UPDATES FROM ADVOCACY & MOBILIZATION
A meeting with H.E Samia Hassan Suluhu, the Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania was held in February 2017 in Dar es Salaam where she pledged to follow-up with the relevant offices about the ratification of the charter on decentralization. The Director of EARO and chairman of the Association of Local Governments Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) met with H.E. Samia Hassan Suluhu, the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, February 2017 in Dar es Salaam where she pledged her commitment to pursue the ratification of the charter on decentralization.
The Vice president also promised to follow up on the bid for UCLGA to establish headquarters for the Eastern Africa Regional Office in Arusha, Tanzania. UCLGA expressed its appreciation of the steps the government of Tanzania has taken so far, in the pursuance of a decentralization policy to improve service delivery. The director of UCLGA –EARO, Dr. Juma Nyende, stressed the importance of localizing Sustainable Development goals for them to yield good results and improve local economic development in Tanzania.
On June 16, 2017 a meeting was held between EARO staff and the EAC secretary general in the LA at the EAC secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania.
Mr. Marandu introduced the EARO team, who met with the new secretary general for the first time and congratulated him on his promotion to the office of secretary general for the East African Community. Dr. Nyende conveyed compliments and greetings from the UCLGA secretary general followed by a detailed presentation on UCLGA and its activities in the Eastern Africa Region. He outlined UCLGA’s desire and plans of working closely with East African Community towards the creation of a local government platform within EAC and the regional integration process in general.
Discussion included the objectives of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development, whose ratification is pending in all partner states of EAC with the exception of Burundi and the activities of UCLGA in promoting the charter through its work with various stakeholders.
Dr. Juma informed the meeting of UCLGA’s intention to work with the East African Community towards the establishment of a local government platform within the region to facilitate dialogue with the East Africa community and contribute towards the regional integration process.
The following action points were emphasized as a way forward:
- UCLGA to work in conjunction with EAC to arrange a high level consultative meeting with key decision makers from partner states to chart a way forward with a structured dialogue for local government in the regional integration process.
- UCLGA to work with a selected technical team of EAC to formulate a concept paper for the proposed meeting.
- The task of inviting participants to the high level meeting to be undertaken by the office of the EAC secretary general.
- EAC and UCLGA to begin identifying and contacting possible sources to fund the meeting.
December 12-13, 2017 the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) convened the maiden technical working committee in preparation for the high-level meeting of political leaders and senior technical officers on Local Governments and Regional Integration in the East African Community. Members of the technical working committee who attended the meeting were representatives of local government associations, staff from the EAC Secretariat and UCLG Africa’s East Africa Regional Office.
The purpose of the technical working committee meeting was to initiate preparations for the high-level meeting, which is scheduled for March 2018. The meeting aims to chart a way forward towards mainstreaming local government matters in the regional integration process, including among others, consideration for the establishment of a sectoral council on local government affairs in the EAC.
- January 18-19, 2018, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) in cooperation with the Association of Mayors of Comoros convened an executive committee meeting attended by representatives from the French Embassy in Comoros and the Ministry of Interior from the Republic of Comoros. The purpose of the meeting was to validate the strategic plan for the Association of Mayors and preparation for the general assembly meeting where the strategic plan would be validated by executive committee and presented at the next General Assembly for Adoption.
EARO staff had separate meetings with representatives from the French Embassy and the Director of Decentralization from the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Comoros. The purpose of both meetings was to introduce the work of UCLGA in Africa, particularly in Comoros and also to engage them with UCLGA activities.