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Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa: Morocco chosen as Africa’s candidate for the presidency of UCLG World

Libreville, the capital of Gabon, hosted an extraordinary meeting of UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee on 26 July 2019.  The meeting, convened on the initiative of the President of UCLG Africa, Mr. Léandre Nzue, Mayor of Libreville, was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Gabon: His Excellency Mr Julien Nkoghe Bekalé.

The sole purpose of the Executive Committee meeting (Extraordinary) was the Designation of candidates of Africa for the Presidency of the United Cities and Local Governments – World within the framework of the World Congress that will be held from 11 to 15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa

For the nomination of the candidate for the position of UCLG World President, the members of the Executive Committee present used a vote to choose between the Moroccan candidature put forward by the Association of Presidents of Moroccan Communal Councils (AMPCC) and the South African candidature put forward by the National Association of South African Local Authorities (SALGA).  At the end of the vote, the Moroccan candidate obtained a majority of votes.

Thus, the President of the AMPCC, Mr. Mohamed Boudra will be Africa’s candidate for the position of UCLG World President.

Concerning the nomination of Africa’s candidate for the post of UCLG Vice-President for Africa, the only candidate in the running was the Association of Municipalities of Burkina Faso (AMBF), represented by its President, Mr. Armand Béouindé.

Elections for the renewal bodies of UCLG are scheduled from 11 to 15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa during the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders.

The President of UCLG Africa, Mr. Léandre Nzue, invited all members to mobilise and support Morocco’s candidacy for the position of President of the world organization UCLG.

In Durban, Africa’s mission will be to repeat the achievement of 2016 in Bogota (Colombia), where it was first taken to the head of the world organization through its candidate Park Tau, then president of the National Association of Local Authorities of South Africa (SALGA).

 

The presentation of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa is available here

 

 

 

 

The REFELA among the delegation of mayors of the world, received in audience by the Secretary General of the United Nations, at the High Level Policy Forum on Sustainable Development

The High-level Political Forum is the United Nations body responsible for global review of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main theme of the 2019 Forum, held from 09-18 July at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusion and Equality”.  It was discussed how to empower people and ensure inclusion and equality, while assessing overall progress in achieving the SDGs, with special attention to SDGs  8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.

It is in this context that the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, received in audience, a delegation of mayors of the world, which represented several networks, members of the Global Taskforce, including UCLG and the Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa. This delegation was led by the President of the world organization of UCLG, Mr Parks Tau with the participation of the President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao, Mayor of the commune of Foumbolo-Côte d’Ivoire, and of other mayors from Africa and other continents.

During this hearing, the Secretary General of the United Nations mentioned, among other things, the importance of the role of local authorities in localizing the 17 SDGs of the International Agenda, to “Empower people and ensure Inclusion and Equality”, as discussed in this High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of key actors to be considered for the implementation of the global development goals. The delegation received by the Secretary General of the UN was made up of elected officials.The challenge for the mayors present at this hearing and for the President of REFELA was to convince the UN Secretary General to give speaking time to UCLG, UCLG Africa, UCLG Africa’s Global task Force on Climate,  and REFELA, at the United Nations General Assembly to draw attention   be given to local authorities.

 

.Intervention of local elected officials :

The GLOBAL Taskforce could be a credible interlocutor. It is about moving governance mechanisms, by asking natioonal governments  to consider the place of local authorities alongside them. The challenge is to unite forces and means of action to face challenges such as ecological emergencies, gender equality, poverty alleviation, educational development, the rebalancing of public policies, and global actions that today make people vulnerable.

Local authorities are at the forefront of meeting these challenges. They must have the means to act: recognizing their role and giving them a place in global governance would be an important step.

 

On behalf of REFELA, President Macoura Dao was able to send a strong message to the UN Secretary-General: “REFELA joins the various messages delivered by the representatives of networks of elected officials,  and draws attention to the importance of the proximity of African women local elected representatives, to achieve the global goals. In addition, people should count on women mayors and female local elected representatives of Africa, grouped within REFELA, and on  their determination to act for the implementation of SDGs 4, 5, 11 and 15. Women mayors and female elected officials propose to carry out three campaigns, (i) the campaign of African cities without street children; (ii) the campaign of African cities with zero tolerance for violence against women and girls; and (iii) the campaign of African cities for women’s economic empowerment; convinced that, if implemented, these campaigns would help make the cities and territories of Africa sustainable communities, where inhabitants – bothe male and female- would feel concretely the improvement of their living conditions. This is only possible with the improvement of the economic, social and political inclusion of women and the support of the international community “.

