We, the delegates at the Africities Summit meeting in Kisumu, Kenya, from 17 to 21 May 2022 around the theme of ” The Role of Intermediary Cities in the implementation of the United Nations´ 2030 Agenda and of the African Union´s Agenda 2063“,
Having been honored by the High Patronage and personal participation of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, in the presence of His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; of His Excellency Danny Faure, former President of Seychelles, of their Royal Majesties representing the Traditional Authorities of Africa, and of an important delegation of the African Diaspora,
Given the change in pattern of settlements in Africa from being a continent mainly rural thirty years ago and one which will become mainly urban in the upcoming ten years;
Acknowledging that small and intermediary cities currently host 60 per cent of urban dwellers and account for nearly 50 percent of the African GDP;
Taking into account the 150 million people from Africa or African descent living outside the continent and forming the African Diaspora that is spread over the five continents and represent over 4 trillion US dollars in terms of purchasing power;
Recognizing that the structural transformation expected from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and called for by the African Union´s Agenda 2063, will not materialize if the continent does not leverage on the huge opportunities offered by small and intermediary cities and their rural hinterlands and if the continent does not implement a more balanced spatial distribution of economic activities as well as job creation;
Understanding that climate change is here to stay and that the task of the day is for African local governments to adapt to the consequences of climate change and adopt more climate compatible and resilient pathways to the development at the level of cities and territories, including in intermediary cities;
Aware that the acceleration of the digital transformation of society puts pressure on cities and local governments that are urged to revise their management and relations with the citizens and other stakeholders, through the use of digital technologies and smart solutions, despite the limitations that cities and local governments encounter in terms of availability of infrastructure, equipment, and skilled staff;
Fully aware of the fact that women and youth are the levers of the structural transformation of Africa and should therefore be more involved in the governance structures of cities and territories;
DECLARE THE FOLLOWING
1- We wish to make intermediary cities the structuring clusters of sustainable development in Africa by granting them a prominent place in spatial planning and creating new territorial dynamics that promote exchanges and linkages between the rural and urban environments.
2- We affirm our willingness to establish a constructive political dialogue between the different spheres of government in order to abide by the principle of subsidiarity, an essential factor in the effectiveness of public policies.
3- We undertake to give priority to urban planning as an instrument for controlling the growth of urban and peri-urban areas by putting in place the institutional, legal, regulatory, and operational instruments as well as the conditions for a participatory dialogue with the people.
4- We endorse the goals of the United Nations´ 2030 Agenda, those of the New Urban Agenda, those of the Right to the City, and those of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda, and their translation into local development plans, and call on African countries to develop concerted urban development strategies with adequate technical and financial resources in accordance with the New Urban Agenda of UN-Habitat.
5- We are convinced of the place of youth in the construction of the new Africa and call on mayors to create local youth empowerment councils aiming at the full development of youth, their integration, and their socialization within cities.
6- We adopt Culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development by strengthening the cultural identity of territories to make it a potential vector of economic development.
7- We call on Mayors to develop programs and action plans to fight precariousness and vulnerability, especially of street children, isolated women, and dissocialized youth, to combat violence against women by participating in the actions of women’s groups, and to sign the African Charter for Gender Equality initiated by the Network of Locally Elected Female Officials of Africa (REFELA) and to apply its principles in our local governments.
8- We affirm that climate change is a key issue for our territories and recommend to local governments to adopt the necessary measures to prepare their territories for the consequences of climate change, and invite them to adhere to the Convention of African Mayors on Climate.
9– We call on all States to sign and ratify the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance, and Local Development and to ensure the proper implementation of the principles it contains.
10- We call for a better distribution of public resources in favor of the development of intermediate urban centers and for a greater attention to the public policies meant for them.
11- We call for a better use of local taxation and an effective collection of local government taxes, notably the property tax.
12- We call on Central Governments to develop programs aiming at strengthening connections between intermediary cities and their hinterlands in order to enhance exchanges around economic basins by eliminating transaction costs.
13- We propose to strengthen the links between intermediary cities and the capital cities of States by building secure road networks, railway infrastructures, and air links based on local realities and to strengthen digital connectivity.
14- We would like the African Union and the African States to recognize the importance of decentralized cooperation and exchanges between local and regional governments so as to strengthen the knowledge and powers of our institutions.
15- We support the establishment of an African Erasmus-type program for committed young people, as enshrined in Agenda 2063.
16- We call on the entire African community to commit itself to the empowerment of women and youth by promoting economic support programs dedicated to women and youth, but also by facilitating access to decent and affordable housing, guaranteeing security, by preventing crime through campaigns to combat violence against women, and by offering young people integration and socialization programs through sports and culture.
17- We call on international partners to support the development of African intermediary cities by setting up dedicated programs and funding adapted to local realities.
18- We call on partners, in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Aid Effectiveness, to align themselves with the ongoing decentralization processes in African States based on decentralized or ongoing sector-based policies of decentralization.
19- We call on the international community to take into account the point of view of local and regional governments in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of global agendas.
20- and we call for the emergence of a world where Africa is recognized as a continent contributing to the emergence of a united global society that respects the planet, the climate, the biodiversity, and primarily the continent of men and women sharing the destiny.
Done in Kisumu, Kenya, on May 21, 2022