In 2019, Togo experienced a major turning point in its decentralization process with the holding of the first municipal elections since 1987. Among these new elected officials, Ms. Yawa Kouigan was elected mayor of the Ogou 1 Commune (Atakpamé). The first woman to hold this position, she succeeded on 15 November 2020, in gaining the confidence of the country’s mayors by being elected president of the Faîtière des communes du Togo (FCT), an entity launched the same day to replaced the Union des Communes du Togo.
Under her leadership, the FCT has been advocating and capacity building activities for the positioning of local elected officials at the heart of communal action at the national and international levels.
During the COP 26, the standard bearer of the 117 communes of Togo took an active part in the debates in Glasgow within the delegation of UCLG Africa in order to plead for the territorialization of the Nationally Determined Conditions (NDCs). “We firmly believe that by territorializing our national climate plans, we will obtain local action with better results,” she said.
In one year and a few months of existence, the FCT is making its way to strengthen its sub-regional and international influence.
On 15 February 2022, Ms. Yawa Kouigan set the stage for a South-South decentralized cooperation between the FCT and the National Association of Benin Municipalities (ANCB). This was during a working visit of the ANCB to Togo. The two parties plan to cooperate in the areas of taxation and sanitation.
Still in the register of decentralized cooperation, the president of the FCT received on 22 February 2022, the ambassador of France in Togo, Jocelyne Caballero. The diplomat said she wanted to contribute to the establishment of relations with French municipalities. The meeting focused on the competences of the communes, a local democracy space with the clause of free administration as well as their own resources, which should allow them to contribute to the development of the territories.
For Ms. Kouigan, the communes must become real relays to accompany the government of Togo “in its development ambitions through decentralization. Municipal management must meet the aspirations of the population”. This is the objective that the president of the FCT wants to promote under her leadership in order to clear the way for decentralization.
Ms. Florence Yawa KOUIGAN was born in 1979. She was a lawyer at the Court between 2007 and 2009. She holds a Master’s degree in Private Law and Corporate Communication from the University of Lomé. She was respectively legal advisor and in charge of the general secretariat of ECOBANK and then assistant coordinator of the EOM-EU. Formerly in charge of the communication commission at the CENI, Yawa Kouigan currently holds the position of deputy director of communication at the presidency of the Togolese Republic.
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