“Answer of the U.N. Secretary General: “You preach to a convinced, my wife is still a local elected official in Italy and I myself had  local mandates … I understand the importance of the actions of local authorities and the specificity of their roles in the implementation of the SDGs. But this is a forum of national governments  and I am not the only one to decide. It is obvious that some national governments are against putting local authorities in the limelight, but I support you … You must convince each of your natiopnal governments to take you in the official delegation … I congratulate REFELA: I know that women need support, and I will support you … ” »

Call for Consultation Drafting of the Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa (Deadline: September 30, 2019 )

Presentation

An online consultation will take place with the purpose of facilitating greater participation in the drafting of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa.” This will contribute towards the implementation of the “Marrakech Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality,” established by REFELA-CGLU Africa with CCRE-Platforma-Section Europe and the World Organization, UCLG, at the 8th edition of the Marrakech Africities Summit (20-24 November, 2018).

The consultation is aimed at local governments in Africa, UCLG Africa and REFELA bodies and national associations of local authorities in Africa. It will also target civil society organizations, including women’s rights associations, national organizations in Africa and Europe and those interested in promoting gender equality in Africa and who wish to be involved, through their ideas and proposals, in the drafting of the charter.

It will require completion of a short questionnaire (8 closed questions with explanations) and aims to gather information, opinions, guidelines and advice, which will be taken into consideration in order to produce a draft of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa” through a participatory process.

Calling all women mayors, local elected officials, representatives of civil society and national and international organizations to complete the questionnaire here

(Please add a cross to indicate your answers and give reasons for your response)

Please send the questionnaire to the following address: KDrissa@uclga.org / mghefrane@uclga.org or possibility of sending by fax to the following number +212 537 260 060

Possibility to answer online at the following links:
French
English

The first steps in the drafting of the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa”

On Thursday 4 July 2019, the first meeting of the Europe-Africa committee to draft the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa” was held at the Paris City Hall (France).

This 1st meeting is part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” adopted in November 2018 by women mayors and local elected representatives, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, and signed by the Network of Women Elected and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)-Platforma and the World Organization of Local and Regional Governments (UCLG).

The meeting was opened in the presence of Mr. Pierre Aidenbaum,the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Mr. Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, Mrs Dao Macoura Coulibaly, President of REFELA, Mrs Henriette Essame, Vice-President of REFELA for the Central African region, Mrs Irma Juliandres Harilalaina, Vice-President of REFELA for the East African region.

The meeting’s agenda included:

-The presentation of the draft charter development process using a participatory approach,

-Presentation of the questionnaire for the online consultation,

– The presentation of the European Charter;

– A discussion on the draft approach and key questions;

– Adoption of the calendar of upcoming activities;

A brief presentation of the UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

In her speech, Mrs Macoura Dao, President of REFELA, expressed particular interest in seeing the charter adopted at the Durban Congress. “The next important event is the UCLG World Congress in November 2019. We would like to see this Charter finalized by the time this congress is held so that it can be discussed and adopted on this occasion,” she said.

The meeting, moderated by Mr Emil Broberg, President of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and member of the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities, was marked by very relevant exchanges and the sharing of information and proposals that enriched the drafting process of the charter.

The name of the committee has changed to: The Africa-Europe Committee for Consultation and Support to the Charter, has set itself the task of monitoring and supporting the drafting of the Charter; stressing that the Charter must be an African product. The speakers insisted on the fact that the consultation of mayors and elected women and men of African cities and communities should be broadened for their participation in this drafting process and to guarantee, from this stage, better information and communication on the Charter and thus enable it to be better anchored once it has been drafted and adopted.

One of the main recommendations is to take the time necessary for the drafting of the first drafts of this charter by the internal working group of REFELA UCLG Africa and to submit it to committee meetings, or even workshops and events such as the 6th UCLG World Congress for consultation for their enrichment; the important thing is to produce a final version of this charter in line with the expectations of local governments in Africa.

The drafting committee also approved the draft approach for the elaboration of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa”, the online consultation platform and the Committee’s calendar of upcoming activities for the period 2019-2021.

