mayor of Rabat, Mr. Mohamed Sadiki also spoke about the importance of culture in his city. “ Culture is a cross-cutting element. We are in charge of cities and towns. Rabat has experienced a very large program initiated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI since 2014. It is the “Rabat city of lights and capital of Moroccan culture” program. This is a responsibility for our city, which has endowed itself with a significant number of cultural infrastructures. Every nation must identify with its culture. At the level of local authorities, during the various Africities summits, there is always a cultural touch. We look forward to the end of this COVID pandemic to celebrate Rabat as African Capital of Culture ”.

Mr. John Ayité Dossavi insisted on the fact that the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture is an initiative that was carried by African civil society. “The World Day becomes a bridge between our peoples. The idea that I wore in 2011, has been sealed at the 6th edition of the Africities Summit in Dakar 2012. In November 2019, the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture. This celebration is the result of the efforts led by the RAPEC network with the support of UCLG Africa. The World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture is not just a folk day, but a day of reflection. We are in a process aiming at making the voice of Africa heard around the world”.

As far as youth is concerned, Mr. Mbassi recalled that the history of Africa “ does not begin with colonization. The narration of our history is a narration that does not rise up to Africa ”.

For Princess Stella, the feeling of belonging also means valuing mother tongues. “ We tend to lose our mother tongues. Children are at a loss right from the beginning. The mother tongue makes it possible to keep the tangible and intangible heritage. Art and culture are means that should be utilized to get there. “

In conclusion, Mr. Driss El Yazami, proposed to set up a large program of translation of the African culture that requires the involvement of local governments.

Retrouvez l’intégralité des échanges ici

In addition, the meeting also served as a platform for the presentation of the book “ Rabat, un printemps confiné” by Monceyf Fadili (More details here) and of the KEKELI Prize, a prized backed to the celebration of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture, aimed at supporting people who work for the promotion of African culture and living together of peoples.

Discover the 2020 winners here

Celebration of the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development 2020: the contribution of local authorities to conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent

On 10 August 2020, UCLG Africa is organizing a webinar for the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development (ADD). The meeting will be held online from 2:00pm to 4:30pm on the theme selected by the African Union for the 2020 edition, “The contribution of local authorities to conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent.”

This theme is inspired by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the decision of the continent’s heads of state who proclaimed 2020 as the year, “Silencing the guns: creating the conditions for Africa’s development”.

UCLG Africa welcomes this theme, which is all the more justified as conflicts and wars primarily affect populations and communities at the local level. When violent conflicts occur, victims often find their first aid comes from the local population or authorities. It is often the local authorities that are faced with receiving displaced people or migrants due to situations of open conflict or war. Local and regional authorities are therefore in the front line both in conflict prevention and in dealing with post-conflict situations.

As the umbrella organization of local and regional governments of the continent, UCLG Africa will contribute to this webinar by exploring two sub-themes selected by the African Union:

Sub-theme 1: “The participation of Africa’s local and regional authorities in the African Union’s conflict early warning system.

Sub-theme 2: “The contribution of local and regional authorities in Africa for the reconstruction of peace and harmony between communities in post-conflict situations.”

The first panel will address the crucial involvement of territorial authorities in the African Union’s early warning system on conflicts. Participants will reflect on how to improve the system via the contribution of local and regional authorities, in particular:

  • how to articulate the different levels of public governance and apply the principle of subsidiarity in the prevention and management of conflicts and in the treatment of post-conflict situations;
  • The role local authorities should play.

The second panel will draw on the many post-conflict situations encountered on the continent and discuss the role that local authorities play or could play when returning to peace. Participants will develop proposals by answering the following questions:

  • How can we ensure that all the actors involved are indeed stakeholders in the peace talks?
  • What mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the return to peace is a shared responsibility?
  • What specific role should women and youth play in building peace and harmony between groups and communities?
  • What initiatives should be taken at the local authority level so that the return of tensions can be avoided?

