The main areas of intervention for advocacy and lobbying involves engaging African local authorities to enhance their role within the African Union in order to strengthen the African Union Governance Architecture (AGA) with better representation of stakeholders. This will provide a direct connection between policies and strategies defined at continental level and their implementation and impact at local level. It will also ensure more effective participation of national associations of local authorities in the definition and implementation of AU programmes concerning local authorities and contribute to a greater impact of AU development cooperation initiatives at the grassroots level in Africa.
UCLG Africa’s engagement with African Union institutions allows for the common lobbying of national governments to expedite the signing and ratification of the African Charter of values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development.
At the end of 2016, nine African countries had signed the Charter, but none were ratified with the depositing of its instruments. UCLG Africa will work with national associations to ensure the ratification of the Charter.
In addition to work on ratifying the Africa Charter, UCLG Africa is also working on the implementation of the High Council of Local Authorities as a consultative institution of the African Union: This was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the AU at their conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2014.
UCLG Africa’s collaborative relationship with the African Union Commission also involves greater cooperation with specialist technical committees (STC), established by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union to introduce more coherence in the structuring of the African Union ministerial conferences. STC 8 was set up and includes oversight of ministerial conferences for public service, urban development and housing and decentralization and local government.
A Memorandum of Understanding between STC 8 and UCLG Africa has been signed and UCLG Africa has been established:
EU/Africa Local Government Forum
The EU/Africa dialogue comes at a crucial time for the continent when Africa and Europe face common threats related to the risks of destabilization in their respective societies due to extremism and terrorism and the pressure of international migration and refugees.
UCLG Africa’s advocacy and mobilization interventions include highlighting the very important role local governments must play in promoting and challenging these critical issues at a local level. For example, the position paper on migration tabled by UCLG Africa highlights the crude reality that migration and refugees have their origin and destination in local territories under the responsibility of local and subnational governments. The paper advocates that our members become more engaged in discussions on the different ways to address issues raised by these two important continental agendas on extremism and migration.
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UCLG Africa was also involved in the facilitation of the first Europe-Africa Local and Regional Government Forum which brought together leaders of local and regional governments of the Member States of the African Union and of the European Union, for a meeting on November 27, 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on the side-lines of the 5th EU-Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government of the two regions outlining their commitment to working closely together.
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UCLG Africa will mobilize local and subnational governments to:
Climate Change Task Force
The African continent is undergoing a process of rapid urbanization that is expected to continue in the coming decades. Its population is expected to reach 2.4 billion people by 20501, including 1.34 billion urban citizens versus 455 million at present2. All African cities, whether large or intermediate sized cities or small towns, will face the same demographic, social and economic challenges in the coming decades. These challenges are exacerbated by climate change on a particularly vulnerable continent.
UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force was launched at COP 23 in 2017 and is committed to the synergy of different stakeholders around the Climate Agenda bringing together various stakeholders working on climate change issues. Stakeholders include local governments, development banks, institutions specializing in the financing of local governments, technical support agencies for local governments, academic and research institutions, associations of local governments and NGOs active in the field of climate.
As the role of territories has now been recognized as essential for the realization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) the Task Force has been positioned to support local and subnational governments and cities, which will have a significant impact on the levels of engagement of African local governments in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The multi-stakeholder members of the Task Force will be able to support local governments in Africa implement their NDCs and build their capacity to access climate finance, most notably the Green Climate Fund.
Different stakeholders from the private sector and civil society working in the field of climate change that can support and build the capacity of our members are encouraged to join our Climate Change Task Force. Please click here and contact us at the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa
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UCLG Africa’s flagship event, Africities Summit, is the most important dialogue platform on decentralization and local governance in Africa. The Africities Summit is organized every 3-years and gathers over 5,000 participants from across Africa as well as from outside the continent, representing stakeholders interested in decentralization policies in Africa, including ministers, mayors and local authorities, African Union institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, professionals from national and local administrations, research and academia and development partners.
As an eminent occasion for mayors and local and regional representatives to get together, Africities is viewed as the voice of the 15 000 local authorities that administer the African territories. It aims to widen the dialogue and encourage the exchange of information on decentralization policies. The Africities Summit also aims to improve coordination between the states and local authorities with the supporters of the implementation of decentralization policies.
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The preparation for Africities includes the organization of meetings with the Africities official bodies (political, executive and operational committees); holding of the working sessions of the strategic group in charge of the elaboration of the content of the Summit; planning of the Summit program and mobilization of the speakers; development of the Summit’s website and other communication tools necessary for the registration of participants; and addressing logistical and protocol issues etc.
For more information on the next Africities Summit click here to visit www.africities…
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African Cities Magazine
“The Platform for the African debate on urban growth”
The economic revitalisation of Africa is being shaped and defined by its cities; they are one of the most powerful engines for growth. As these cities expand into metropolitan areas, which in turn morph into mega-regions, African city density, interactions and networks are serving to bring together, organize and empower people and business and provide access to a global basket of opportunities.
UCLG Africa’s African Cities Magazine serves to highlight the efforts of African cities policy makers, investors, researchers, governments and interested parties whose efforts have a common goal; the vision of an urban environment worthy of the 21st century and one that will account for some 1.2 billion residents by 2050.
In their efforts to speed up development, city stakeholders are working relentlessly to meet challenges and ensure systematic and inclusive urban planning, the introduction of new technologies, the promotion of financial inclusion and the empowerment of local governments among others.
African Cities is the voice of all those who innovate, who collaborate and who act in the best interests of local governments for development, for entrepreneurship and aid in building the people’s cities of Africa.
African Mayor Awards
The inaugural 2015 ‘José Eduardo dos Santos African Mayor Awards’, created by UCLG Africa was launched. The awards ceremony took place on April 29-30, 2015 in Luanda, Angola.
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The African Mayor Award acknowledges and celebrates the leadership and contribution of mayors of large, medium and small cities across Africa during a formal ceremony and a gala dinner chaired by President José Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda.
The Awards honours African mayors who have made an outstanding contribution to their communities and who have developed a vision for urban living and working and visiting across Africa: The inaugural award was supported by the Government of Angola, UN-Habitat, UCLG Africa and the IC Publications Group.
Every year UCLG Africa works with regional offices to host country/regional competitions, for example the Tanzania Mayor Awards, which then feeds into a continent-wide award hosted every three years during Africities.
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The next Awards will take place during Africities in Morocco, 2018 and will recognize African Mayors and municipal professionals from large metropolises (1,000,000 residents or more), intermediate metropolises (less than 1,000,000 and more than 200,000 residents) and small cities (up to 200,000 residents), as well as short-listed territories that will have the opportunity to win the prestigious Award.
For more information on the African Mayor Awards click here to visit www.africanmayorawards.com