African mayors present the State of decentralization in their countries (2/2)

During the regional seminars organized by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) in five regions of the continent (August to October 2015), National Associations of Local Authorities commented the State of decentralization in their countries.  After West Africa and southern Africa, the second part is devoted to East Africa, North Africa and Central Africa.

East Africa 

In East Africa, Tanzania and Burundi are on the right way in the process of decentralization, whereas Seychelles, Somalia and Comoros are just making their first steps.

Seychelles: In Seychelles Island, the National Assembly voted in favor of decentralisation in August 2015. “Decentralization is starting in Seychelles”, declare Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, President of the Association of Districts of Victoria and Mayor of Victoria. “Know we are in the process of setting the mechanism for this election for the various districts and also the mechanism for founding to the district how to become autonomous. The election will take place probably in 2016 “, she said. The integral interview is aviable on our You Tube Channel here.

Somalia: “Decentralization is just starting. We are working with Joint Program of the Local Government and five UN Agencies are working. We are been supported by UN Habitat. It’s on the process. And every country is unique and different because we are busy with state forming but there is also on the other hand ongoing projects where services should be decentralised. Fiscal decentralization and service decentralization we are not really on the forefront but we are on track”, explains Mr. Iman Icar, Deputy Mayor of city of Mogadiscio.  The video is available here. 

Tanzania:“The state of decentralization is good” in Tanzania according to Mr.  Philothues Mbogoro, Coordinator of Tanzania Cities Network. “We have the policies in place and decentralization is taking place but is in the renew it depends on the central government come in place. Like we started decentralization processes in 1998 by 2008, the local council was even employing the city director and the head of department but after that the new government comes to change all the thing”, he said. The video is available here

Burundi: «Decentralisation starts in 2005 with promulgation of the law and organisation of communal election. Now, it’s more than five years we want central government implement the law about communal fiscality. That is our new challenge to progress in the process”, declare Mr. Jean Baptiste Kirimwinzigo, Executive Director of Association of Local Authorities of Burundi. The video is available in French here.

Comoros: «Since the independence of Comoros on 6 July 1975, Commons was still managed by the Ministry of the Interior and the prefects. It is only February 22, 2015 that the transfer of powers took place. We are so young in the decentralization process”, inform Dada Mustapha Chamsoudine, First Adjoint of Mayor of City of Moroni. The video is available in French here.  


North Africa 

Tunisia: After the revolution of 2011, Tunisia is in a period of transition. Legislative and presidential elections are held current 2015 and municipal elections are for this year, 2016. Mabrouk Kossentini, Mayor of Sfax mentions the progress noted at the constitutional level. “We have a new constitution which has enshrined in its chapter 7, local power with skill and any autonomy that should be given to local authorities. A constitutional entrenchment of the principles of decentralization and of representative and participatory democracy. Is a new shipyard for the Tunisia for the municipalities,” he said. The video is available in French here

Morocco: “Morocco has already gone through several steps. Decentralization has begun since the 1960 and has experienced a gap in 1976, and a first change in 2003 and 2009. It is characterised in 2015 by a true decentralisation. We have abolished some terms such as guardianship, we held accountable local governments. A place is also made for women. Nearly a third of the Councilors are women with a rate of 27%. The law requires that women be represented at the level of the office at least by a third party. Financially, the State has delegated to local communities a number of prerogatives”, explains Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat. The video is available in French here

Central Africa

Cameroon: Cameroon scored in its constitution that it is a decentralized unitary country. “We are engaged in this irreversible process,” said, François Soman, first Vice President of United Councils and Cities of Cameroon and Mayor of Pouma. “It is true that it’s not going quite quickly, but it’s also based on the State of our economies. Ensure the competencies that are transferred are accompanied by resources.  Water and electricity needs are enormous in all villages. One needs to treat people, to put the children in school. The municipal magistrate today became the person to do everything. The needs of the different villages are entered in a register which we call “the communal development plan”.  This plan is available at the level of the Ministry of Economy and Planning. We know the needs of our populations. Gradually things advances”, explains the mayor. The full video is available in French on our YouTube channel here.

Gabon: ‘The law on decentralization in Gabon dates of June 1996. It was recently revisited and bears a new number. 1/2014 number voted in Parliament in June 2015. The head of State Ali Bongo asked the Government to take orders of applications so that this transfer of jurisdiction can be a reality”, said Ms. Rose Christiane Shelton Raponda, President of the Association of Municipalities of Gabon and Mayor of Libreville. The full interview is available in French here

Chad: On the constitutional plan the decentralised territorial communities have their autonomy. However, “many of Decree-Law on decentralisation have been taken, but there was no implementing decree”, indicates Oumar Abderahman Annaim, Permanent Secretary of the Communes of Chad. “This is what blocks the real transfer of competencies and resources. The State which is a camel should not unload its load on the donkey who is a municipality. In Chad there are 4 women incumbent mayors at the regional level, one at the departmental level and at the district level. It is low, but on the percentage of elected Councilors on 963 there are 145 women. Maybe the next elections by 2018 it will be more women”, hopes Oumar Abderahman Annaim. The video is available in French here

RCA: “The recent elections in Central Africa date back to the 1990. At the level of the Association we are fighting for the establishment of this decentralization. It was a moment where there were draft laws developed in this sense. These draft laws were submitted to the adoption of the Assembly. But unfortunately as you know, our country is going through a period of crisis, a dark period in its history. What makes these laws were not passed and we find ourselves at the starting square. Efforts are currently being deployed so that in the future mayors should be elected to have a clear mandate,” said David Daouda, Permanent Secretary of the Association of mayors of Central Africa.  The video is available in French here

Sao Tome: “Decentralization is running since nearly 10 years but these are only words. It there any acts. People always turn to local authorities for the resolution of their problems. Finance are concentrated on the central plan”, deplores Paulo Jorge de Carvalho, president of the Cantagalo District.

DRC: “Decentralisation is progressive. Already we have gone from 11 provinces in 26 provinces. On the plan administrative everything happens normally since territories, municipalities, the municipalities financially for example occur with their own funds, their active taxes and freedom of management. It is already a plus for us”, says Charlotte Cime JINGA, Mayor of Kolwezi in the province of Loualaba (DRC). The video is available in French here

Congo: For Benjamin Loukakou, administrator Mayor of Moungali, the decentralization process is “engaged” in Congo. “The novelty is that the new constitution which was adopted on 25 October 2015, dedicated decentralization in the management of cities.There are a series of skill which will be decentralised with means y related”, he said. The video is available in French here