The main steps include:

– The organization of a session during the UCLG World Congress in Durban (11-15 November 2019) by UCLG Africa, in collaboration with CEMR and with the support of UCLG, to present the Pact and the drafting plan of the Charter, and to encourage the emergence of a debate at international level, in particular by convening the participation of other regional sections of UCLG;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by CEMR and UCLG Africa, with the support of UCLG, of the second working meeting of the Drafting Committee and a session during the Europe-Africa Forum to present the Pact and the draft charter for approval (during 2020);

– The finalization of the charter and the production of a strategic plan for information, dissemination and advocacy for the adhesion and signature of the charter;

– The preparation, organization and implementation by UCLG Africa and CEMR, with the support of UCLG, of a presentation, information, dissemination and advocacy session on the Pact, aimed at encouraging adherence to the Charter and launching the process of signing the Charter during the 9th Africities Summit of UCLG Africa in Kenya, (16-20 November 2021).

As a reminder, the elaboration of the charter aims to meet the commitments made by local elected officials at the level of the African continent and at the international level. With regard to : The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2008), the principles and aspiration 6 of the African Union’s Vision 2063, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG5: achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls by 2030; The commitments made by REFELA-UCLG Africa and CEMR with the support of UCLG, to translate the Declaration of the Abidjan Europe-Africa Forum (2017) into action, mainly on gender equality at local level in Africa. One of the conclusions of the Forum was to work to strengthen the role of women in the governance of local and regional authorities in Africa, and to develop an African Local and Regional Authorities Charter for Gender Equality.

“PLATFORMA, a project co-financed by the European Union, is the pan-European coalition of towns and regions – and the associations representing them – active in development cooperation”

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi : Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail:gyomi@uclga.org

Mr. Léandre Nzue, New President of UCLG Africa , Mrs. Macoura Dao, New President of REFELA

The statutory meetings of UCLG Africa in Cairo held from 17 to 21 June 2019 were marked by the installation of the new President of UCLG Africa namely Mr. Léandre Nzue, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon) and the election of Mrs Macoura Dao, as President of the Network of Locally Elected Women and Territorial Leaders of Africa (REFELA).

At the opening of the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa on 18 June, the members received the profession of faith from Mr. Léandre Nzue, who, in his capacity as newly elected Mayor of Libreville, was installed as the new President of UCLG Africa for the period 2019 to 2021, and therefore chaired this 20th session of the Executive Committee.

During his installation, the President of UCLG Africa undertook to encourage unity and dialogue, facilitate public and private investment, foster the integration of associations of local authorities for a better management of African cities by 2021.

On June 17, the first meeting of the Bureau of the Network of Locally Elected Women and Territorial Leaders of Africa (REFELA) was held. In accordance with REFELA’s Internal Regulations, Mrs. Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo in Côte d’Ivoire, Vice President of REFELA for the West African Region, was elected President of REFELA for the period 2019-2021, replacing Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes who became a member of the Government in Cameroon.

In her speech, Mrs. Dao recalled that REFELA’s leitmotif is  to promote greater participation of women in the governance of local authorities and a better integration of women’s concerns into the policies pursued in our cities and territories;

The final press release of the statutory meetings is available here.

The final press release of the REFELA meeting is available here.

The composition of the UCLG Africa presidency is available here.

 

Press Release-Meetings of Statutory Bodies of UCLG Africa (Cairo, Egypt)

At the invitation of the Ministry of Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) held its first statutory meetings on 17 and 18 June 2019 at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, after the organization’s general assembly held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 23 November 2018.

The statutory meetings of UCLG Africa included the first meeting of the Bureau of Women Elected and Leaders of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa (REFELA); and the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLGA Africa.

These meetings were officially opened by General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, in the presence of General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of the Governorate of Cairo, and Mr Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the North Africa region.

The REFELA Bureau meeting reviewed and adopted the REFELA Action Plan for the period 2019-2021, focusing on its three main campaigns: the African Cities without Children on the Street Campaign; the African Cities with Zero Tolerance to All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls Campaign; and the African Cities Campaign for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The meeting also elected a new President of REFELA in the person of Mrs Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo in Côte d’Ivoire, and Vice-President of REFELA for the West African region. Ms Macoura replaces Ms Célestine KETCHA, who has been appointed Minister of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon. The REFELA Bureau meeting also elected Mrs Mboula, épse Essame Elise Henriette, Mayor of Nkongsamba 3 Municipal District and President of the REFELA National Section in Cameroon, REFELA Vice-President for the Central African region.

