The 1st OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs will be organised at the OECD Headquarters in Paris on 7 March 2019, within the scope of the OECD programme on A Territorial Approach to the SDGs. The Roundtable will bring together cities, regions, national governments, international organisations, private sector and other key stakeholders to identify trends and challenges in the localisation of the SDGs, including the experiences and key findings from the pilots of the programme.
On May 25th, 2018, now known as Africa Day, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat warned that excessive corruption in Africa was undermining gains made by Africans; a statement, which reminds us that 2018 is the AU’s Anti-Corruption Year.
According to the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, corruption is still thriving in Africa, with Sub-Saharan Africa identified as one of the worst performing regions in the world, with an average score of 32, coming just before Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
All will agree that corruption is a serious hindrance to development. Even with several African countries making important steps in terms of economic growth, this growth does not translate into concrete enhancements of living conditions for the population.
Knowing that illicit financial outflows account for an estimated $100 billion annually in Africa, it is clear that within a corruption rigged continent, development can never be fully attained.
Conscious of this situation, and convinced that the local level is the place where real change takes place, UCLG Africa has been steadily working to capacitate local authorities in terms of transparency and integrity.
“Leaders in Local Government for Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa”, is a project that focuses on the continued performance of local authorities with regards to accountability and transparency.
The “Kabarole Transparency and Integrity Initiative” is the pilot phase of the project, and looks at laws and practices at the local level that strengthens the integrity of the local authority.
The district of Kabarole in Uganda was selected thanks to its innovative approach in increasing citizens’ participation through leaders’ conferences and consultations. Mrs. Chantal Uwimana, former Transparency International-Africa Director, and currently working with UCLG Africa on this project, says, “we want to push for more transparency at the local level and we’ll start doing so by encouraging local governments to put out information proactively.”
Mrs. Uwimana believes that corruption occurs when things are hidden and/or cause confusion in the minds of citizens, who play a crucial role in the integrity and accountability process. “We want citizens to be in a position where they can ask why and proactively look for information despite the reluctance of the decision-makers.”
Watch the entire interview with Mrs. Chantal Uwimana
Fighting corruption is not solely about establishing transparency and integrity systems. It also requires a shift in the mindset of citizens and leaders alike, as paramount. Leaders need to understand that establishing transparent measures can only serve, rather than harm, them.
UCLG Africa participated in the United Nations Forum on Public Service which was held in Marrakesh, Kingdom of Morocco, June 21-23, 2018. The forum was organized around the topic:“Transforming governance for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals,”, and was attended by 800 participants from 165 countries, including 44 ministers.
During the second day of the forum, the African Union Specialized Technical Committee No. 8 on Public Service, Local Governments, Urban Development and Decentralization (STC No. 8), organized a “Side Event” on the topic: “Transparency, Integrity and the Fight against Corruption: A key requirement for the achievement of Sustainable Development.”The event was organized in partnership, and with the support of, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); the Ministry of Reform of Administration and Public Service of the Kingdom of Morocco; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) with its African Local Governments Academy(ALGA).
In his opening address, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, stated, “Corruption tarnishes the image of local authorities. The issue at stake is restoring respect and trust between local elected officials and the people. We are here to make commitments to eradicate this scourge, which renders Africa unable to achieve the expected development. Corruption destroys the meaning of youth efforts. This issue needs to be eradicated firstly at the local level.”
The Ugandan Minister of Public Service, H.E. Wilson Muruli Mukasa invited participants to make their recommendations.
The first panel dealt with the “International and African instruments in the fight against corruption and the promotion of transparency and integrity: Roles, responsibilities and commitments.” Ms. Susanne Kuehn, Senior Technical Advisor for Anti-Corruption and Strengthening of National Integrity Systems, UNDP, presented a paper on the UN Convention against Corruption and SDG 16. “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for all for the purposes of sustainable development, ensuring access to justice for all, and establishing effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
Mr. Mohamed Boussraoui, Director of Programs at UCLG, stressed the importance of support for the implementation of SDG 16, including at the level of the world organization of local elected officials, stating, “Corruption is a serious obstacle to equality.” As part of its process for localizing the SDGs, UCLG created a series of instructional videos on the SDGs, including SDG 16, which was produced in partnership with UNDP. The working group on Transparency and Accountability also made its contributions to the issue.
