The first steps in the drafting of the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa”

On Thursday 4 July 2019, the first meeting of the Europe-Africa committee to draft the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa” was held at the Paris City Hall (France).

This 1st meeting is part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” adopted in November 2018 by women mayors and local elected representatives, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, and signed by the Network of Women Elected and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)-Platforma and the World Organization of Local and Regional Governments (UCLG).

The meeting was opened in the presence of Mr. Pierre Aidenbaum,the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Mr. Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, Mrs Dao Macoura Coulibaly, President of REFELA, Mrs Henriette Essame, Vice-President of REFELA for the Central African region, Mrs Irma Juliandres Harilalaina, Vice-President of REFELA for the East African region.

The meeting’s agenda included:

-The presentation of the draft charter development process using a participatory approach,

-Presentation of the questionnaire for the online consultation,

– The presentation of the European Charter;

– A discussion on the draft approach and key questions;

– Adoption of the calendar of upcoming activities;

A brief presentation of the UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

In her speech, Mrs Macoura Dao, President of REFELA, expressed particular interest in seeing the charter adopted at the Durban Congress. “The next important event is the UCLG World Congress in November 2019. We would like to see this Charter finalized by the time this congress is held so that it can be discussed and adopted on this occasion,” she said.

The meeting, moderated by Mr Emil Broberg, President of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and member of the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities, was marked by very relevant exchanges and the sharing of information and proposals that enriched the drafting process of the charter.

The name of the committee has changed to: The Africa-Europe Committee for Consultation and Support to the Charter, has set itself the task of monitoring and supporting the drafting of the Charter; stressing that the Charter must be an African product. The speakers insisted on the fact that the consultation of mayors and elected women and men of African cities and communities should be broadened for their participation in this drafting process and to guarantee, from this stage, better information and communication on the Charter and thus enable it to be better anchored once it has been drafted and adopted.

One of the main recommendations is to take the time necessary for the drafting of the first drafts of this charter by the internal working group of REFELA UCLG Africa and to submit it to committee meetings, or even workshops and events such as the 6th UCLG World Congress for consultation for their enrichment; the important thing is to produce a final version of this charter in line with the expectations of local governments in Africa.

The drafting committee also approved the draft approach for the elaboration of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa”, the online consultation platform and the Committee’s calendar of upcoming activities for the period 2019-2021.

The main steps include:

– The organization of a session during the UCLG World Congress in Durban (11-15 November 2019) by UCLG Africa, in collaboration with CEMR and with the support of UCLG, to present the Pact and the drafting plan of the Charter, and to encourage the emergence of a debate at international level, in particular by convening the participation of other regional sections of UCLG;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by CEMR and UCLG Africa, with the support of UCLG, of the second working meeting of the Drafting Committee and a session during the Europe-Africa Forum to present the Pact and the draft charter for approval (during 2020);

– The finalization of the charter and the production of a strategic plan for information, dissemination and advocacy for the adhesion and signature of the charter;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by UCLG Africa and CEMR, with the support of UCLG, of a presentation, information, dissemination and advocacy session on the Pact, aimed at encouraging adherence to the Charter and launching the process of signing the Charter during the 9th Africities Summit of UCLG Africa in Kenya, (16-20 November 2021).

As a reminder, the elaboration of the charter aims to meet the commitments made by local elected officials at the level of the African continent and at the international level. With regard to : The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2008), the principles and aspiration 6 of the African Union’s Vision 2063, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG5: achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls by 2030; The commitments made by REFELA-UCLG Africa and CEMR with the support of UCLG, to translate the Declaration of the Abidjan Europe-Africa Forum (2017) into action, mainly on gender equality at local level in Africa. One of the conclusions of the Forum was to work to strengthen the role of women in the governance of local and regional authorities in Africa, and to develop an African Local and Regional Authorities Charter for Gender Equality.

“PLATFORMA, a project co-financed by the European Union, is the pan-European coalition of towns and regions – and the associations representing them – active in development cooperation”

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi : Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45