The REFELA Bureau then congratulated and installed the REFELA national section in Egypt and its President, Mrs Manal Awad Mikhail, Governor, Governorate of Damietta (Egypt).

The REFELA Bureau also welcomed the proposal to include the members of the REFELA Bureau among the African candidates to be elected to the UCLG World Council at the next UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa; and also to include the REFELA President among the African candidates to sit on the UCLG World Executive Bureau.

At the opening of the 20th session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa, the members first received the profession of faith from Mr Léandre Nzue, who, in his capacity as newly elected Mayor of Libreville, was installed as the new President of UCLG Africa for the period 2019 to 2021, and therefore chaired this 20th session of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee examined the organization’s financial reports, including the execution of the budget and the audited accounts for the 2018 financial year. He also invited members to honor their membership dues obligations in order to strengthen the organization and enable it to implement its action plan. At the end of these deliberations, the members of the Executive Committee approved the accounts and discharged the Secretary General for the management of the 2018 financial year.

The members of the Executive Committee then discussed the issue of UCLG Africa’s regional offices. The Secretary General informed that with the establishment of the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) in Cairo, scheduled to open on 19 June 2019, UCLG Africa should have completed the establishment of its regional offices by the end of 2019 as initially planned; except that the Regional Office for the Central African Region, which was supposed to be operational in Yaoundé, Cameroon, since 2015, has still not materialized despite several reminders.

The members of the Executive Committee appreciated Egypt’s offer to host the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) and welcomed the proposal to inaugurate the North Africa Regional Office (NARO) on 19 June 2019.

In order to comply with the initial plan to complete the establishment of the regional offices by the end of 2019, the President proposed that the Executive Committee consider the offer of the city of Libreville to host the Regional Office for Central Africa (CARO). This proposal was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee. The UCLG Africa Regional Office for Central Africa will now be established in Libreville, Gabon, with the responsibility for the Secretary General of UCLG Africa to take the necessary steps with the Gabonese authorities to formalize and implement this decision as soon as possible.

The members of the Executive Committee then discussed two other important issues: first, the organization of the next Africities Summit to be held in 2021 in Kisumu, Kenya; and Africa’s representation in the bodies of the World Organization of UCLG for the period 2020-2022.

Regarding Africities 2021, the Governor of Kisumu County, speaking on behalf of the Kenyan delegation led by the Minister of Devolution, presented the state of preparation of the 9th edition of the Africities Summit. The Committee welcomed the progress made so far in the preparations and the offer made by the President of the AMPCC of Morocco to assist the various Kenyan teams to better prepare for the Summit if they so wish.

With regard to Africa’s representation in UCLG’s World bodies, and in accordance with the requirement that, to be eligible, any list of candidates for UCLG bodies must have at least 30 per cent women, the Executive Committee has nominated 45 candidates from Africa to sit on the UCLG World Council, and 15 candidates from Africa to sit on the UCLG World Executive Board.

The Executive Committee then deliberated on the representation of Africa at the level of the UCLG Presidency, first for the nomination of Africa’s candidate for the post of Vice President Africa of UCLG, and for the merits for Africa to stand for the post of World President of UCLG. This discussion follows the appointment of the current President of UCLG, Mr. Parks Tau as Deputy Minister in the Government of South Africa, which means that he can no longer run for a second term as World President of UCLG. However, the custom observed so far in UCLG management is that each region presides over UCLG for two successive terms. On the basis of the observed track record, the Executive Committee decided that Africa would nominate a candidate for the position of UCLG World President at the next UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa. Consultations will continue between members to agree on the name of the African candidate for the position of Vice-President Africa of UCLG, and on the name of the African candidate for the position of World President of UCLG. These consultations should be completed in the next few weeks and no later than 15 July 2019.

Finally, the members of the Executive Committee welcomed the establishment of the Africa Territorial Agency, a financial institution designed to raise funds on the financial market to direct them towards investments within African cities and territories. In this regard, they encouraged cities and territories to subscribe to the cooperative society created for this purpose, and called on African governments to support this initiative.

The members of the Executive Committee also approved the takeover of the African Capitals of Culture program by UCLG Africa, whose first celebration will e held in Marrakesh in 2020/2021.

The members of the Executive Committee finally agreed that UCLG Africa should be involved in the Door of Our Return initiative launched by the Afro-Descendants of the Americas and asked the Secretary General to take necessary steps tp make this involvement a reality.