At the African level, the Member-States of the African Union (AU) dedicated the year 2018 to, the fight against corruption with a number of legal instruments existing to be used in that fight: The African Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption; the African Charter on Public Service; and the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development. “The fight against this scourge occupies a salient position at the heart of Agenda 2063, whose content has already been adopted by 36% of countries,” observed Professor Johnson Faladé, Special Advisor to UCLG Africa.
“Corruption increases the cost of investment and scares investors. It promotes the capture of the State by interest groups.” Mr. Yassir Chokairi, Director of the Partnership and Development Pole of ICPC, Morocco.
The Director of the Partnership and Development Division of the Moroccan Central Corruption Prevention Body (ICPC) explained Morocco’s anti-corruption efforts, which began in 1999, with the first anti-corruption program launched from 2005 to 2009. The Director described the Moroccan experience as one that could be a source of inspiration for others. However, he pointed out, “There is not a single realistic method. We must set up simple and realistic techniques.”
Dr. Ethelbert Chinedu Nwokorie, from the School of Public Management at Vaasa University (Finland) presented a study entitled “How corruption affects management.” The study, conducted in Ghana and Nigeria, revealed that corrupt managers did not make themselves accessible to others and that they did not respect other employees.
Actions, tools and means
The second panel presented actions and tools that could be used in fighting corruption. In Azerbaijan, where there is an emphasis on transparency and accountability, citizen radio debates are held between ministers and the public, “They answer citizens’ questions about their management,” explained Mr. Azad Jafarli of the National Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan’s Head of State (ASAN). “Major countries, such as Canada, are highly ranked in the fight against corruption. However this does not mean that the country is in a position to be safe from certain scandals.
To this, Ms. Fatima Houda Pépin, International Consultant, stated, “We must put in symbiosis all the bodies involved at different levels of governance.”
Chantal Uwimana, International Consultant, observed that, “Without transparency, the pillars of governance will not be achieved. Cape Verde is a good example of transparency with a participatory approach.”
Mamadou Mansour Diagne, from ENDA-Ecopop, referred to the promotion of participatory and inclusive governance through participatory budgeting, stating, “Participatory budgeting is a powerful tool to fight corruption.”
Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of the African Local Government Academy of UCLG Africa presented the paper, “Investing in the human capital of local and regional governments”. She observed that quality training for officers of public services, as well as local and regional governments, wiould help to empower stakeholders and create a professional conscience.
Participants formulated recommendations in a declaration that was adopted at the end of the workshop.
The main recommendations are to:
• Establish strict compliance with the rules of transparency in the award of local public procurement contracts and the application of contractual clauses, and the implementation of exemplary sanctions in the event of non compliance and rewarding incentives for compliance.
• Subject the administrative and financial management of cities and territories to regular audits whose results are to be made public in order to develop the culture of accountability;
• Launch public campaigns to promote transparency and integrity in the governance of cities and territories with the support of the media highlighting notably the dangers of corruption and mismanagement of public property and its impact negative on the promotion of the values of effort and equity, especially among young people.
• Develop support systems for local and regional governments to establish the culture of performance in the management of local public institutions and the delivery of basic services to the citizens;
• Define a strategy for the deployment and recruitment of quality human resources in the administrations of cities and territories, and build up their capacities, relying especially on the mechanism of the African Local and Regional Government Academy (ALGA) set up by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa;
• Protect by the legislative texts the whistleblowers providing information on corruption acts, and prosecute relentlessly the perpetrators of revealed corruption crimes.
The theme of this year’s European Development Days that took place on June 5th and 6th in Brussels focussed on the empowerment of women and girls. The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) joined four other major associations of local authorities active in development cooperation: AIMF, CLGF, PLATFORMA, and UCLG. Stand 68 in the EDD Global Village came alive as the partners created a space for us to engage and talk to women and girls across the continent.
