Presentation of the Africities Summit 8 (Marrakesh, Morocco, 20-24 November 2018)

The theme of the Africities Summit 8

The Africities 8 Summit, which is the eighth edition of the Pan-African Days of Local and Territorial Authorities, will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, from November 20 to November 24, 2018 . It will be themed: ”  The transition to sustainable cities and territories, the role of African local governments”.

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The goal of the Africities Summit 8 is establish a link between the vision of the long-term and the actions to be carried out in the immediate future, given the current situation of the continent. Africities 8 will take as a starting point the situation of Africa in globalization and urbanization; will shed light on the dimensions of the transition from the current changes, and will focus on the role and strategy of African territorial Governments in the transition. In order to identify the mutations that define the dimensions of the transition, Africités 8 adopts the following themes : the ecological transition  ; economic and social transition  ; the geopolitical transition  ; the political and democratic transition  ; and the cultural, scientific and ideological transition. The challenge for African local governments is to define and implement a new articulation, at the local level, between institutions, populations and territories. (One can refer to the concept note of Africities 8  : www. )

The Africities Summit seeks to achieve two major goals  : to define appropriate and shared strategies to improve the living conditions of local populations; and to contribute to integration, peace and unity of Africa from the grassroots. Its goal is to connect a rigorous understanding of the likely future trends with a strategic discussion on what needs to be done locally, immediately, to meet the urgency of access to basic services, housing, mobility and transport, and to promote opportunities for the development of economic activities and employment , and other fields.

The Africities Summit has always been a great opportunity for the meeting of local and territorial elected representatives in Africa. Its ambition is to echo the voice of leaders of local and regional governments who administer the 15,000 territorial governments of Africa .

 The history of The Africities Summits

Africities materializes a choice and a will. It is about strengthening the role of local authorities in the continent’s development and to help build Africa from these communities. This project is deployed through the successive Africités summits and the subjects that were treated during such summits. The Africities 8 Summit is part of the succession of Africities that took place in the five sub-regions of Africa.

Africities 1, in Abidjan in January 1998, had as its theme  : Recognizing the essential role of local governments in Africa’s development.

Africities 2, Windhoek, May 2000, was themed  :  Financing  African local governments to ensure the sustainable development of the continent.

Africities 3, in Yaoundé, in December 2003, had as its theme  : Accelerating access to basic services within African local governments.

Africities 4, Nairobi, September 2006, had as its theme  : Building local coalitions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals within African local governments.

Africities 5, Marrakech, December 2009, was themed  : The response of African local and territorial authorities to the global crisis : promotion of sustainable local development and employment.

Africities 6, in Dakar, in December 2012, had as its theme  : Building Africa from its territories  : what challenges for local governments ?

Africities 7 in Johannesburg in November 2015, had as its theme :  Building the future of Africa with the populations: the contribution of local governments to Agenda 2063..

 The global context

 The Africities 8 Summit is part of an international context that weighs on African development. The new context is marked by great uncertainties. Several questions must be taken into account  :

•      The global crisis is deepening and structural imbalances are continuing. A first question concerning the future concerns Africa’s place in contemporary globalization and its crisis.

•      The context is also characterized by a geopolitical, economic, social and cultural reorganization of the different major regions of the world related to their specific evolutions. A second question concerns the specificities of the evolution of Africa among the major regions of the world.

•      The last decades have been marked by contradictions related to the dynamics of democratization on a global scale. A third question concerns the forms that democratization will take in Africa.

•      Analyzing those issues by taking the territories as a point of entry helps to rethink and redefine the dynamics of African integration and unity. With decentralization and the creation of regional groupings, public governance is becoming more complex. A fourth question concerns the articulation of the different levels of governance  : the scale of the African continent, the scale of the five sub-regions of the African continent, the national scale of African States , and the scale of local and territorial governments.

•      Analyzing those issues by taking the territories as a point of entry also makes it possible to connect populations, activities, ecosystems and institutions . Globalization attempts to spread the same development model that is not sustainable from an ecosystem perspective and is not acceptable from an equity perspective. A fifth question concerns the possibility for Africa to acquire modes of development and transformation of African societies that are more sustainable and fairer.

The architecture of the Africities Summit 8

The Africities 8 Summit aims to address all these questions by relocating them, in the long term, in the context of the transition to sustainable cities and territories.

From November 20 to November 24, 2018 , the Africities 8 Summit will host, in Marrakech, Morocco , more than 5 000 people. The participants will represent all the protagonists of African local life as well as their partners from other regions of the world  : Ministers responsible for Local Governments, Housing, Urban Development, and the Public Service ; people in charge of African institutions  ; local authorities and local elected officials  ; central and local government officials  ; civil society organizations, associations and unions  ; economic operators in the public and private sectors and the social and solidarity-based economy  ; traditional authorities  ; researchers , scientists and members of the academia  ; international cooperation agencies  ; and African citizens . Africities 8 will host more than 500 exhibitors.

