Creation and Evolution

The Network of local elected Women of Africa (REFELA) was created in March 2011 in Tangier, under the impetus of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) with the support of the Kingdom of Morocco.

REFELA brings together African women mayors and local elected representatives at the continental level and constitutes their voice for the promotion of gender responsive local governance.

REFELA is attached to UCLG Africa and has been its Standing Committee on Gender Equality since 2016.

REFELA is represented at the level of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality of UCLG World, which is recognized as the voice of the world’s cities and local governments by the United Nations.

Gender Promotion

The Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) is committed to an ambitious agenda for the implementation and territorialization of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 4, SDG 5 and SDG 11.

This dynamic network, comprising over 30 national chapters on the African continent to date, aims to effectively bring the issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to the level of local authorities, to accelerate the inclusion of the gender dimension in public policies and the development plans of cities and territories, and to improve women’s access to local and regional decision-making spheres for greater female representation within these authorities.

Building a parity, inclusive and gender-sensitive local Africa .

We seek to build an equitable, inclusive and gender-sensitive Africa, where gender equity prevails and communities mobilize to protect vulnerable children and to ensure territorial inclusiveness in Africa. We support initiatives to empower women and girls. 

To be the engine of change for equity, empowerment of women and girls, protection of vulnerable children and inclusiveness of all categories in need.

REFELA aims to meet the challenges set for the period 2022-2025 by encouraging a more visible and active participation of elected local women officials and endeavors to the following:

  • Promote REFELA
  • Continue the implementation of National Chapters and strengthen the ones established
  • Stimulate local policies to integrate the issue of gender parity and equality in African territorial governance
  • Implement the newly adopted Local and Regional Government’s Charter for Gender Equality in Africa
  • Follow up and evaluate the implementation of the REFELA Campaigns
  • Give local elected women of Africa an international voice and platform to share their successful experience with their counterparts in the world
  • Identify partners for sustainable financial support

Governance of REFELA

With its own rules of procedure, the governance of REFELA is structured according to three territorial levels, continental, regional and national, similar to UCLG Africa.

The Network is organized as follows:

  • The General Assembly is the highest decision-making structure of REFELA which meets every three years during the UCLG Africa Africities Summit. The General Assembly brings together all women holding an elective office or who have been appointed to similar positions within local authorities.
  • The Network Committee is the body directly elected by the General Assembly. It is comprised of forty-five (45) active members, including the nine (9) members from each of the five African sub-regions (North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa).
  • The Board is elected from among the members of the Committee. It is composed of fifteen (15) members, three (3) from each of the five (5) African sub-regions.
  • The Presidency is elected from among the members of the Bureau. It is composed of five (5) Vice-Presidents, one from each of the five (5) sub-regions of Africa, amongst which the President of REFELA is elected.

At the country level, REFELA is represented by the National Chapters, which constitute the standing committees for gender equality of the national associations.

Current President of REFELA:

– The current President of REFELA is Hon. Rohey Malick Lowe, Mayor of Banjul, capital city of The Gambia.

Hon. Rohey Malick Lowe

Hon. Rohey Malick Lowe

President of REFELA | Vice President of REFELA - Western Africa Region | Mayor of Banjul (The Gambia)
Hon. Fatna El Khiel

Hon. Fatna El Khiel

Vice President of REFELA – Northern Africa Region | Mayor of Arbaoua (Morocco)
Hon. Maria Helena Correia Jose Langa

Hon. Maria Helena Correia Jose Langa

Vice President of REFELA – Southern Africa Region | Mayor of Mandlakazi (Mozambique)
Hon. Marie Angel Meyanga Epse Noah

Hon. Marie Angel Meyanga Epse Noah

Vice President of REFELA – Central Africa Region | Mayor of Afanloum (Cameroon)


Vice President of REFELA - Eastern Africa Region


We are always busy somewhere.  Find out where you can meet up with us.

Action Plan

REFELA strategic 2022-2025 action plan

Advocacy for REFELA outreach, implementation of REFELA country chapters and mobilization of local, national and international partnerships and funding

Relaunching, accompanying the implementation and monitoring evaluation of the three Campaigns

Promotion, ownership and implementation of the African Charter for Local Authorities on Gender Equality in Africa

REFELA in action to fight climate change and committed to sustainable and forward-looking African cities and communities for women and girls

Development of the leadership of elected women and promotion of parity in local politics

Contact us

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us in Rabat or Ouagadougou on the following addresses or telephone numbers. Alternatively, you can fill in the form below

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22 Saadiyine Street, Hassan

Rabat – Kingdom of Morocco


Tel: +212(0)5 37 26 00 62/63

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