As Europe’s leading forum on development it provided a great platform to share ideas and experiences through a gender lens. Our aim was to inspire innovative solutions for Africa’s most pressing challenges including urbanization, migration and climate change with women and girls at the heart of our debates and discussions. It also provided UCLG Africa with an opportunity to showcase the ways in which local Africa is responding to the challenge of women’s empowerment and the need for women to be involved in decision-making if we are to “Build the Africa We Want to See,” that encourages the participation of all members and sections of our communities
The Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa (REFELA) was set up by UCLG Africa as a way of engaging and supporting women as representatives at local government level. The Voice of Local Africa is about an inclusive voice for all. If 50% of our population is excluded then building a better unified Africa for All will be a struggle to achieve.
“Invest in a man we will build a family. Invest in a woman and we will build a nation”
EDD 2018 Cities for All, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director UN Habitat
2017 saw UCLG Africa step up its efforts in this regard with REFELA opening its doors and recruiting country representatives to improve its reach to locally elected women. Stand 68 welcomed Cities Alliance, a close strategic partner, where we received female Mayors from Uganda, Ghana, and Liberia. Roundtable discussions took place with the President of REFELA, Célestine Ketcha Courtés, Mayor of Bangangté in Cameroon and Malika Ghefrane, the REFELA Special Advisor. Each of the three Mayors pledged to work closely with UCLG Africa to set up country chapters for REFELA and to attend the up and coming Africities Summit in Marrakesh in force.
“REFELA is opening up and recruiting country representatives to improve its reach to locally elected women” President of REFELA Célestine Ketcha Courtés, Mayor of Bangangté in Cameroon
UCLGA Africa and its regional teams are committed to listening to not only women’s voices but also the voices of young people. During the live discussions and debates with youth champions on Stand 68 at EDD our Secretary General met and spoke with an award-winning youth blogger, Jean-Luc Habimana around the subject of “Transition Towards Sustainable Development,” which is the theme of this year’s Africities.
The Secretary General made a call to action for the youth champion, using the tools of technology that exist at the centre of youth culture globally, to reach, motivate and inspire young people to become part of the story of transition. “Promoting pride and self-esteem” and using the lives of “real young people” on the ground in the cities and territories already making contributions to this transition could inspire and mobilize youth in this vision as “we will not build Africa without the youth.”
“With over 40% of its working age population between the ages of 15 and 24, it is the youngest continent in the world. There are almost 200 million youths in Africa and according to African Economic Outlook, this number will double by 2045.”
Let us all coalesce and make “youth” Africa’s golden opportunity and not our biggest challenge.
The UCLG Africa members of the Central Africa Region attending the strategic meeting held in Libreville on April 16th and 17th, 2018 declare the following:
1. We welcome the holding of the Regional Strategic Meeting and recommend that this meeting be organized periodically, ideally during the first quarter of each year.
2. We are aware of the important responsibilities incumbent upon us in the implementation of continental and global agendas, notably Agenda 2063 of the African Union; Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; the Sendai Protocol; and the New Urban Agenda.
3. We are convinced that these agendas will not be realized if they are not integrated into the territorial policies and we commit ourselves to territorialize these agendas as recommended by the United Nations.
4. We welcome the support that the European Union has been providing to the international and continental associations of local and regional governments following the adoption of the 2013 Communication. We are grateful to the European Union for having recognized local and regional governments as public entities and for having granted to their national representative associations the monopoly position for access to European cooperation funding in their respective countries. We therefore undertake to contact the European Union delegations in our respective countries to confirm our willingness to set up an active partnership for the implementation of the provisions of the 2013 Communication.
5. With regards to the future Partnership Agreement, which in 2020 will replace the Cotonou Agreement, we support the point of view of the African Union for the future agreement to be negotiated between the European Union and the African Union, in collegiality with UCLG Africa, the umbrella organization of local and regional governments on the African continent, to ensure they are stakeholders of the negotiations of the new agreement right from the beginning and at all stages of the implementation and evaluation of the impact of the future agreement.
6. We insist that the local and regional governments be at the forefront in the management of the migration issue. We therefore demand that the national associations of local governments be involved in all relevant discussions and decisions.