Proceedings will be chaired by Mr. Léandre Nzué, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon) and President of UCLG Africa in the presence of presidents of national associations of local and regional governments, representatives of the African Union, representatives of international organizations and academics, amongst others.

It should be noted that the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development was decreed by the African Union in 2012 at its first celebration.

Since 2014, African heads of state and government have adopted the African charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development. This charter recognizes local and regional authorities as privileged partners of national governments in the promotion of the well-being of their populations.

The media are invited to attend the webinar (registration by return email) or by following the live webcast on UCLG Africa’s Facebook page, Monday 10 August 2020 from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45



Africa Territorial Agency and Network of Young Local Elected Officials Tools for local governance

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

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

“Whatever its size, a community has a practice to share. Each territorial community present at the congress should share a good practice, whatever the theme.” Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat, Morocco

See a review of the highlights of the sessions for local Africa. (Part One).
The founding club of the Africa Territorial Agency is on track

Durban marked a major step in the establishment of the Africa Territorial Agency. This UCLG Africa vehicle, which aims to give local authorities access to financial markets, saw the first meeting of members of the Agency’s founding club held on 11 November, 2019. The meeting was chaired by Mr Léandre Nzué, President of UCLG Africa. In his opening speech, Mr. Nzué reiterated the importance of this vehicle, which aims to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to act in solidarity and the necessity that, “information circulate on this now unavoidable tool, but also to dissipate all the shadows in order to enable all the actions necessary for the rapid entry into cooperation of the ATA.”

The founding club of the ATA is composed of the cities that have subscribed to inject 100 thousand euros to be part of this cooperative society. They will be the majority shareholders of the capital of this Agency. To date, 44 cities have already registered.

Faced with the density of financial resources required to successfully manage their municipality, recourse to the financial market is a viable gateway for elected officials. Indeed, it is estimated that around 100 billion dollars of investment per year is needed by African local authorities to improve the living conditions of current populations and future generations. “This is equivalent to nearly 5.5% of the continent’s GDP. Four-fifths of these infrastructures are the responsibility of local authorities,” says François Paul Yatta, Director of Programs at UCLG Africa. By going to the financial market with the ATA, local authorities will be able to enjoy the following advantages:

  • ssue bonds that will interest investors.
  • Reduce interest rates;
  • Reduce transaction costs (If local and regional authorities go into the financial market individually, the interest rate on transactions will be at an almost unbearably high level);
  • Provide a guarantee system that reassures investors through the ATA;
  • Enable small local authorities to have access to the financial market (within the ATA, the most endowed cities will have to join forces with the less fortunate cities. This will allow them to have access to financial market resources);
  • Mobilize money to cover the needs of local authorities.
  • How it works?

    The capital required for the agency is 20 million euros, hence the reason why 100 local authorities are needed, each of which will inject 100 thousand euros, so that they will hold 51.1% of the capital. This will allow local and regional authorities to hold the authorship of this instrument. Loans will be made on the basis of a simple procedure. The African Development Bank is a partner of the ATA with its participation divided into 4 categories: Present in the capital of the agency; Guarantor of the Africa Territorial Agency, which will allow the agency to have easier access to the financial market, but also to have loans at lower cost; the AfDB will be able to subscribe to ATA issues and support the rating program, which is intended to upgrade AAT cities so that they are able to lend and repay.

    Roadmap for the future

    2020: Two meetings planned – One to approve the economic and risk management model and a second meeting to approve the institutional structure and the various rules of the ATA.

    2021: Presentation of the agency to investors and preparation of the first issue;

    2022: Completion of the first issue and start of the first loans to local authorities.

    On the basis of this detailed presentation made by Mr. Yatta, the participants in the meeting gave themselves until the end of 2019 to finalize the choice of the 5 cities that will sit on the provisional supervisory board of the cooperative company of the Africa Territorial Agency. Two cities have already signed up. These are Dakar (Senegal) for the West Africa region and Eldoret (Kenya) for the East Africa region. The other three cities will be selected by the end of 2019 for the Central, North and Southern Africa regions.

