The IV AN-MAR “Andalusia-Morocco” Forum, successfully organized in Seville on 28-29 January 2020, was a real meeting place for municipalities and local authorities from Northern Morocco and Andalusia to discuss issues of common interest in the framework of cooperation between the two territories, and in the presence of pan-African organisations (UCLG Africa and its network of elected women in Africa – REFELA) and international organizations to share their experiences and good practices in the field of local public management and the promotion of common development strategies in a context articulated with the regional and national policies and institutions of each country.
This IV Forum AN-Ma, allowed to exchange on cooperation agreements and relations between the European Union and the role of local governments in a perspective of mutual cooperation, while promoting an articulation between local authorities, civil society and other international organizations.
It was also an opportunity for the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, the President of REFELA, Mrs Dao Macoura Coulibaly and the President of the Federation of Andalusian Municipalities-FAMSI, Mr Ignacio Caraballo, to sign a memorandum of understanding, with a view to concluding a constructive partnership that will bring about change in the field of gender equality at local level.
This Memorandum of Understanding now binds REFELA of UCLG Africa and FAMSI, to collaborate and advance on gender equality issues at the local level and mainly by giving importance to those related to the economic empowerment of women in Local Governments, the results of which can be invested in the work and actions of the Committee on Local Economic Development (LED) of UCLG World.
Thanks are addressed to President FAMSI and to all the leaders and team of the AN-Mar network for the distinction awarded to different mayors of municipalities, for their relevant actions in the field of governance and local development, while valuing the actions of REFELA in promoting gender equality at the level of Local and Regional Authorities in Africa, through this recognition also awarded to the President of REFELA, Mrs. Dao Macoura Coulibaly, Mayor of Fomboulo, Côte d’Ivoire.
This consideration gives women mayors and locally elected women in Africa a real recognition of the value of their continued mobilization. Indeed, since the creation of their network in 2011, women local political leaders have set themselves the objective of launching, implementing and monitoring campaigns with a pan-African scope.
These Campaigns, in collaboration with African cities that have expressed their voluntary adherence to these REFELA initiatives, aim to fight against the vulnerability of street children, to move these adherent cities towards zero tolerance of violence against women and girls and to collaborate together for real action to ensure the economic empowerment of African women.
These Campaigns, aimed at African cities, are in line with the egalitarian aspirations of the African Vision 2063 and are fully in line with international agendas, including the 17 SDGs, in particular SDG5 and SDG11, by 2030.
Dr Malika Ghefrane Giorgi
Special Adviser REFELA-UCLG Africa