7. We took special note of the numerous initiatives taken by the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa to structure the African movement of local and regional governments. We commit ourselves to forward an updated list of the members of our respective associations and members of the national chapters of the Network of Locally Elected Women (REFELA) in our respective countries within 15 days. We also undertake to promote the national chapters of the African networks of the professionals of local and regional governments in our respective countries, namely the Network of City Clerks (MAGNET); the Network of Chief Financial Officers of Local Governments (FINET); and the Network of Chief Technical Officers of Local Governments (TECHNET).
8. We took special note of the completion of the feasibility study for the establishment of the African Cities Development Fund (FODEVA). We also noted the call launched to the main cities of our region to be members of the of the Founders’ Club of FODEVA in return for the payment of Euros 100,000 per local or regional government. We encourage the mayors of these cities in our region to subscribe to the fund as soon as possible so that its launch can be announced at the next Africities Summit in Marrakech. Finally, we noted the establishment of an Internet platform for meetings between the investors and the local and regional governments in Africa. We ask our members who have projects and programs to be funded, and who are interested in participating in this platform to contact the UCLG Africa secretariat to be listed on this platform.
10. We welcome the initiative to set up a Climate Task Force within UCLG Africa, in response to members’ requests to have easier access to climate finance, particularly the Green Climate Fund. We invite the UCLG Africa members in Central Africa to get involved in the Climate Agenda and to adhere to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, whose focal point is hosted in our regional office for West Africa in Accra, Ghana. We also support the approval of UCLG Africa as the ‘Implementing Partner’ of the Green Climate Fund.
11. We welcome the launch of the African Academy of Local and Regional Governments (ALGA). We request our national governments to provide institutional and financial support to the Academy and we pledge to make it the primary agency for capacity building of the authorities and senior staff of the local and regional governments of Africa.
12. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Kingdom of Morocco as well as to the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils and to the Association of Regions of Morocco for having accepted to host the 2018 Africities Summit in Marrakech from November 20-24, 2018. We urge the local and regional governments of the Central Africa region to fully participate in this Summit and the Africities Exhibition. We commit ourselves to participate in the official ceremony to launch the preparation of the Summit scheduled to take place in Rabat on May 15, 2018. We unanimously agree that all future Africities Summits be held in Marrakech to avoid the risks observed with the rotating organization of this flagship event of Africa’s cities and territories.
13. In preparation for the General Assembly of UCLG Africa, we agreed on the following candidacies for the different bodies:
Pan-African Council (9 members):
AMG (Association of Mayors of Gabon) – AMC (Association of Mayors of Congo) – AMCA (Association of Mayors of Central African Republic;
UCCC (United Councils and Cities of Cameroon) – ANVC (Association incomplete – ANCT (National Association of Local Governments of Chad) – AARA / STP (National Association of Mayors of Sao Tome and Principe);
City of Malabo
Executive Committee (3 members)
AMG – AMC – AMCA
Financial Management Commission
14. For the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa, the Central Africa Region submits the following candidacies:
Pan-African Council (9 members)
Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes, Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon; Kirnakiming Clémentine, Mayor of Kelo, Chad; Mrs. Ossibi Nancy Sidoine, Congo; Marie Josée Nyongo, DRC.
Mrs. Henriette Manga Ndongo-Henriette, Cameroon; Mapangou Maite, Mayor of Nde Nde, Gabon
A female elected official of Sao Tomé and Principe
A female elected official of Equatorial Guinea.
Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes, Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon;
Kirnakiming Clémentine, Mayor of Kelo, Chad;
Mrs. Ossibi Nancy Sidoine, Congo.
15. We propose, on grounds of the eminent services His Majesty renders to our organization, that UCLG Africa should consider making a request to His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, to kindly accept our invitation to be the patron of our continental organization.
16. We reiterate our support and consideration to Mr. Khalifa Ababacar Sall, Member of Parliament, Mayor of Dakar and President of UCLG Africa.
17. We wish to express our gratitude to the President of the Republic of Gabon and his government as well as to the Mayor of the City of Libreville, for all the facilities made available to the delegates during their stay and for the solicitude displayed in favor of the associations of local and regional governments of the Central Africa Region and their representative organization at the continental level, UCLG Africa.