    The meeting was attended by: Mr Léandre Nzué, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon), President of UCLG Africa, Mrs Souam Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar (Senegal), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the West African region, Mr Innocent Uwimana, President of the Rwandan Association of Local Authorities and Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the Eastern Africa region, Mr David André, Mayor of Victoria (Seychelles), Mr. Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo, Mayor of Bangui (Central African Republic), Mr. Vincent N’cho Kouaoh, Deputy Governor of Abidjan District (Côte d’Ivoire), Ms. Fatouma Awaleh Osman, Mayor of Djibouti, Mr. Allan Samu Mmadi, President of Mangochi Municipal Council (Malawi), Mr. Lomoyang Joseph, President of the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), Mr. Julius Kitur, President of Eldoret City Council (Kenya), and representatives of the cities of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the urban commune of Yaoundé (Cameroon), the Burundian Association of Communal Councilors (ABELO), the city of Sfax (Tunisia) and Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

    Establishment of the network of young local elected officials within UCLG Africa

    The voices of young African local elected officials echoed throughout the session dedicated to them with three presentations on the experiences of Zambia, Tunisia and Senegal, on the theme: “Young African local elected officials facing the challenges of territorial governance.”

    Faced with the low representation of young people in local decision-making bodies, Mr Christopher Kangombé, Mayor of Kitwe (Zambia) advocated raising awareness of “Generation Y”. At 34 years old, Mr. Kangombé is now President of the Association of Local Governments of Zambia. In 2006, at the age of 21, he decided to run as a municipal councilor while he was still a student. For Kangombe, the first thing to do for young people who wanted to get involved in local governance was to have a plan. “You can’t win any election if you don’t have people to vote for you. We had put in place a strategy to raise awareness among students one year before the municipal elections to encourage them to vote. We were able to register 5,000 voters and I was able to win the elections as an independent candidate. I was elected because I had a plan.”

    Secondly, he stated that young people needed encouragement to get involved in the decision-making process. This would require targeting schools, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Strong advocacy was needed to ensure that young people were involved in the management of the local authority. “We must ensure that at the level of our respective countries, laws allow young people to run for decision-making positions and advocate for the integration of quotas for young people. In Zambia, we have only 5 mayors under the age of 35 years old“.

    Mrs. Ibticem Atitallah (34), Deputy Mayor of Sfax, recalled that the revolution of 14 January, 2011 in Tunisia was initiated by and made successful by the involvement of young people. This was marked by a massive adherence of young people to political parties. Tunisia has had publications in place since 2017 that encourage young people to apply for local governance. The minimum age for municipal and regional elections has been set at 18 years old and the list of each party must include a young person among its first 3 candidates. The municipality of Sfax has 16 young people out of 42 municipal councilors. At present, 47% of young people are represented in municipal councils in Tunisia.

    Mrs. Thérèse Faye Diouf, mayor of the commune of Diaréré (Senegal) is the first woman to lead this territorial community. In office since 2014, she believes that the involvement of youth in local governance requires the creation of a space for youth expression. “In Senegal, there must be a strong representation of young people in decision-making bodies because young people represent 67.77% of the Senegalese population. Youth councils in localities, youth clubs at school and at university level should be promoted. These are platforms that prepare young people to be leaders,” she explained. At the moment, Senegal has more than thirty mayors less than 40 years of age.

    Panelists and young elected mayors present at the session welcomed the decision of UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee to set up a network of young local elected officials within UCLG Africa as a community of practice for young elected officials on territorial governance. A preparatory committee for the general assembly of young mayors and local elected officials of Africa bureau composed of one representative per region has been appointed. The network’s first general assembly is scheduled for the next Africities Summit in 2021 in Kisumu, Kenya. The committee is composed of: Mr Christopher Kangombé (Kitwe), President for the East Africa region, Mrs Ibticem Atitallah (Sfax), President for the North Africa region and Mrs Thérèse Faye Diouf, President for the West Africa region. The Southern and Central Africa regions will be contacted by the UCLG Africa Secretariat to appoint their representatives on the committee. The session was moderated by Mr. Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo, Mayor of the city of Bangui (Central African Republic) in the presence of Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

    Part Two here

    Presentation of MOOC-ALGA on planning for climate change in African cities at COP23

    Within the framework of the training offer from UCLG Africa’s African Local Government Academy (ALGA), a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on planning for climate change in African cities was launched in September 2017.