Within the framework and following of the meetings of UCLG Africa’s bodiesan international Conference was also organized from 18 to 20 June 2019 at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, under the High Patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, on the theme: “African Cities: Engines of Sustainable Development”. The following collaborated in the organization of this Conference: the Ministry of Local Development of Egypt, UCLG Africa, UN Habitat, and the European Union.

This Conference was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Egypt, Dr. Mostafa Madbouli, and was attended by a large number of Ministers from the Government of Egypt; members of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union (STC 8) comprising African Ministers of Public Service, Urban Development and Housing, Decentralization and Local Governments; members of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa and the REFELA Bureau; representatives of civil society organizations and academia; and representatives of development partners.

Attached are the conclusions of the Conference proceedings presented by the Minister of Local Development of Egypt. The final report of this Conference will be released in due course.

Cairo, 21 June 2019

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa

The conclusions of the work of the Conference available here
PDF version available here

Local Elected Women of Africa in the spotlight in Egypt

The first meeting of the Bureau of the Network of Locally Elected Women and Territorial Leaders of Africa (REFELA), was held on June 17, 2019, in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting was officially opened by Mr. Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, in the presence of Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta; Mrs. Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for North Africa; and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

The meeting’s agenda included:

– The adoption of REFELA’s three-year work plan for the period 2019-2021;

– The participation of REFELA members in the UCLG World Congress, to be held from

November 11-15, 2019 in Durban, South Africa;

– The election of the President of REFELA;

– The election of the Vice President of REFELA for the Central Africa Region;

– The installation of the national chapter of REFELA in Egypt.

The REFELA Three-Year Plan for the period 2019-2021 provides for:

– The broadening of the implementation of REFELA national chapters in all African countries.

– The launch of activities of the three campaigns adopted by the Network’s General Assembly

at the Africities Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2018, namely: (1) The

campaign for African Cities without Street Children, sponsored by Princess Lalla Meryem of

Morocco; (2) the campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women

and Girls; and (3) the campaign for African cities in favor of women’s economic

empowerment and female leadership;

– The elaboration of the Charter of Local and Regional Authorities for Gender Equality in

Africa;

  • The mobilization of funding for the implementation of activities provided for REFELA’s Three-Year Plan (2019-2021).

REFELA had 23 national chapters at the close of 2018. The objective is to increase this figure to 36 by the end of 2020 and to have chapters in all African countries by the end of 2021.

In order to comply with the requirements to include at least 30 per cent of women on the lists of candidates for the UCLG World Council, it has been proposed to include the 15 members of the REFELA Executive Board amongst the 45 candidates that Africa intends to present to sit on the UCLG World Council for the period 2020-2022.

In accordance with REFELA’s Internal Regulations, Mrs. Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo in Côte d’Ivoire, Vice President of REFELA for the West African Region, was elected President of REFELA for the period 2019-2021, replacing Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes who became a member of the Government in Cameroon. Mrs. Mboula, wife Essame Elise Henriette, was elected Vice President of REFELA for the Central African Region for the same period.

The REFELA Bureau installed the national chapter of REFELA in Egypt, whose President is Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta.

In her inaugural speech as President of REFELA, Mrs. Dao stated:

“First of all, let me thank the people and authorities of Egypt for the quality of the welcome we have received since our arrival in Cairo. I would particularly like to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Egypt and convey to him the sincere congratulations of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa for his brilliant election as President of the African Union. I would also like to thank the Egyptian government for encouraging and supporting the establishment of a national chapter of REFELA in Egypt (…) I would like to recall that the leitmotif of REFELA is to promote greater participation of women in the governance of local authorities and a better integration of women’s concerns into the policies pursued in our cities and territories (…) The statutes of UCLG Africa stipulate that wherever there is a national association of local authorities, the national chapter of REFELA must be considered as the permanent “Gender Equality” commission of the said national association. The fact that Egypt has accepted the establishment of a national chapter of REFELA reassures us of Egypt’s willingness to take better account of women’s place and concerns in the governance of Egypt’s cities and territories. We would like to congratulate the women leaders and members of the territorial assemblies of Egypt for this noble initiative and assure them of the constant support of the REFELA Executive Board.”