Libreville, April 17, 2018
Libreville, Gabon, April 17, 2018
The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) Regional Strategic Meeting for Central Africa, was held at Le Méridien Re-Ndama Hotel in Libreville, Gabon, April 16-17, 2018.
The meeting was organized in partnership with the Libreville Municipality. Six of the eight countries in the Central African region participated in the meeting: Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Chad. Delegates were Presidents from the national associations of local governments, leaders from the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and the permanent secretaries of the national associations.
The meeting was officially opened by Mrs. Judith Koumba Pemba Mombo, Secretary General representing the Minister of the Interior and Security in charge of Decentralization and Local Development, in the presence of: Mr. Diderot Moutsinga Kebila, Governor of the Estuaire Province; Mrs. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, Mayor of Libreville, Vice-President of UCLG for Africa; Mr. Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo) and Vice President of UCLG Africa for the Central Africa Region; Mrs. Celestine Ketcha Courtès, President of REFELA; Mr. Mohamed Yassine Daoudi, Vice President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC); and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.
The proceedings were chaired by Mr. Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo) and Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the Central Africa Region and moderated by Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.
The first day was devoted to an exchange of information on the state of decentralization in the countries of the Central Africa region and the role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063, and the international agendas adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and 2016. The session also provided an update on the signing and ratification of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development, as well as the creation of the High Council of Local Authorities as an advisory body of the African Union.
The participants from the Central Africa region are facing several similar realities in implementing the decentralization process in their country. Where the legislation governing decentralization exists, its implementation is slow to materialize. According to the UCLG Africa report on “Assessing the Institutional Environment of Local Governments in Africa,” the Central African region is the lowest ranked country in terms of a climate favorable to local authorities.
Members of UCLG Africa in the region were invited to contribute to the update of their country fact sheet within this report and also to advocate for their country’s ratification of the “African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development.” Since its adoption in Malabo in 2014, the charter has been signed by 13 countries and ratified by only 3 countries (Madagascar, Burundi and Namibia), with none from Central Africa. The Charter will become a legal instrument of the African Union when it is signed and ratified by 15 countries and filed with the African Union Commission. Concerning this point, a delegation was received by the Interior Minister of Gabon who pledged to raise the issue to ensure the ratification of the charter in his country by June-July 2018.
The national associations were also invited to write memoranda on the state of decentralization in their country and to mark the celebration of African Decentralization Day, a day to be celebrated annually on August 10th by the African Union.
Participants examined their involvement in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and were invited to invent their own urbanization. Only 12 countries on the African continent have a national urbanization policy. They were encouraged to make twinnings between cities and universities to produce quality data adapted to the realities of each African city (slums, household waste, etc).
Regarding the SDGs, they filled in the questionnaire of the UCLG World Organization on the localization of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The results of the questionnaire will represent the voice of local Africa in a report that UCLG will produce for the commissions of the United Nations Regional Offices and for the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018.
During the second day, attention focused on UCLG Africa’s relations with the European Union. In 2013, the EU adopted a communication, which for the first time recognizes local authorities as fully-fledged public authorities. Following this recognition, the European Union has entered into a framework partnership agreement with international and continental associations of local governments, including UCLG Africa. The participants were also informed of the fact that, in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 EU Communication on Local Authorities, national associations can be considered as being in a situation of monopoly in their respective countries and as such can access EU cooperation funds allocated to local authorities without going through a call for proposals, provided that they present and discuss with the EU delegation an implementation program agreed with the members of the said national association. The participants were also informed of the start of negotiations on the post-Cotonou Agreement that will govern the cooperation relationship between the African Union and the European Union for the next 20 years.
UCLG members from Central Africa were urged to advocate with their national governments for local and regional authorities to participate as key partners in the various stages of discussion of the agreement. It was also recommended that a delegation of political decision-makers from UCLG Africa should meet the President of the African Union Commission to request that the territorial authorities be involved alongside the African Union Commission from the beginning of the negotiations of the post-Cotonou agreement. In addition, UCLG Africa members from the Central Africa region were asked to meet with EU delegations in their respective countries to discuss the implementation of the provisions of the 2013 Communication. One of the problems raised was that of the weak capacity of national associations to prepare applications that are eligible for European funding. Members asked the secretariat to consider setting up a technical support unit for associations to prepare funding requests. This unit should also be deployed at the level of the regional offices.
