International conference organized by the Mediterranean Network of Medinas

The secretary general represented UCLG Africa in the international conference on the role of heritage in sustainable development of African cities held in Tangiers, Morocco, from 24 to 26 April 2014.

The conference was organized under the high patronage of His Majesty The King Mohammed VI, by the Mediterranean Network of  Medinas, in partnership with the general directorate of local governments of the ministry of Interior of Morocco, the Tangiers Local Government, the Tangiers/Tetouan Region, the Tanger/Tetouan District, and the Agency for the promotion of the development of the Northen Region. Also collaborated in this conference, UCLG, UCLG Africa, MedCities, UNDP and GIZ.

The conference was officially opened by the deputy minister of the Interior, Mr. Draiss, on Thursday 24 April, at 16:00.

The conference was organized around two panels and four workshops. The first panel discussed the role of heritage in sustainable development, and had the privilege to receive the speeches from Mrs. Maty Hamady, Mayor of Nouakchott, UCLG Africa Vice President for North Africa; Mr. Allal Sekrouhi, CEO of local government equipment fund (FEC); Mohamed Ouldmekyine Khattar, specialist of the culture Program at UNESCO for the North Africa Region; Mr. Abdelaziz Salah Salim expert of monuments at the directorate of culture and communication at ISESCO.

The second panel on heritage and sustainable development in Africa facilitated by the UCLG Africa received inputs from Mr. Mohamed Mokni, Mayor of Sousse, Tunisia; Mr. Ramiantamanana Rakotoarinia, Councillor in the municipality of Ambohimalaza Miray, Madagascar; Mr. Ali Zamir, Representative of the City of Mutsamutu, Comoros; the representative of the Association of Mayors of Senegal; Mr. Aka Konin, general manager of the Ivoirian office of cultural heritage, Côte d’Ivoire; Mr. Issam Abdallah Timany, Governor of Lamu County, Kenya; Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, president of the Mediterranean Network of Medinas, President of the Municipality of Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The four workshops organized in parallel on 25 April 2014 addressed the following topics

Workshop 1: Public policies promoting heritage as a driver of sustainable development

Workshop 2: Mechanism of cooperation, partnership and solidarity for the preservation of heritage

Workshop 3: services and development of intermediate cities: “heritage cities of the 21st century”

Workshop 4: What future for the heritage areas in a crisis situation?


The participants received a speech from Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coopération of Spain. He stated that it is the turn of the South, and Africa in particular, to propose pathways for future and sustainable development of the world. He further suggested that this conference in Tangiers issues a call for the organization a Euro-Mediterranean convention under the auspices of the King of Morocco to imagine a future for the Mediterranean Region, which should also integrate the rest of Africa.

The conference adopted a Tangiers Declaration which hightlighted the need to build an African Heritage Cities.

The Conference ended up with the signing of partnership agreements between the Mediterranean Network of Medinas and Cities from South Saharan Africa.