The North Africa regional caucus of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) was held from 01 to 02 November 2021 in Luxor (Egypt).
The opening ceremony was marked by speeches from: His Excellency Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Qader, Deputy Governor of Luxor, the Honorable Peter Anyang Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu, Kenya, and Mrs. Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat.
The proceedings were chaired by Mr. Lahcen Amrouche of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), who is the vice-president of UCLG Africa for the North Africa region. Five out of the seven countries in the region took part in the two-day conclave: Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia. They were represented by the President and the Permanent Secretary of the national association of local authorities, the President of the national chapter of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), and one Representative of the Network of Local Elected Young People Africa (YELO).
The meeting in Luxor was the second in a series of regional caucuses organized in preparation for the 9th edition of the Africities Summit to be held from May 17th to May 21st, 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The elective general assembly during which it is planned to elect the full and alternate members of UCLG Africa’s governing bodies will also be will be held during Africities on May 20th, 2022. The theme chosen for the Africities summit is: ” The role of Africa’s intermediate cities in the implementation of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063″.
During the two days of proceedings, the participants were informed of the current actions carried out by UCLG Africa through its new GADDEPA 2.0 strategy and its 7 priority focus areas selected by the members of UCLG Africa for the 2021-2030 decade, namely: Economy and local finance; climate, biodiversity, and food systems; gender and youth; access to basic and SDG services; migration; culture; and peace and security.
The participants paid particular attention to the implementation process of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA), the financial vehicle enabling African local governments to access the financial market. One hundred voluntary local authorities are invited to subscribe as founding members of the ATA cooperative society with a contribution of 100,000 Euros each. In carrying out this project, UCLG Africa intends to rely on partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), so that the ATA becomes a subsidiary body of the AfDB.
The Africities summit was also presented, which will take place over 5 days. A distinction is made between thematic sessions organized during the first 3 days of the Summit, and the political sessions organized during the last 2 days of the Summit in addition to the Exhibition which is part and parcel of Africities. The sessions also include a series of special events in the form of “Special Days”. The thematic sessions set out the details of the theme of the Summit and of the strategies to be implemented, as well as the coalitions to be built so that intermediate cities are able to play the role expected from them. These sessions make recommendations for the attention of Ministers, Mayors, Leaders and elected representatives of local governments, as well as for the attention of development partners. The political sessions include the meeting of Ministers, the meeting of Mayors and Leaders of local authorities, and the meeting of Development Partners, as well as the tripartite political dialogue meeting between Ministers, Mayors and Leaders of local authorities, and Development Partners. The Africities Exhibition offers to companies, institutions, and organizations the opportunity to present their products and solutions through the rental of booths, the animation of workshops, and the organization of B-to-B meetings on site and virtually.
The summit also serves as a framework for the presentation of the barometer relating to the institutional environment of African local governments (CEE Rating). The report produced by UCLG Africa proposes a framework within which cities and countries can compare each other’s performance and act in order to create an environment conducive to decentralization. The report helps identify the challenges faced by countries in implementing these actions, and helps all stakeholders to discuss the reforms needed to meet these challenges. The initiative also aims to guide international technical and financial partners in defining their support. The members of the North Africa region were informed about their respective ranking in the last report (CEE Rating).
A plea was made for gender equality in the governing bodies for North Africa, for the representation of women in the governing bodies of regional authorities in the region through the REFELA network. A plea was also made for the representation of young people within the governing bodies of local governments in North Africa. The local elected officials of the North Africa region were invited to promote and energize the actions of REFELA in their respective countries around the three campaigns launched by the network, namely: the Campaign of African Cities without Street Children (launched in 2018), the Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women (launched in 2019), and the Campaign of African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women (launched in 2020). Regarding youth issues, local elected officials were invited to supervise young people by involving them in issues of territorial governance. The fact is that most of the young local elected officials in the region are only municipal councilors, and very few of them hold the office of mayors.
The experience of Egypt’s “Smart Transport System” was shared with the elected officials, and an invitation was extended to the Egyptian side to share it again during the Africities 9 summit in Kisumu.