Participants discussed the establishment of a local authorities transparency and integrity Index. This concern is increasingly highlighted by citizens as well as by central governments and the financial community. As such, it is necessary to anticipate the demand for transparency, for which territorial authorities are being increasingly challenged to act. This was followed by discussion of Internet-based communication strategies and the Secretariat’s offer to members to assist them in the setting up their websites.
Members were informed of the launch of the three main campaigns at the heart of the 2018-2020 three-year action plan of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA): African Cities without Street Children; African Cities: Zero Tolerance to Violence Against Women; and African Cities Promoting Women’s Leadership and Economic Empowerment. The local governments of Central Africa subscribed to the “African Streets without Street Children” campaign, which will be officially launched at the Africities 8 summit in Marrakech, Morocco from November 20-24, 2018.
Members were invited to participate in large numbers in the summit and were also informed of the importance of their participation in the General Assembly of UCLG Africa and in the Assembly of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) to be held during the summit. They were also reminded of the rules and procedures of the Elective General Assembly to be held on November 23 at the Africities Summit.
The official launch of the 8th edition of the Africities Summit will take place in Rabat, Morocco on May 15, 2018. The theme of this edition is, “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local African governments.” The Africities Summit will also be the setting of the elective general assembly of UCLG Africa (November 23, 2018). In order to submit the candidacies of the Central Africa region to the various bodies of the organization, a caucus, bringing together the presidents of the various national associations, was held on April 17 and resulted in the nominations included in the final declaration of the regional meeting.
The regional strategic meeting held in Libreville followed that held in Nairobi, Kenya April 9-10, 2018 for the East Africa region. Further meetings scheduled include the Strategic Meeting of Southern Africa in Walvis Bay, Namibia, May 7-8, 2018; the Strategic Meeting of West Africa in Accra, Ghana, May 28-29, 2018; and the North Africa Strategic Meeting in Rabat, Morocco, June 18-19, 2018.
For further information, please contact:
Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45
Nairobi, Kenya, April 10, 2018
The regional strategic meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) for the Eastern Africa Region took place at the Intercontinental Hotel (Nairobi, Kenya), April 9 -10, 2018.
The meeting, organized in collaboration with the Council of Governors (COG), of Kenya, was attended by 10 countries representing 14 national associations of local government, (Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, Comoros, Uganda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya) and were represented by presidents of the associations and the leaders of the Network of Locally Elected Women (REFELA) and their permanent secretaries.
Proceedings were opened by Amb Tuneya Hussein Dado, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and ASALS in the presence of Honourable Governor Josephat Nanok Koli, Chairperson of the Council of Governors (CoG); Mr. David Andre, the Mayor of Victoria, Seychelles, UCLG Africa Vice President for the Eastern Africa Region; and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.
In his opening remarks, Amb Tuneya Hussein Dado reiterated the importance of strengthening local governments and the key role played by UCLG Africa in uniting local governments across Africa. On behalf of the Council of Governors of Kenya, Honourable Governor Josephat Nanok Koli, welcomed all and expressed his happiness in hosting the first of the five UCLG African regional strategic meetings. He restated COG’s commitment to African cooperation led by UCLG Africa and the decentralization agenda.
The UCLG Africa Secretary General, Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, reminded participants of the importance of the UCLG Africa regional strategic meetings.
“They are key in the life of UCLG Africa. It is therefore critical that members take full advantage of their holding to share knowledge on the situation of decentralization and subnational and local governments in their respective countries and to make inputs in reflecting on how to improve this situation for greater involvement of subnational and local governments in the definition and implementation of the development and integration policies and strategies set forth by Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
The regional strategic meetings also provide a moment for members to reflect on what is happening at both the continental and global levels, particularly on how it impacts on subnational and local government mandates and actions.”
