Meeting on urban growth in developing countries and access to basic services: from constraints to opportunities

The General Secretariat of UCLG Africa took part in the meeting organized by the Think Tank (Re)sources in partnership with Amendis, operator of water and electricity services in the cities of Tangier and Tetouan in Morocco on  February 11th, 2016.

The meeting witnessed the participation of about one hundred top level delegates including mayors; directors of central and local administrations; operators of urban services; researchers, academics as well as experts in the field of planning, urban management as well as basic urban services. The delegation of the Secretariat was made up of Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, and Mr. Mohammed Cherkaoui, Head of the Protocol Dept.
The meeting was introduced by Mr. Patrice Fonlladosa, President of (Re)source; Mr. Michel Rocard, Former Prime Minister of France.
The meeting was structured around the following four Round Tables:

Round table A on the dynamics of urban governance: structuring international, national and local policies with the reality in the field; and achieving tangible results in terms of access to basic services in the developing cities.

Round Table B on basic services within sprawled  and fragmented urban areas: managing the complexity of access to basic services in an urban space undergoing both sprawling  and fragmentation of its territory.

Round Table C on funding access to basic services: mobilizing private funds to guarantee access of all to basic urban services.

Round Table D on the integration of climate risk: integrating the climate risk into the policies on access to basic urban policies and providing responses through innovation.

The debates and discussions of the different round tables allowed the meeting to formulate the following recommendations:

A. On the structuring of international, national and local policies with the reality on the ground:

1. Promote the adoption of a manifesto that commits the central governments to mainstream their commitment in the field of access to basic services by highlighting the specific responsibilities of the central government, the local governments and the sector
2. Develop an urban component (large cities and intermediate cities) and a rural component, regarding the national policy on access to basic services
3. Advocacy for the central government to account for their performance in the field of access to basic services, before their peers

B. On the management of the complexity of access to basic services in an urban area undergoing both sprawling and fragmentation of its territory:

1. Integrate systematically the informal settlements into the plans of development and planning of cities

2. Set up transitional systems on access to basic services in the informal  settlements

3. Grant a prominent role to neighborhood associations and
intermediation stakeholders involved in the social project managership between the people, the operators and the authorities

4. Encourage public authorities to organize the coordination of
all stakeholders involved in the access to basic urban services

C. On the mobilization of private funds to guarantee access to basic urban services:

1. As far as possible, resort to the intervention of the private sector to ensure an effective response to the challenge of access to urban basic services
2. Set up a differentiated pricing system basic on a logic of territories
3. Propose alternative models to the network where the arrival of the latter is difficult or deferred
4. Organize dialogues between stakeholders and coalitions of operators
to discuss options, levels of services, synergies and the necessary complementarities between operators

D. On the integration of the climate risk into the policies on access to basic urban services:

1. Consider the level of local territories as the relevant level and highlight the appropriate means for the definition and implementation of adaptation policies to climate change.
2. Integrate systematically the risk dimension into the planning of basic urban services, with a special emphasis on interventions in emergency situation to maintain the continuity and quality of service
3. Consider communication with the concerned people as a
critical component of education for the prevention and management of
risks, as well as organization of relief services in cases of disasters

4. Decompartmentalize the design, the planning and the operational organization of access to basic urban services to ensure a greater efficiency of action in case of disasters. In situation of
disasters, there is a need to establish logics of opposition between public action and private action, between civil and military, between national sovereignty and international action.


For a detailed information on this meeting, please see the report prepared by the Secretary General of UCLG Africa.