    The side-event on the presentation of MOOC was organized at COP23 with partners: IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Coursera and ENERGIES 2050.

    The C.06 pavilion of ENERGIES 2050 / UCLG Africa located within the Bonn Zone hosted the event on November 13, 2017. Discussions highlighted four key ideas.

    “The planning for African cities must be consistent with a number of principles that have been set up, notably by UN Habitat. It must be inclusive, must not leave anyone on the sidelines and must integrate the youth and the resilience aspect,” explained Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of ALGA.

    Panelists underscored the fact that urban planning must integrate climate change on a practical level by equipping this planning with mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. To achieve this goal, the training component is essential. “This requires building up capacities and support, including in the fields of funding and methods,” said Dr. Zarrouk.


    For Marcus Mayr of UN-Habitat, the younger generation should be motivated to work on climate change and equipped with tools because they are the ones, “who have to address climate change in the future.”

    In his presentation on MOOC, Dr. Stelios Grafakos, Researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), highlighted the relevance of the training, which presents practical cases of cities in some African countries (Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa). “This tool can reach out to a wide audience, we already have 100 people who have followed faithfully the course and 98% of the participants like the course and have left positive feedbacks,” declared Dr. Stelios.

    Ms. Fatimetou Ben Abdelmalick, Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina (Mauritania), a member of the Panel, appreciated the launch of MOOC, which she called very timely and appropriate.  “I come from a local government that has a lot of vulnerabilities in the face of global warming. To cope, we adopt participatory approaches to involve all segments of this local government, the youth, the women and the schoolchildren to build together resilience,” explained the vice president of REFELA. Sometimes we do not have a good grasp of the difference between most of the concepts (vulnerability, resilience, etc.), which are new to people. The training comes at the right time to build people in order to guide them and make them resilient. I acknowledge that it is important for our engineering departments to take part in this training in order to build up their capacities to meet the needs of the people,” insisted Ms. Abdelmalick.

    Stephane Pouffary, President of ENERGIES 2050, emphasized that, “The challenge is to make these training courses and tools a means to make decisions and implement climate actions in the field. The principle of an open MOOC is an excellent idea and UCLG Africa is the political arm of implementation at the level of local governments on the continent. UCLG Africa has the means to act, as the organization has already set up professional networks of Chief Technical Officers of Cities and Territories of Africa (Africa TechNet), Chief Financial Officers (Africa Finet), CEOs of the cities and sub-regions of Africa (Africa MagNet).”

    Professor Andy Gouldson (Professor at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom), highlighted the example of Kigali and its carbon emission reduction strategy, which will be the subject of a course in MOOC.

    At the time of assessment, Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of ALGA recalled, “Through this side-event, we have come to share a training offer, the way for us at UCLG Africa to support the implementation of the ‘Climate Agenda, especially through training, capacity building, networking and support for local and regional governments.”

    Brief presentation of MOOC

    The MOOC on Planning for Climate Change in African Cities lasts 5 weeks and has 5 modules: Introductory Course on Climate Change and Cities • Defining and Assessing Urban Risks and Vulnerabilities • Adapting to Climate Change and Resilience • Planning for climate change • Decision making analysis for climate change.

    At the end of this course, the beneficiaries should be able to: • Identify the effects, impact and factors of climate change in cities • Understand the factors of urban risks and vulnerability in the context of climate change • Distinguish the typologies, approaches and tensions of adaptation to climate change • Explain the different approaches and stages in climate change planning • Review decision making support tools as well as the methods for assessing climate change • Develop a climate change plan based on the context of the cities from which the beneficiaries of the training come.