During the first day, two sessions were held which discussed UCLG Africa’s network in the region. In the first session, participants shared their experiences and key challenges on the state of decentralization in their respective countries and received information on decentralized cooperation partnerships. Discussion also surrounded the importance of UCLG Africa’s Pan Africa Peer Review, which supports members in identifying capacity issues. Candidates for hosting a Peer Review mission and participating in Peer Review teams were registered.
The second session addressed the functioning of UCLG Africa networks and how these networks could enhance the delivery capacity of subnational and local governments. UCLG Africa networks include the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA); the network of City Managers (MAGNET); the network of City Chief Finance Officers (FINET); and the network of City Chief Technical Officers (TECHNET). The session also focussed on the role of local and regional governments in implementing African and global agendas such as the African Charter on Values & Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance & Local Development; the setting up of the High Council of Local Authorities as a consultative body of the African Union; the role of subnational and local governments in the implementation of Agenda 2063 of the African Union; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and the Climate Change Agenda.
UCLG Africa’s members from the East Africa region are being invited to advocate for the ratification of the African Charter on Values & Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance & Local Development. Since its adoption in Malabo in 2014, the charter has been signed by 13 countries but has only been ratified by three countries, two of which are in the East Africa region (Madagascar and Burundi). The charter will become a legal instrument of the African Union when signed and ratified by 15 countries and deposited at the Africa Union Commission.
During the presentation on the role of African local governments in the implementation of SDGs, participants were given an example of the role played by local authorities in Nigeria. UCLG, the world organization of local authorities, has also developed a toolkit that was shared with members.
On the Climate Agenda, national associations of local governments were encouraged to join the global covenant of mayors for climate and energy, where the Africa chapter is hosted by UCLG Africa in its West Africa Regional Office,(WARO). The UCLG Africa Climate Task Force was launched during COP23 to assist African subnational and local governments prepare funding requests eligible for the green climate fund.
Members were informed about local government transparency and integrity aimed at providing voluntary members with a tool to address the daunting issue of corruption in the subnational and local government administrations.
Participants were also informed about the role they are expected to play in the implementation of the European Union cooperation agenda. In 2013, the EU adopted a Communication that for the first time recognized local authorities as public authorities in their own right. Following this recognition the European Union concluded a framework partnership agreement with international and continental associations of local governments, including UCLG Africa. According to the provisions of the 2013 EU Communication on local authorities, national associations having a monopoly situation in their country can access EU cooperation funds allocated to local governments without going through a call for proposals, provided they present to and discuss with the EU delegation an implementation program agreed upon by the members of the said national association. Participants were further informed about the beginning of the negotiations of the Post Cotonou Agreement that will frame the cooperation relations between the Africa Union and European Union for the next 20 years. Attention was called for UCLG Africa members to advocate and lobby their national governments to have them include local governments as key partners at the different steps, from the negotiations stage to the definition and implementation stages, which implies that the territorial and local level should be recognized as the critical level for the implementation and impact assessment of EU cooperation programs. Engagement with the EU delegations was also recommended to follow up on the implementation of the 2013 Communication and on the post Cotonou Agreement negotiations that will start soon (presumably in September 2018).
The Africities 8th Edition, which will be hosted in Marrakesh from November 20-24, was announced and members were invited to attend in numbers. Members were also reminded that they are expected to participate in General Assembly of UCLG Africa and the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) that will be held during the summit and were briefed on the rules and procedures of the Elected General Assembly, which will be held on November 23. The official launch of the 8th Edition of the Africities Summit will take place in Rabat, Morocco on the May 15, 2018.
The CEO of the Council of Governors has expressed an interest in hosting the next Africities Summit in 2021 and has requested the support of UCLG Africa members from the East Africa region.
The regional strategy meeting held in Nairobi will be followed by the regional strategic meetings for the Central Africa Region in Libreville, (Gabon), April 16-17 2018; the Southern Africa Region in Walvis-Bay (Namibia), May 7-8, 2018; the West Africa Region in Accra (Ghana), May 28-29, 2018; and the North Africa Region in Rabat (Morocco), June 18 -19, 2018.
For further information, please contact:
Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45