REFELA Egypt was officially installed by the new President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao; Mrs. Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; and Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Vice-President of UCLG Africa for North Africa. They congratulated its President, Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damietta, for the extraordinary work accomplished since the 8th Africities Summit in Marrakech, November 2018, to unite Egyptian women leaders from local authorities within REFELA Egypt.

Dr. Maya Mosi, President of the National Council of Women of Egypt, has made commitments to improve the representation of women on the executives of Egypt’s governorates and in all elected councils of Egyptian cities and local authorities, following the example of other African countries.

To mark the event organized in Cairo, Mrs. Chrystel Limbourg Iwenga, 2nd Deputy Mayor of Libreville in Gabon, President of UCLG Africa, presented a memoire on behalf of all the women mayor leaders and local elected representatives of Africa, to the President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao; Mrs Fatna El Khiel, Secretary of State for Housing in Morocco and Vice-President of North Africa for REFELA; Dr. Maya Mosi, President of the National Council of Women of Egypt, and Mrs. Manal Awad, Governor of Damiette, President of REFELA-Egypt.

 

Download the press release here. 
Read the declaration of Mrs. Dao here.

 

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

International Women’s Day Medal Awarded to Mrs Souad Bendimya from the Membership Department of UCLG Africa’s General Secretariat

On the celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, UCLG Africa has instituted an award, the International Women’s Day Medal. The award will be annually bestowed to a colleague in the General Secretariat or Regional Offices, chosen by her peers, for making a remarkable contribution to the promotion of gender equality and actions in favor of women’s leadership within local and subnational governments in Africa, as well as for the development and strengthening of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) in support of its initiatives and campaigns.

The recipient for 2019 is Mrs. Souad Bendimya, who was awarded this year’s Medal for International Women’s Day.   Mrs. Souad Bendimya works in the Membership Department at the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa in Rabat. Fondly known as “Hajja” by her colleagues, she is one of the most senior staff members, having worked for the Union of African Cities (UVA), which was one of the founding organizations of UCLG Africa.

This Medal is in recognition of the dedication of Mrs. Souad Bendimya to REFELA who has provided an interface between the UCLG Africa secretariat and the network’s leaders, both at the Pan-African level and at the national level. Mrs. Bendimya was also responsible for the creation of a position dedicated to REFELA within the General Secretariat and given her longevity in the organization she is also a source of knowledge and memories of all the changes in the life of the network.

The medal-awarding ceremony in the honor of Mrs. Bendimya took place in the presence of the entire secretariat staff on March 8, 2019 at the UCLG Africa headquarters in Rabat.

International Women’s Day 2019: Focus on the status of three REFELA campaigns (Part 1)

This year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day is: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change.” Every year, the celebration of March 08 is an important milestone for the Local Elected Women’s Network of Africa (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Standing Committee on gender equality, to highlight the actions and progress taken by these actors in local governance.

For International Women’s Day 2019, REFELA has seized the opportunity to provide an update on the deployment of its three main campaigns that are at the heart of its 2019-2021 Strategic Action Plan (SAP-REFELA). These are:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street Children

Ø The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

Ø The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

 

 

 

“African cities without Street Children” in Rabat

The campaign, “African Cities without Street Children,” is an initiative driven by REFELA, supported by the Kingdom of Morocco’s National Observatory for the Rights of Children (ONDE) and UNICEF. The campaign aims to provide solutions for a shared African problem; that which is the vulnerability, accepted insecurity and invisibility of street children. It also aims to mobilize government officials and elected African territorial officials in the protection of children within a decentralized territorial approach.

This Pan-African Campaign was launched under the presidency of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, at the Africities 8 Summit in Marrakech on November 24, 2018. Expressing his support for the campaign, which was delivered by the Princess, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, called on African leaders to make, “African cities truly worthy of their children.” As President of the ONDE, the Princess stressed that, “what is important is not the world we leave to our children, but rather the children we leave to this world.”

Since the launch of the campaign, a national pilot project, named “Initiative – Rabat without Street Children”, is being implemented under the guidance of ONDE and UCLG Africa, in partnership with the various departments of the Government of Morocco. During two meetings, initiated by ONDE (January 22 and 29), targeting institutional stakeholders, as well as elected officials and representatives of civil society, participants were presented with a work agenda for the creation and development of mapping a three-year action plan and an urban strategy for the protection and promotion of children in Rabat. The initiative, ”Rabat, a city without Street Children,” will lead to the implementation of guides, toolboxes and communication kits, for a city protecting its children, which will be presented at an event that will bring together the 60 African cities subscribing to the campaign.

