From 10 to 11 June 2021, the WAEMU (in full) Regional Forum, was held in Lomé, Togo, under the theme of “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing the Climate Ambition of Local and Regional Governments in Africa”. This forum was part of a structured strategy aimed at bringing together African local authorities, mainly those of the WAEMU area, as well as investors, and experts in the field, to discuss the challenges and funding of the climate actions in the region.
On the sidelines of the Forum, the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) held a capacity building workshop for the benefit of the women of its Togolese Chapter of the REFELA Network. This Workshop was structured around very specific themes.
Its goals were, to build the capacities of the women of REFELA-Togo, and to discuss a draft roadmap to be submitted to the Delegation of the European Union in Togo, as part of the Programming of the European Cooperation Process in Africa for the 2021-2027 period.
The Workshop brought together a delegation of eight women from REFELA-Togo including its President and the Executive Secretary of the National Association of Local & Regional Governments of Togo, the President of REFELA, the Secretary General. of UCLG Africa, and the REFELA team from the UCLGA Secretariat.
The Workshop began with the opening remarks of the President of REFELA Mrs. Dao Macoura Coulibaly, who congratulated Mrs. President KOUBONOU Touni, President of REFELA-Togo, for the progress being carried out by the Togo communities. Hon Dao also acknowledged and thanked the Executive Secretary of the “Faitière des Communes du Togo” (FCT) for the support shown towards the REFELA-Country chapter.
Emphasis was also on the crucial role of the support and coaching of the National Association of Local and Regional Governments of Togo in REFELA-Togo. The President of REFELA concluded her intervention with a general presentation of the Network.
The President of REFELA-Togo and the Executive Secretary of the FCT in turn welcomed the holding of the Workshop and the special interest it represents for women.
welcomed the holding of the Workshop and the special interest it represents for women.
Mrs. Jacqueline MUSTACHE-BELLE, Director of the Gender and Youth Department of UCLG Africa, gave a detailed presentation about the three REFELA campaigns launched in 2018 and the importance of their place in the Network’s agenda. This presentation sparked discussions in the audience who asked a number of questions about the implementation and adaptation of these campaigns in their local context.
Mr. Alexis Coffi Aquereburu, Mayor of the “Lacs 1 / Aného” Commune (Togo) was invited to the workshop to share his experience and the procedure applied by his municipality on how to identify and issue the children who were not registered at birth with a birth certificate.
Mayor Aquereburu insisted on setting up of a simple mechanism at the Municipality and maternity hospitals to facilitate birth declarations. His intervention was followed by a very fruitful discussion on how best this procedure could be carried out in relevance to the reality of the various community.
In addition, this workshop also aimed at informing the members of REFELA-Togo of the opportunity to mobilize funding as part of the Programming of the European cooperation process in African countries for the 2021-2027 period.
To this end, this workshop was the opportunity to present and discuss with the women of REFELA-Togo a draft roadmap developed for their REFELA-Country chapter.
The goal of these exchanges of views were not only to allow the women of the Network to know the content of their roadmap project, but to discuss their expectations of the project.
The Workshop was closed on the second day with encouragement and recommendations from:
-The President of REFELA, who congratulated and encouraged the members of REFELA-Togo for their commitment to improve gender parity.She insisted on the great need for REFELA-Togo to work in symbiosis with “Faitière des Communes du Togo” Association.
-The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, who also congratulated and encouraged the women of REFELA-Togo. He also explained the new programming cycle, the context and the procedure to be followed for the submission of the roadmap of their REFELA-Country to the Delegation of the European Union in Togo.
Finally, Mr. Mbassi reassured the members of the availability and collaboration of the REFELA Secretariat of UCLG Africa, to support and assist them in finalizing their roadmap