Francophone Africa Climate Initiatives Award: Video testimonials of the two Laureates

For the second year in a row, UCLG Africa has been a partner in the Francophone Africa Climate Initiatives Award in the category for local authorities.


The award ceremony was held on the sidelines of COP23 on November 16, 2017 at the Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn. The ten laureates for the categories, Civil Society Organizations; Green Entrepreneurs – Women and Youth;  and Local Authorities, all took part in the ceremony.

Mr. Ignace Ourou, Mayor of Copargo  (Benin) and Mr. Hassane Almou, Mayor of Tondikiwindi (Niger) were recipients of the award for Local Authorities, which they accepted in the presence of distinguished guests including Jean-Louis Atangana Amougou, Chief of Staff of the Secretary General of La Francophonie(Commonwealth of French Speaking Countries); His Excellency Aziz Mekouar, Chief of COP22 Negotiations; Juliet Salé Mekone, Director of the UCLG Africa Regional Office for West Africa; Yoko Watabnabe, Director General of the Micro-Financing Program of the Global Environment Facility; Nezha EL OUAFI, Junior Minister in charge of Sustainable Development in Morocco; and Jean-Pierre NDOUNTOUM, Director of the FrancophonieInstitute for Sustainable Development (IFDD).

Ms. Juliet Salé Mekone presented the award and a cheque for €2,000 on behalf of the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi and stated that, “The fight against climate change will be won in the territories…The Climate Initiatives Awards are an excellent vehicle to highlight what local elected officials undertake in this fight. The winners of this edition demonstrated ingenuity with a participatory approach in their projects. Women were at the heart of the action within the framework of adaption to climate change.


Both laureates expressed their joy at having the opportunity to share their experiences with the different stakeholders present at COP23. The Copargo municipality (Benin) won the award for its initiative, ‘Development of a water retention basin’ and Tondikiwindi municipality (Niger) presented its initiative, ‘Empowering Women in a context of Climate Change.’


To enhance the value of the work carried out in the field, the local elected officials shared videos of their projects in the side-event organized for the morning of 16 November on the topic, ‘Acting in favor of climate in Africa: The commitment of local government.’

Videos are available for viewing:

1)Video: Development of a water retention basin – Benin (2015)

2)Video: Empowering women in a context of climate change – Niger (2014)

3)Video: Empowering women in a context of climate change – Niger (2017)


For the future, the Mayor of Copargo, Mr. Ignace Ourou expressed the view that, “With the facilitation of UCLG Africa, local governments will now have the necessary resources for the implementation of climate projects.”

This sentiment was echoed by his counterpart, the Mayor of Tondikiwindi (Niger) Mr. Hassane Almou. “I dedicate this award to the brave women who implemented this project. I thank UCLG Africa for helping local governments to solve people’s problems in terms of resilience to climate change.

The Francophone Africa Climate Initiatives Awards has been made possible thanks to several partners including: United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa); Swiss Cooperation (SDC); the FrancophonieInstitute for Sustainable Development (IFDD); the United Nations Development Program in Morocco (UNDP Morocco); the Micro-Financing Program (MFP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and UN Women and the Ministry of the Environment of Morocco.