FAMI 7-2023: Local and Regional Governments Will Meet in El Jedida to Bring their Contribution to the Achievement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI – May God Assist Him, and within the framework of the year 2023 decreed to be the  AfCFTA Year, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), through its African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) and its partners, are organizing the 7th edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting Local Governments (FAMI 7_2023) from November 20 to 26, 2023. The event will be held in El Jadida in the Casablanca-Settat region, on the premises of the Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion (ENCG), part of the Université Chouaib Doukkali.

FAMI 7_2023 is organized in partnership and with the support of the Directorate General of Local Authorities (DGCT) of the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior, the Chouaib Doukkali University, the National School of Trade and Management (ENCG), the Deposit and Management Fund (CDG), the OCP Group and the UCLG Africa Partner Network.

The theme chosen for this 7th edition is: “The contribution of Local and Regional Governments to the achievement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.

While the global economy is currently facing unprecedented challenges (trade wars, disruption of transport and logistics systems, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and wars and their impact on food security, oil prices and inflation, the effects of climate change…), the AfCFTA, as an ambitious initiative, represents “a glimmer of hope, offering significant opportunities” for sustainable development across the Continent, according to the Director General of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), her Excellency Mrs. Nardos Bekele-Thomas.

As for the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), it estimates that implementation of the AfCFTA will boost intra-African trade by 52%, with an increase of $35 billion per year, while stimulating business creation, trade promotion and job creation. What are the implications for decentralization, local governance and development at local and regional level? This reorientation reflects a growing recognition of the role of cities and territories as key players in development, now engaged in the dynamic of the global transition to sustainable growth, where every player and stakeholder has their share of responsibility for the success of this structuring project, through Whole-of-Government, Whole-of-Society approaches.

African Local Governments have a major role to play in the implementation and success of African regional integration, both as institutions of public governance at sub-national level and as players in local and territorial development.

FAMI 7_2023 aims to be a meeting that leaves no one behind, dedicated not only to local authorities and training institutes in Africa, but also to all other players and stakeholders concerned by the dynamics of decentralization, local governance and territorial development in Africa.

Over 200 participants from some thirty countries are expected to attend this 7th edition, which will provide an opportunity to present and debate the issues and place of African local governments in the continent’s regional integration dynamic.

FAMI 7 will also be marked by a series of activities aimed at:

  • Informing members and networks of UCLG Africa on the state of progress of the operationalization of the AfCFTA;
  • Presenting the main challenges and obstacles facing this structuring and promising project;
  • Taking advantage of existing experiences and best practices in economic integration around the world;
  • Locating and discussing the place and role of African local governments in relation to the Forum’s overall theme;
  • Providing spaces for empowerment, peer learning, training, development and capacity building for UCLG Africa members and networks;
  • Sharing knowledge, methodologies and best practices;
  • Promoting partnership, decentralized cooperation and networking;
  • Discovering the heritage and culture of the Casablanca-Settat region.

FAMI 7_2023 will be marked by a segment dedicated to the AfCFTA, followed by Human Capital Empowerment Days in the form of Workshops and Seminars focusing on the following main themes:

  • AfCFTA, Public Institutions and Effective Governance in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities ;
  • AfCFTA & Sustainable Development in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities ;
  • AfCFTA & Africa’s Digital Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities ;
  • Urban planning: tools and best practices ;
  • Gender-Sensitive Participatory Budgeting;
  • Setting up projects and raising funds;
  • Promoting women’s leadership;
  • Promoting Peace, Security and Conflict Prevention;
  • How to integrate young people into local governance?
  • Climate Finance: opportunities and access ;
  • The irresistible internationalization of cities and territories: constraints and opportunities;
  • Regional Workshop on the Revision of the Standards of Excellence in Education and Training for Administration, in partnership with the Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) and the Chouaib Doukkali University of El Jadida, Morocco.

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit structuring projects for sustainable development, notably at the Cherifian Phosphates Office (OCP Group) in Jorf Lasfar, and to discover the rich cultural heritage of the City of El Jadida, the City of Azemmour and the City of Moulay Abdellah.

The opening ceremony will be attended by senior representatives of the Forum’s organizing institutions and partners, including :

Honorable Mr. Az-eddine AZIM, President of Chouaib Doukkali University, Morocco.

Honorable Mrs. Fatimetou MINT ABDEL MALICK, President of UCLG Africa, President of the UCLG Gender Standing Committee, President of the Nouakchott Region, Mauritania;

Her Excellency Mrs. Nardos BEKELE-THOMAS, Director General of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD);

– Honorable Mr. Juwang ZHU, Director of the Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), New York;

The Honorable Representatives of the Local Authorities of the Province of El Jadida.

The media are invited to cover the opening ceremony scheduled for Monday November 20, 2023 starting at 9:30 am at the Auditorium of the National School of Trade and Management (ENCG) of the Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida. 

Address: Junction Ahmed Chaouki and Fès Street, El Jadida, Morocco.

For more information, please contact:

Gaelle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

Mrs. Dounia RABHI : Tel : 212 615 85 61 44

E-mail : rabhi.d@ucd.ac.ma

About UCLG Africa :

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is the umbrella organization of local authorities in Africa whose founding congress took place in 2005 in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. UCLG Africa stems from the unification of three continental groupings of local governments following the official language inherited from the colonial period, namely: the African Union of Local Authorities (AULA), mainly English-speaking; the Union of African Cities (UVA), essentially French-speaking; and the Africa chapter of the União das Cidades e Capitais Lusófonas Africanas, Americanas e Asiáticas (UCCLA), mainly Portuguese-speaking.

UCLG Africa currently brings together the 51 national associations of local governments operating in Africa as well as 2,000 cities and territories with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Through its members, UCLG Africa represents more than 350 million African citizens. Founding member of the world organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UCLG Africa is its regional chapter for Africa.

The general secretariat of the organization is established in Rabat, capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, where UCLG Africa enjoys diplomatic status as an International Pan-African organization. UCLG Africa is also represented in the five regions of Africa through regional offices. based: in Cairo, Egypt, for the North Africa Region; in Accra, Ghana, for the West Africa Region; in Libreville, Gabon, for the Central Africa Region; in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Eastern Africa Region; and in Pretoria, South Africa, for the Southern Africa Region.