The Africities 8 Summit is organized in three segments  :

  • The thematic sessions make it possible to deepen the theme of the transition towards sustainable cities and territories as well as the development of the policies and strategies of the African territorial collectivities to answer the needs of the populations in the concrete situations.
  • Open sessions allow different networks of African local authorities or institutions or organizations wishing to work with African territorial authorities to present their proposals and contribute to the thinking process.
  • Political sessions  that synthesize the summit include the political meeting of the mayors and of the local authorities  ; of the ministers  ; of the development partners  ; and a political dialogue meeting between mayors, ministers and development partners.

The Africities 8 Exhibition

From November 20 to November 23, 2018, the “Africities 8 Exhibition” will take place, within the framework of the Summit. Exhibition booths will be offered to local authorities, associations of local authorities, international institutions and cooperation, public and private companies, banks and financial institutions, consulting or research firms, universities and training institutions working or wish to work with African local authorities . Information workshops and debates will be proposed at the initiative of exhibitors or organizers of the Exhibition. A project exchange forum will be set up to link the demands expressed by African local authorities with the exhibitors’ proposals.


Some exceptional events

Several events of great importance will take place throughout Africities 8 . Among them, one can already mention:

the the elective General Assembly of UCLG-Africa; the Meeting of African Ministers Members of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union on the Public Service, Urban Development, Local Authorities and Decentralization (STC8); the tripartite political dialogue meeting between mayors, ministers, and development partners; the Elective General Assembly of REFELA (Network of African Local elected Women); the Meeting of Former African Heads of State as Honorary Members of UCLG Africa; meetings of African elected representatives with the Chinese, Latin American, European, Turkish elected officials …; the forum on the issue of migration; the presentation of the United Nations report on Afro-descendants; the organization of an inter-African fellowship for decentralized cooperation; the special events of Moroccan cities; the award ceremony for the best African mayor and the best participatory budget in Africa; B2B meetings within the framework of the projects grant organized within the Salon; the Forum on the construction of local coalitions between local authorities and local stakeholders; the Meeting of Large African Enterprises and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa; the elective assemblies of professional networks of territorial administrations of Africa (City managers and directors of services, directors or heads of financial services, directors or heads of technical services, Human Resource managers); the Meeting of Traditional Authorities; Meeting of the African Media Network for Local Development (MADEL).

These events, as well as the activities of Africities 8, will be relayed by Africities’ internal communication tools.  : The Africities-Daily newspaper distributed every morning in the hotels and within the venue of the Summit  ; Africities TV and Radio Africities  ; the daily press conference  ; specific press briefings  ; the Africities website and the UCLG Africa Portal; the Facebook and Twitter social networks, and other networks.

Africities 8’s communication will also be provided by national and international media.


The sessions of the Africities 8 Summit will be structured as follows  :

Each session will last three hours. Speeches are limited to one hour (60 min). An hour and a half (90 minutes) will be devoted to debates and exchanges with the audience. The last half hour (30 min) will be dedicated to the adoption of resolutions and recommendations to be submitted to political sessions (mayors, ministers, African institutions, development partners).

Each session will be coordinated by a chair who will be an African mayor, a facilitator and a rapporteur. This team will be proposed by the entity in charge of the preparation and organization of the session, in consultation with the UCLG-A secretariat. The discussion will be introduced by 3 to 4 speakers including 2 mayors and 1 or 2 other speakers representing institutions, experts or other categories of stakeholders.

The preparation of the Africities 8 Summit sessions will be done in three main stages, followed by a final report  :

Step 1  : (Deadline : June 15, 2018 )

  • Identificationandselection of the structures associated with the preparation and coordination of each session (identification before May 30, 2018 )
  • Confirmation of the operators (stakeholders) by UCLGAfricaand of the partnership agreements.

2nd step  : (Deadline : July 15, 2018 )       

  • Short presentationof the session: theme, sales pitch about the interest of the session , the major issues discussed , the great experiences presented . (2 pages)
  • Presentation of the programof the session: the organization of time , the nature and the theme of the interventions (presentations) , indications concerning the themes . ( 1 page)
  • The names of the Chair, of the moderator andof the rapporteur (with support from UCLGAfrica , especially for the identification of African mayors associated with the session)
  • Opening of one page per session on the web site.

Step 3  : (Deadline: September 15, 2018 )

  • Presentation sheet of the session for the public program with all the speakers (1page)(for August 15, 2018)
  • Summary of the introductory report of the session (3 to 5 pages)
  • Project of draft resolutions andrecommendations (addressed to mayors , ministers, African institutions , development partners, etc.)

And also  :

  • Otherreports presentedby the speakers (1 page per report)
  • CVsand photos ofthe coordinators ( chair, moderator , rapporteur ) and of the speakers.
  • Short presentation of the organizers ofthe session( e. the institution , its goals and its activities );
  • requirementsin terms oflogistics for conducting the session;
  • Proposalsin terms of communicationbefore, during and after the Summit (wishes expressed in terms of interviews ,key messages to be developed, projects to be promoted , African leaders to be presented – providing for a short presentation note on these leaders for the media );
  • Participation in theAfricities Exhibition(booths, debates , etc.)
  • Any otherrelevant questionto be asked.

Step 4  : (Deadline: January 30, 2019 )

  • Minutesand final reportof the session
  • Firstevaluation report.