Discover the 60 Cities subscribing to the campaign (Photo)

 

See articles on:

The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Reports on the 3 campaigns are available here

International Women’s Day 2019: Focus on the progress of 3 campaigns prepared and launched by REFELA  (Part 2)

This year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day is: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change.” Every year, the celebration of March 08 is an important milestone for the Local Elected Women’s Network of Africa (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Standing Committee on gender equality, to highlight the actions and progress taken by these actors in local governance.

For International Women’s Day 2019, REFELA has seized the opportunity to provide an update on the deployment of its three main campaigns that are at the heart of its 2019-2021 Strategic Action Plan (SAP-REFELA). These are:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street Children

Ø The Campaign for African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls

Ø The Campaign for African Cities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

 

 

 

“African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls.” Cities say, “STOP IT.”

The call for expressions of interest, launched on January 31, 2019, targeting territorial communities wishing to voluntarily take part in the, “Campaign of African Cities’ Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls”, welcomed its first members. The cities and national associations of the following 9 countries have already made commitments: Rabat (Morocco), Saint-Louis (Senegal), Banjul (Gambia), Maradi (Niger), Paynesville (Liberia), Tunis (Tunisia), Bangui (Central African Republic), the National Association of Local Governments of Zambia, and the National Association of Local Authorities in Namibia.  The local authorities for these communities expressed their determination to play their part in eradicating this scourge, which is increasingly plaguing the African continent.

REFELA’s analytical report  shows some progress has been made across the continent, however it also highlights a resurgence of this phenomenon in Africa. According to WHO figures, more than 40% of women in West Africa are victims of violence, with this figure escalating to 65% in Central Africa, leading REFELA to adopt the slogan: “Cities and territories of Africa, it is up to you to act against violence against women and girls.”

In Niger, the Maradi region hosts the highest number of poor people (73.4%) and is also one of the regions with the highest rate of violence against women. “Of the surveyed Nigerian population as a whole, 53% report having experienced at least one act of violence in their lifetime. This proportion is 44% for men and 60% for women. The regions of Zinder and Maradi are the areas with the highest percentage of victims (93% and 83% respectively), (Extent and determinants of GBV in Niger – 2015),” says Ms. Habiba Saadou, the 3rd Vice-President of the Special Delegation from the Maradi region. This situation has motivated local governments to support the REFELA campaign. “Violence, in our area of ​​responsibility, cannot leave anyone indifferent. This violence is so widespread and has such serious consequences that our municipality is committed to reducing it, or, if possible, to putting an end to it,” said Ms. Saadou.  As part of this process, she has formulated two key expectations of the Campaign of African Cities’ Zero Tolerance Against Violence Against Women and Girls:

Ø    Support for the organization of mass campaigns on gender-based violence. These campaigns will include local decision-makers, religious leaders, traditional leaders, etc. The latter are guarantors of traditional authority and have a great influence on community life.

Ø    Support for the implementation of community programs aimed at collective decision-making, for a change in behavior that necessarily implies a change in social norms.

In Senegal, unlike the Maradi region, the city of Saint-Louis is the least affected by violence over the entire national territory, according to statistics in 2017, based on a study produced by the Gender and Society (Gestes) Laboratory at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis. The region of Diourbel is said to be the area where there would be the most cases of this violence, with a rate of 72%.  The least affected region is that of Saint-Louis, whose figures are around 45%, and for the region of Dakar, the rate is estimated to be around 52.5%. Statistics, hovering around 50%, were also given for the other regions of Senegal.

Ms. Penda Diouf, the municipal councilor representing the city of Saint-Louis, highlighted the emergence of a new type of violence via mobile phones. Saint-Louis has begun to initiate actions to deal with this violence. “Following action-oriented research on gender-sensitive budgeting of the municipality of Saint-Louis, it has been shown that the problems of gender-based violence are not supported by the budgets of programs and municipal plans,” indicated Ms. Diouf. At present, the Gender and Development Observatory of Saint-Louis (OGDS) is making a plea for the municipal budget to take charge of, “issues of violence in budgets, programs and plans, within the area of the municipality: schools, public places, households and workplaces, etc., through training, information, awareness, and support. Actions will be agreed with elected officials, civil society and technicians.”

