Capacity Building for REFELA Members in The Hague, Netherlands

In the framework of capacity building for the members of The Network of Locally Elected Women-REFELA, Mrs. Célestine Ketcha Courtès, REFELA President and Mayor of Bangangte (Cameroon), persuaded the Dutch Municipalities Association to organize a study mission for the members of the network through its international cooperation structure, VNG International.


The coaching and capacity building session took place on 30 October-2 November 2016 within VNG International located in The Hague, Netherlands. The theme of the session was: “Strengthening of Women Leaders’ Network within Local Authorities” and the aim was to promote the exchange of experience and to strengthen the leadership capacities of REFELA members in order to effectively implement the decentralized cooperation programs for poverty eradication in their countries.

The REFELA delegation, led by Mme Célestine Ketcha Courtès, comprised Mrs. Irma Juliandres Harilalaina, Mayor of Fianarantsoa (Madagascar); Mrs. Mariama Bah Saine,  Council member of Brikama Regional Council (Gambia); Mrs. Aggie Ndivhuho Sekoba, Executive member and national secretary-general of the African National Congress Women’s League (Johannesburg, SA); Mrs. Maria Helena José C. Langa, Mayor of Mandlakazi Municipality (Mozambique); Mrs. Anne-Marie Kakouand Eba Tsitsol, Mayor of Angossas and Treasurer of REFELA-Cameroon and Mrs. Josiane Joëlle Kamaleu Tchouaga, focal point of REFELA, Cameroun.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts undertaken lately by the International Community to highlight the importance of gender sensitive programs, women still must meet the challenge of a significant contribution to the process of development and are mostly left out of the process of community development strongly dominated by men.

Gender equality and the promotion of women and girls carried on Sustainable Development Goal n°5 (SDG), are the key factors for the effective implementation of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The locally elected woman, mayor, is, therefore, a solid lever empowered by SDG 11.