Local elected officials from the North Africa region expressed their major concerns towards the Africities Summit:
– The issue of access by local governments to financing remains a recurring concern. The participants ask that support be given to the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA), a financial vehicle enabling local governments to access the financial market. The participants also recommend continuing the efforts led by the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa to facilitate the access of local authorities to climate finance, in particular to the Green Fund.
– The major challenge of the day is to succeed in the digital transformation of local authorities. A real program to support the digital transformation of local governments should be set up at the level of UCLG Africa. In this regard, the participants welcomed the partnership between UCLG Africa and 01 Talent for the training of young people in coding techniques and the creation of Zones 01 in African cities at their request.
– The participants expressed the wish that “Open Government” be adopted everywhere, making it possible to facilitate relations between citizens and those in charge of local governments. “Open Government” will help rebuild trust between citizens and public authorities, as well as transparency and integrity in the management of local authorities.
– The strengthening of the international action of local authorities and in particular in the field of decentralized cross-border cooperation with a view to strengthening regional integration and initiating the dynamics of… the Africa of the People. In this regard, the participants welcomed the initiative taken by Morocco to create an African Fund to support decentralized cooperation and express the hope that other countries can do the same.
The participants will continue their consultation to develop the 5 questions for the attention of ministers during the tripartite political dialogue between Ministers, Mayors and leaders of local authorities, and Development Partners planned to take place in Africities.
The North Africa Regional caucus has also appointed its main candidates for the elective general assembly of UCLG Africa scheduled to take place on May 20, 2022 in Kisumu. The participation of the candidates is expected with a view to the designation of nine members of the North Africa region out of the 45 members of the Pan-African Council, the three members of the North Africa region out of the 15 members of the Executive Committee, and one Vice-President for North Africa out of the five members of the Presidency, and one representative of the North Africa region out of the 5 members of the Financial Management Commission (only for UCLG Africa). Ditto for the members of the Pan-African council of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and of the Network of Young Elected Representatives of Africa (YELO).
A list of 6 permanent candidates for the Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa (see table) has been communicated. The list will be completed by December 31st, 2021. The secretariat of the regional caucus will contact the absent local governments so that they can express their candidacies before December 31st, 2021. After this deadline, the remaining positions will be filled by interested members. The members of the caucus resolved to meet at the headquarters of UCLG Africa in Rabat, Morocco in January 2022 to finalize the list of candidates from North Africa with the incumbents, the alternates, and the member of the electoral commission. For YELO, the caucus instructs the Association of Mayors of Mauritania, whose delegation includes the only young person present at the work, to initiate and ensure, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa, the coordination of the youth networks of various member countries in order to prepare appropriately for the establishment of the North African Network of Young Local Elected Officials during the Africities summit to be held in Kisumu, Kenya. The REFELA network has communicated the names of its candidates listed in the table below.
GOVERNING BODIES OF UCLG AFRICA
|Country||PANAFRICAN COUNCIL||EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE||VICE PRESIDENCY UCLG Africa|
|LIBYA||National Association of Municipal Councils of Libya (NMCA)||TBC||Cairo -Egypt||Region of Nouakchott (Mauritania)|
|MOROCCO||City of Rabat||TBC|
|MOROCCO||Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC)||TBC|
|MAURITANIA||Region of Nouakchott||TBC||Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC- Morocco)|
|TUNISIA||National Federation of Tunisian Communes (FNCT)||TBC|
|Region of Nouakchott (Mauritania)|
|FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION|
|National Federation of Tunisian Communes (FNCT)|
REFELA’ S GOVERNING BODIES
|Country||PANAFRICAN COUNCIL OF REFELA||EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE REFELA NETWORK||VICE PRESIDENCY – REFELA|
|ALGERIA||Absent||Absent||Commune of Arbaoua
|Commune of Arbaoua
|EGYPT||City of Damieta||TBC|
|LIBYA||Commune of JANZOUR||TBC|
|LIBYA||Commune Souk El Jomoa||TBC|
|MOROCCO||Commune of Arbaoua||TBC||Commune of Araffat
|MOROCCO||Commune of LEGFIFAT||TBC|
|MAURITANIA||Commune of Araffat||TBC|
|MAURITANIA||City of Nteichit||TBC||Commune of JANZOUR
For more information, please contact Gaëlle Yomi:
Phone: + 212 610 56 71 45
UCLG Africa website : www.uclga.org