The Africa Regional Forum of Intermediary Cities was held on the 5th and 6th of May, 2017 in Odienné, the regional capital city of Kabadougou, Cote d’Ivoire.
It was placed under the High Patronage of the Prime Minister who was represented by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Amadou Koné, who chaired the opening ceremony.
Highlights of the opening ceremony included the speech of Odienné Mayor, Ms. Nasseneba Touré, of the representative of the Ministry of Interior; the WAEMU Local Authorities Council Representative; the President of UCLG Africa I-Cities Commission, Mr. Sefiani; and the keynote speech of the Minister of Transportation, Representative of the Prime Minister.
The launch of the proceedings started with the first round table on urbanization in Africa examined from the perspective of intermediary cities and the state of human development.
The second session focused on the dialogue to be put in place between the state and cities for the better management of urbanization.
The third session was dedicated to the requirements necessary for the evaluation of the implementation of the Global Agendas.
The theme of the plenary session, “What are the conditions needed to strengthen the role of intermediary cities?” provided a space for discussion of the ideas generated from the forum’s sessions that would be presented to the World Forum scheduled for 2018 in Morocco.
At the end of discussions, participants presented five key recommendations:
1. To recognize urbanization as part of the development process of a country. This means the elaboration of urban strategies and the allocation of the technical and financial resources necessary for the integration of cities in the development of national strategies.
2. To raise the level of human development in intermediary cities; this to be based on the improvement of planning, funding and access to different basic public services for communities including those which are the poorest.
3. To develop a vertical dialogue between the state and intermediary cities for the better management of urbanization; the main points discussed to be within the parameters given to intermediary cities.
4. To strengthen the evaluation of the implementation of global agendas within intermediary cities. The development of local and regional statistics will be key in order to allow a better assessment of the global agendas at the local level.
5. To anchor decentralization within a framework of global reform with regards to public action and the definition of subsidiarity within the public sphere by strengthening the weight of intermediary cities in public expenses.