Ms. Diouf is counting on the REFELA campaign to exchange, share, learn and experience projects from other African cities. Her commitment to the cause is unwavering. “I have the duty, the honor and the great pleasure to participate in the eradication of this scourge, which spoils the lives of women and young girls.

 

Operation zero rape, zero murder, zero violence against women and girls: Liberia

In Liberia, the mayor of Paynssville, Pam Belcher-Taylor, has made the fight to end violence against women and girls her main issue. Indeed, in a recent case, she was reminded of the tragic fate suffered by women who experience violence, in the case of a young lady from her own city.  “A little over two months ago I received a phone call on my way to work. The caller on the other end informed me of a corpse near my residence. I changed course and drove to the scene. Upon my arrival the stench of death permeated the air,” she recalled with horror. “With anticipation I walked towards an abandoned building where I saw from a distance, a figure lying on the ground partially clothed. I focused on the body trying to pretend that the odor was not nauseating and realized it was a woman, probably in her mid-forties, with furrowed lines on her face, eyes closed and facing the heavens. A week later, the investigation to identify this ‘lonely lady’ discovered she had been raped by five people. Since then, I have promised to fight relentlessly, to have ZERO Rape, ZERO Murder, ZERO Violence against WOMEN and GIRLS in PAYNESVILLE!!!!! (Sic).”

In the field, the municipality launched an awareness campaign entitled, “Say NO to violence against our women and girls.” The City Hall team has a door-to-door campaign to share this message with the public. “We are teaching our young girls what signs to look out for to protect themselves from predators and molesters. We don’t want our mothers, daughters and sisters to be another ‘lonely lady’ in an abandoned building,” she said.

In terms of her expectations for this continental campaign, Pam Belcher-Taylor emphasizes the importance of “eradicating this disease.” “Yes, violence against women and our girls is a disease!!!! We, as women leaders, must be courageous and steadfast in our fight. I expect to start the first registry through the Ministry of Gender and Sex Offenders in Paynesville City. I think that, thanks to this campaign, we will be able to give as many women and girls the strength to be heard and to speak out against violence.”

For Ms Belcher-Taylor, REFELA is a platform where dynamic women converge under the values of sisterhood and unity. “I have been a member of many organizations. REFELA has a diverse culture and is a torch for women and girls in Africa. I believe that with determination and instruments for change, REFELA can achieve our goals by 2030.

Situation in CAR

The city of Bangui, (Central African Republic), headed by Mayor Emile-Gros-Raymond Nakombo, is also engaged in the fight to end violence against women and girls. This phenomenon has been accentuated during the multiple crises that the country has experienced. “Most women, who are victims of violence in Central Africa, are those who are economically dependent on their husbands and those who are abandoned by their husbands who are unable to provide for themselves. 79% of the cases of violence against women are due to marital breakdown,” said the Bangui Listening Center which, in January 2012, welcomed 96 women who were victims of violence, 79% of whom left home, 10.4% who experienced physical violence (marital abuse, assault and battery, deprivation of material and financial resources), 4% who experienced ‘moral violence’ in the form of insults and social discrimination, and 3% who experienced sexual violence (including rape of minors, sexual slavery and forced marriages).

In response to this situation, the municipality of Bangui has set up Safety Committees in its 8 districts, in order to carry out local action in the fight against all recorded violence. The celebration of weddings has provided a platform for the President of the Special Delegation of the City of Bangui and the other civil status officers, to raise awareness.

The African Cities Zero Tolerance Campaign on Violence Against Women and Girls will focus on 3 main actions for the eradication of this scourge by 2030.  This will be high on the agenda in the development of policies and strategies of cities and local authorities in Africa to: (i) Raise awareness and develop effective means to combat the trivialization of acts of violence suffered by women and girls in their relationships, in the family, on the streets, in the workplace and in the community and institutions, in the name of stereotypical, socio-cultural practices; (ii) to make the fight against violence against women and girls a priority action in programing, delivery of services and the organization of cities and local communities for the facilitated mobility of women and girls, safe practices in the public space and for urgent, coordinated responses to violence by the various parties concerned; (iii) establish a system for assessing the tolerance levels of local cities and territories to violence against women and to note them, classify them and direct them towards concrete action, to create a climate of change and zero tolerance  to this scourge.

See articles on:

Ø The Campaign for African Cities without Street children;

ØThe Campaign for African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women

Reports on the 3 campaigns are available here: