A delegation led by Mr. Lahcen Amrouch, President of the Communal Council of Argana, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC) carried out a mission in Uganda from 28 January to 4 February 2022, with a view to relaunching decentralized cooperation between the local authorities of the two countries. UCLG Africa took part in this process at the invitation of the Moroccan side. The main purpose of this initiative was to relaunch decentralized cooperation between Moroccan and Ugandan local governments as well as between national associations of local governments of both countries.
In addition to Mr. Amrouch, the delegation was composed of : Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Mohamed Nbou, Director of the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa, Ms. Soumia Benlesbir, Research Officer, Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa, Ms. Nisrine Bennani, Climate, Biodiversity and Food Systems Department, UCLG Africa, Ms. Noual Atlas, Consul President of the Moroccan Association of African Solidarity (AMSA), Dr. Ebrahieem Ssali, Representative of the Mohammed VI Foundation in Uganda.
Strategic meetings were held in the cities of Kampala, Jinja, Mbarara and Sheema District Municipality. These included working sessions with the Ministry of Local Government; the Ministry of Water and Environment; the Ministry of Women, Employment and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the European Union Delegation to Uganda; the Uganda Association of Women Parliamentarians; the Moroccan Association for African Solidarity (AMSA) in Uganda; the Kyabirukwa Health Centre; and Kayunga Organic Farmers’ Association.
The opportunity was taken to remind the relevant departments of the Ugandan government of the need for Uganda to sign and ratify the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at their conference held in June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
In addition, a comprehensive presentation was made on the African Fund for International Decentralized Cooperation (AFIDC) set up by the Government of Morocco to encourage South-South cooperation. The Moroccan delegation sensitized the national and territorial authorities on the need to seize the opportunity of the 3rd call for projects of the FACDI to develop partnerships between local authorities of Uganda and local authorities of Morocco. Eight areas of intervention are privileged by the Ugandan authorities in the framework of their participation in the call for projects of the FACDI: 1. Improvement of the provision of basic services to the population; 2. Poverty alleviation and income generation for households; 3. Adaptation to climate change; 4. Resource mobilization and improved financial management; 5. Strengthening human resources; 6. Gender equality and support for youth and people with disabilities; 7. Urban planning; 8. Local economic development and investment promotion.
The work with the city of Jinja focused on the relaunch of the project on the greening of the city of Jinja implemented by UCLG Africa on funding from the European Commission, and on the relaunch of the implementation of the partnership project between Jinja and Essaouira on FACDI funding.
Signature of an MoU between the city of Mbarara (Uganda) and the commune of Argana (Morocco)
On 3 February 2022, the city of Mbarara in Uganda and the town of Argana in Morocco signed a partnership protocol. The signing of the said protocol took place in Mbarara between the mayors of the two communities, with as witness, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Local Government of Uganda. The cooperation between Mbarara and Argana will particularly target: local economic development; management of household waste; environmental protection and greening of the city; planning and management of urban growth; capacity building of elected officials and staff of the municipal administration. It was also mission was presented to the Ugandan side the African Network of Local Products, being created by the Municipality of Argana in cooperation with UCLG Africa.
The production cooperatives of the Ugandan communities were encouraged to be among the first to join this Network whose official launch should take place during the Africities Summit to be held from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya.