Tag Archive for: UCLG Africa

Africities Explained To Youth!

As part of the communication actions around the Africities 9 summit scheduled from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya, UCLG Africa and the Institut Supérieur de l’Information et de la Communication (ISIC), Rabat combine their efforts with the establishment of 3 newsrooms (Radio, TV, Print) composed of students of ISIC. This podcast is produced in the framework of this program.

UCLG Africa is particularly interested in youth through its seven priority areas of action in its strategic vision GADDEPA 2.0 (2021-2030).

Let us recall that ISIC and UCLG Africa collaborate closely through a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed in March 2021

 

Lupita Nyong’o: Goodwill Ambassador for the 9th Africities Summit (PRESS RELEASE)

The 9th edition of the Africities Summit is scheduled to take place on May 17 to 21, 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. Placed under the High Patronage of His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, the theme chosen for the summit is: “The role of intermediary cities in Africa in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and of the African Union´s Agenda 2063”.

 

For the first time, the Africities Summit will have a Goodwill Ambassador: Ms. Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar-winning Kenyan actress, star of the movie “Black Panther” and its upcoming sequel “Wakanda Forever”. One of the goals of this edition is to mobilize the African and Afro-descendant diaspora to begin the journey towards African renaissance with their fellow citizens who have remained on the continent, as well as with all people of goodwill interested in the development, integration, and unity of Africa.

 

Organized every 3 years over a 5-day period, alternately in the different regions of Africa, the Africities Summit is the largest democratic gathering organized on the African continent. This flagship event of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya (CoG), and the County of Kisumu will for the very first time be held in an intermediary city.

See the Africities 9 Summit official promotional spot  here .

Discover Kisumu on video here .  

Made your  media accreditation here .

The media Kit is available here .

Find all the information: Presentation / Program / Speakers on: www.africities.org

Press contact: Gaëlle Yomi: media@africities.org

 

 

Dr. Mpho Phalatse: Determined to bring Johannesburg back to life

Elected in November 2021 as the first female mayor of the municipality of Johannesburg (South Africa), Mpho Phalatse has taken the time to make her mark and to give a new dynamic to the city. In office for a five-year term, she is the first black woman to head the Johannesburg mayor’s office and the first woman since 1946.

On April 21st, 2022, five months after taking office, she outlined the situation of her municipality and presented the priority sectors to bring her city to a new standard, which is the economic lung of South Africa with 15% of GDP.

Speaking in the Braamfontein City Council Chamber, she outlined her team’s new vision, entitled “The Golden Start”. With seven priorities, the mayor is committed to give residents, visitors, businesses and civil society: A city that meets the basic right; A safe city; A caring city; A business-friendly city; An inclusive city; A well-run city; and A smart city.

In short, to make Johannesburg “a city of golden opportunities: a vibrant, safe and resilient city, where the local government provides a quality life for every resident,” says Ms. Mpho Phalatse. For her, it is time for her municipality to regain its true status. ” The City of Johannesburg… attracts visitors from all over the world — 55% from other parts of Gauteng, 36% from other provinces, and 9% from beyond our borders. They all come in search of golden opportunities synonymous with the city’s promise of gold. However, following years of neglect, mistreatment and abuse, our city now lies in ruins”. To rebuild, the trained physician calls for the involvement of various stakeholders. “It would be a profound mistake to assume that the council and its municipal administration can fix the city on its own. Partnership is often missing internally. Departments and entities must cooperate. Residents must receive real responses and not be… shoved from pillar to post. The entire municipality must work as a team.”

It was while working with vulnerable communities that Mpho Phalatse realized there were problems she could not solve with medicine, but rather with leadership.

 “As a doctor, I was trained to bring things to life that are almost dead. I think a lot of the skills in medicine are transferable. The city is like a patient, it is sick and needs to be brought back to life, so you use the same approach as in medicine, the history, diagnosis, and come up with a treatment plan,” the mayor explained.

In the context of her country this is a real challenge. “It’s a challenge because South Africa is very diverse, even the socio-economic status of the people in Johannesburg. So you have the billionaire on the one hand, who is looking forward to this first world city, and then you have someone in an informal settlement that says, ‘Just give me a toilet’. You have to be able to meet the needs of both constituencies”, says Phalatse.

Grateful to be a pioneer

Being the first woman to become mayor of Johannesburg honors her and emphasizes her sense of responsibility: “I’m very grateful to God, I feel it’s an honor. It could have been any other woman, you know, the fact that God chose for me to be that woman. I really, don’t take it lightly. I’m very appreciative of holding that title. But I also realize the responsibility that comes with the title because it says, you are a front runner, you’ve opened the door for other women to come after you”.

Express bio

Dr. Mpho Phalatse spent the early years of her life with her maternal grandmother in Hebron, northwest of Tshwane, before moving with her parents to Mabopane.

The ethic of diligence and resilience was instilled in Dr Phalatse at an early age, as she was born to Komane and Moserwa Phalatse, who were both educators in the then country of Bophuthatswana.

Dr Phalatse graduated from Loreto Convent School in 1994 and was then admitted to the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) to study Chemical Engineering. She enrolled here in 1995. However, after much self-reflection and a desire to focus on a more people-oriented career, she did an about-face in her second year at Wits and returned to Tshwane to study for a Doctorate in medicine at the Sefako Makgatho University of Health Sciences, formely known as MEDUNSA.

She obtained her medical degree in 2005 and underwent her medical training at Tembisa Hospital. She then did community service in Hammanskraal, in the north of Tshwane, where she rendered services at Jubilee Hospital as well as various clinics in the area. Dr. Phalatse enrolled in a project management course at Cranefield College while doing community service. She now holds a graduate degree and post-graduate diploma in project management and program management. She is also a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME). She returned to Wits University in 2011 to enroll in a Master of Medicine (Mmed) in Public Health Medicine, a decision that saw her move permanently to the Golden City. Since then, she has worked as an emergency manager at Alexandra Community Health Center and as a sexual assault care practitioner at Far East Rand Hospital in Springs, while also serving on the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) ethics committee. She was appointed as a member of the Mayor’s Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development between August 2016 and October 2019. In her role as MMC, Dr. Phalatse has championed the expansion of service hours at city clinics, as well as the city’s multi-faceted substance abuse prevention and treatment strategy, among many other initiatives.

Sources : 1 , 2, 3 , 4

 

Ms. Asmaa Rhlalou: Making Rabat a cultural, innovative and connected capital

The month of March was not exclusively marked by the celebration of the International Women’s Day at the Rabat City Hall. The municipality led by Ms. Asmaa Rhlalou was also deployed on two other major events for the Moroccan capital: the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Rabat’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List (March 25, 2022) and the launch of a pilot operation to test an electric urban bus (March 11, 2022). The first 100% electric bus to operate in Rabat, this pilot experiment could lead to the partial electrification of the fleet of buses operated by the “City of Light”. This ecological orientation reinforces Rabat’s reputation as a “green city”, which already benefits from vast urban and peri-urban green spaces, as well as a green belt covering 1,063 hectares

First woman elected mayor on September 24, 2021, Asmaa Rhlalou and her team aim to invest in the implementation of innovative projects such as electric buses to improve the daily lives of the population. Since taking office, she has placed particular emphasis on the communication by making information from her council available on the city council’s  YouTube channel, which was created in December 2021, as well as the Facebook page and Twitter account.  As a journalist by profession, this component could not fail to be in line with her action plan. Her program also included the creation of local development companies (LDCs) in several sectors.

On the cultural component, the city of Rabat is committed to “the restoration, the rehabilitation, the enhancement, the promotion and the influence of its precious and rich heritage,” said the mayor of the capital in her address on March 25. For 2022, at the central state level, the city of Rabat has been designated the cultural capital of the Islamic world by The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO). A designation that adds to the one made by the local governments of Africa who have chosen Rabat as the first African Capital of Culture (ACC) for the launch of this program initiated by UCLG Africa. The launch is scheduled for 2022.

Express Bio

Asmaa Rhlalou was born in Rabat where she made a career as a journalist. Editor of the daily newspaper l’Opinion (Economic Desk) since 1997, Asmaa Rhlalou holds a PhD in Economics and Business Law from the University of Perpignan in France (2006). She started her political career in the Istiqlal Party (IP) from 1997 to 2007. Then she became a member of the National Council of the National Rally of Independents. She was elected as an RNI deputy during the legislative quinquennium (2016-2021) on the national list reserved for women in the House of Representatives. During that term, Asmaa Rhlalou was a member of the Finance and Economic Development Committee, before serving as secretary in the lower house bureau. Rhlalou is also a member of the World Water Council, an associative actor in the issues of women in vulnerable situations and vice-president of the International Festival of Arts and Culture in Rabat.

Sources : 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5

 

Pretoria to host the Southern Africa Regional Caucus of UCLG Africa  (PRESS RELEASE)

On 14 & 15 March 2022, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is holding a regional caucus for the members of the Southern Africa Region in Pretoria (South Africa) at Capital Menlyn Maine hotel, in collaboration with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

This is the fifth and the last in a series of regional caucuses organized in preparation for the 9th Africities Summit to be held from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The theme of the Summit is: «The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063 ».

The caucus brings together the chairpersons and permanent secretaries of the national associations of subnational and local governments of Southern Africa countries, as well as the chairpersons of the country chapters of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and a representative of young elected officials aged of 35 and below that are going to be part of the Network of young local elected officials (YELO).

The caucus will offer the UCLG Africa members from the Southern Africa Region the opportunity to reflect on their participation in the upcoming Summit, going through the agenda of the Summit and highlighting their contribution on priority issues being discussed during the Summit, particularly at the special events mentioned in the program, namely, the Climate Day; the Diaspora Day; the Culture Day; the Digital Day; the Urban Development Day; the Housing Day; the Women’s Day; the Youth Day; and the Africities investment Forum.

The Africities Summit will be the framework for the organization of the next elective general assembly of UCLG Africa, REFELA and YELO. The caucus is therefore expected to designate the candidates of the Southern Africa Region on the different bodies of UCLG Africa, REFELA and YELO.

The region must nominate: 9 candidates among the 45 members of the UCLG Africa Pan-African Council elected from among the members of the general assembly; 3 candidates among the 15 members of the UCLG Africa Executive Committee elected from among the members of the Pan African Council; 1 candidate among the 5 members of the UCLG Africa Financial Management Commission from among the members of the Pan African Council; 1 Vice President among the 5 members of the Presidency elected from among the members of the Executive Committee, and possibly 1 candidate for the position of President of UCLG Africa elected from among the UCLG Africa Vice Presidents. The nomination of office bearers for the REFELA and YELO bodies will follow the same process.

Members will also address the presence of the Southern Africa Region at the Africities Business Exhibition that will allow institutions, academia, the private sector, cooperation agencies to showcase their know-how, methods and tools, products in response to the mandates of subnational and local governments.

The official opening of the proceedings will be done by representative of the Ministry Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), during the opening ceremony to be held on 14 March in the presence of:

  • Cllr Bheki Stofile, Chairperson, South African Local Government Association (SALGA),
  • Mr. Jeffrey Sibisibi, Vice-President, UCLG Africa, Southern Africa Region,
  • Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa.

National and international media in Pretoria are invited to cover the opening ceremony scheduled on Monday, 14 March 2022 at 10 am at Capital Menlyn Maine hotel.

Press contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: +212 06 10 56 71 45

E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org

www.uclga.org

 

Eastern Africa Regional Caucus of UCLG Africa: Kisumu County supported by the Subnational and Local Governments of the East Africa Region to contest for UCLG Africa President (PRESS RELEASE)

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) held his regional caucus for the Eastern Africa Region from 7 to 8 March 2022, in Nairobi (Kenya) at Safari Park Hotel. The meeting was organized in collaboration with the Council of Governors (CoG) of Kenya, the Kisumu County Government and the Ministry of Devolution of Kenya.

Subnational and local governments associations of 8 countries out of the 11 countries of the region took part to the caucus. They were the chairpersons and permanent secretaries of the national associations of subnational and local governments of the East African countries, as well as the chairpersons of the country chapters of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and the Network of Young Locally Elected Officials of Africa (YELO).  The caucus was held in preparation of the 9th edition of the Africities Summit scheduled from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The theme of the Summit is: « The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and the African Union´s Agenda 2063 ».

The caucus was officially opened on March 7th 2022, by Hon Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary for Defense, in presence of :  Hon. Ndegwa WAHOME, MBS, Chairman of County Assemblies Forum, H.E  Prof. Peter ANYANG’ NYONG’O, Governor, Kisumu County and Representative of the Chairperson of the Council of Governors (CoG), Cllr Innocent UWIMANA, Vice President of East Africa Region, UCLG Africa, Mr. Julius KORIR, Principal Secretary, Ministry  of Devolution, Mr. Oumar SYLLA, Director, African Office, UN-HABITAT and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa.

The different allocutions highlighted the importance of the coming Africities Summit as a platform for dialogue on decentralization in Africa, exchange on best practices on the governance of African cities and territories across Africa, interaction between subnational and local government authorities with various stakeholders such as ministers, civil society, academia, private sector or development partners.

For the first time, the Africities Summit will be held in an intermediary city.  The Governor of Kisumu is of the view that the success of this summit will open the door to other intermediary cities in future to host the event.

In his opening address, Hon Eugene Wamalwa, called on all the Member States from the East African Region, to be present in Kisumu. He also expressed his expectation that, in the framework of this caucus, the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Devolution, and UCLG Africa sign the agreement establishing the East Africa Regional Office of UCLG Africa ( EARO) in Nairobi.

The two days of the caucus have allowed the participants to discuss the main agenda items of the Africities Summit in Kisumu and the way the East Africa Region should be present in the proceedings of the Summit. A special attention was called on the need for subnational and local governments of the East Africa Region to define the priority issues they want to put forward during the Summit’s debates, the 5 questions they wish to table to ministers on the one hand, to development partners on the other hand, urging the tripartite dialogue Roundtable scheduled on 21 May 2022. They also discussed the contribution of the Region in the special events organized during the Summit, namely, Climate Day; Diaspora Day; Digital Day; Culture Day; Urban Planning Day; Housing Day; Women’s Day; Youth Day; and Africities Investment Forum. For this last special event subnational and local government authorities from East Africa were requested to identify priority projects to be presented to investors for their financing. The Africa Territorial Agency, a special purpose vehicle aiming at facilitating access of African cities and territories to the financial market was also presented and discussed.

Furthermore, the participants received a presentation on the UCLG Africa e-learning platform which aims to support local authorities of the continent in their digitalization process. Seemingly a presentation of the UCLG Africa Trombino platform allowed the participants to appreciate the urgency to be present on the Internet in an organized manner to take advantage of the branding and territorial marketing possibilities offered by this tool. Cities and territories were called upon to be on the Trombino platform and participate in its update.

The other aim of the caucus was also to designate the candidates of the East Africa Region on the governing bodies of the UCLG Africa, REFELA and YELO to be elected during the general assemblies of these entities scheduled during the Africities Summit in May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya.

The Eastern Africa region has designated its 9 candidates to sit on the Pan-African Council of Local Authorities, which has 45 members in total (9 per region); its 3 candidates to sit on the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa, which has 15 members in total (3 per region), and its candidate on the UCLG Africa Presidency, which has 5 members, (one Vice-President per region). The same process was followed for REFELA and YELO. The caucus also designated the candidate of the region to be among  the 5 members of the Financial Management Committee of UCLG Africa, and the representative of the region on the Electoral Commission set up to supervise the electoral operations for each of the above entities (UCLG Africa; REFELA; YELO).

Hereafter are the nominations on the different bodies of UCLG Africa, REFELA, and YELO.

The 9 candidates from Eastern Africa to sit on the UCLG Africa Pan-African Council

  Office holder

 

Substitute
1 County Government of Kisumu (Kenya) City  of Djibouti
2 Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda) Association   of Mayor of Comoros

 

3 District of Victoria  (Seychelles) Association of Local Authorities of Mauritius
4 County Assemblies Forum (CAF, Kenya) Ethiopian Cities Association(ECA)
5 Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT, Tanzania) Kampala City (Uganda)
6 City of Antananarivo (Madagascar) Bujumbura City (Burundi)
7 Region of Anjouan (Comoros) Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA)
8 City of Kapchorwa (Uganda) Kigali City (Rwanda)
9 Association des Communes du Burundi” (ACO Burundi ) City of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The 3 candidates from Eastern Africa to sit on the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa

  Office holder Substitute
1 County Government of Kisumu (Kenya) City  of Djibouti
2 Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda) Association   of Mayor of Comoros
3 District of Victoria (Seychelles) Association  of Local Government of Mauritius

Candidates

  Regional Vice-President of UCLG Africa
1 County Government of Kisumu (Kenya)
  Financial Management Commission
1 Association des Communes du Burundi” (ACO Burundi)
  Electoral Commission
1 A city of Kenya (Name will be give before the 17 May by the County Assemblies Forum (CAF)

The caucus decided also that the Kisumu County Government, the candidate of the East Africa Region to sit on the UCLG Africa Presidency will also be candidate for the seat of UCLG Africa President.

Result of the REFELA Caucus

The 9 candidates from the Eastern Africa region for the Pan-African Council of REFELA 

  Office holder Substitute

 

1 Council of Governors (CoG) of Kenya City of Nairobi (Kenya)
2 Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda) Gitega City, Burundi
3  Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT, Tanzania) Masaka City, Uganda
4 “Association des Communes du Burundi” (ACO Burundi) Singida Municipality, Tanzania
5 Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) ADV, Seychelles
6 Holota City ( Ethiopia) ECA, Ethiopia
7 Association of the Mayors of Madagascar Large Cities (AMGVM) Madagascar –  City
8 City of Djibouti (Djibouti) ANCLD, Djibouti( Djibouti national Association of Local Governments)
9 National Association of Mayors of the Comoros(ANMC) Huye City, Rwanda

 

The 3 candidates from Eastern Africa to sit on the REFELA Board

  Office holder Substitute
1 Council of Governors (CoG) of Kenya TBD
2 Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT, Tanzania) TBD
3 Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda) TBD

Candidates

  Regional Vice-President of REFELA
1 Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda)
  Electoral Commission
1 Council of Governors (CoG) of Kenya

Result of the YELO Caucus

The 9 candidates from Eastern Africa for the YELO Pan-African Council

  Office holder Substitute

 

1 Association of District of Victoria(ADV, Seychelles), TBD
2 Council of Governors (CoG, Kenya) TBD
3 National Association of Mayors of the Comoros(ANMC, Comoros) TBD
4 Association des Communes du Burundi” (ACO Burundi), TBD
5 Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT, Tanzania) TBD
6 Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) TBD
7  Rwanda Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA, Rwanda) TBD
8 Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA, Uganda) TBD
9 Association of the Mayors of Madagascar Large Cities (AMGVM). TBD

The 3 candidates of Eastern Africa for the YELO Board

  Office holder Substitute
1 Association of District of Victoria (ADV, Seychelles). TBD
2 Council of Governors (CoG, Kenya) TBD
3 National Association of Mayors of the Comoros(ANMC, Comoros) TBD

 

  Regional Vice-President of YELO
1 Association of District of Victoria (ADV, Seychelles).

Celebration of International Women’s Day

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, participants received a video message by Mrs. Macoura Dao, President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA).  In her address she highlighted that beyond the celebration, of March 8, a deep questioning should be made on the role of women in society, on the effectiveness of their rights, and on the challenges that still need to be taken up so that equality between women and men is a source of opportunities now and for the future. All women present at the caucus meeting received a gift in the framework of the celebration of the International Day of Women Rights.

Press contact: Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: +212 06 10 56 71 45/ E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org   / www.uclga.org

9th Africities Summit: The City of Kisumu Hosts the Largest Meeting with the Africa of Local Governments (PRESS RELEASE )

The city of Kisumu in Kenya will host the 9th edition of the Africities Summit from May 17 to 21, 2022, under the High Patronage of His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. The theme of the summit is: “The role of intermediary cities in Africa in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063”.

Organized every 3 years over a 5-day period, alternately in the different regions of Africa, the Africities Summit is the largest democratic gathering organized on the African continent. This flagship event of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya, the Council of Governors of Kenya (CoG),  and the County of Kisumu will for the very first time be held in an intermediary city.

More than 5,000 participants are expected to discuss the 2030 and 2063 Agendas which call for urgent reflection on resilient and sustainable urbanization in Africa, given that by 2050 most of the African population will live in cities, and that most city dwellers will settle in intermediary cities. The improvement of the living conditions of the African populations and the economic and social structural transformation of the African continent are therefore closely linked to the way in which the achievement of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas will be approached in the African intermediary cities, which are undoubtedly the places where Africa will have to invent its own approach and its own development trajectory.

The challenge is to learn the lessons from the serious health crisis that the world has just experienced, the limits of the planetary ecosystem, the warnings of the International Group of Experts on Climate (IPCC) on the impact of climate change, and the extent of the disorders and instabilities that will result, in order to reflect on the definition of a new development trajectory for Africa. From the outset, this trajectory should take into account the need to shift towards a mode of production and consumption that is more restrained in terms of consumption of natural resources and discharges into nature, a mode of production and consumption that is  low carbon, respectful of the balance between human beings and other living species, socially more inclusive and fairer, ecologically more sustainable, and overall more resilient.

Kisumu is therefore the place chosen by the community of local authorities in Africa to initiate this healthy reflection. This reflection will be addressed during the thematic sessions, sessions on local policies and strategies, and open sessions organized during the first three days of the Summit. This reflection will also be at the heart of the debates and proposals for specific days organized on the major subjects that mobilize the attention of mayors and leaders of local authorities on the continent: Climate Day; Diaspora Day; Digital Day; Culture Day; Urban Planning Day; Housing Day; Women’s Day; Youth Day; and Africities Investment Forum.

The Africities Summit includes a political segment on the last two days, during which meetings of ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments, Regional Economic Communities, and development partners take place. These meetings will consider proposals and recommendations from thematic sessions, sessions on local policies and strategies, and open sessions. They end with a tripartite political dialogue meeting between ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments, and development partners with the aim of defining and adopting a roadmap on the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda  and of Agenda 2063.

At the same time as part of the Summit and at the same location will  be held the International Exhibition for Cities and Local Authorities. The Africities Exhibition offers to institutions, economic operators, academia and research, civil society organizations the opportunity to exhibit their experiences, know-how, methods, tools, products, in response to the requests and needs in terms of support to local governments  for the implementation of their mandates. The Africities Exhibition also makes it possible to organize B2B meetings with local governments, which could possibly lead to the conclusion of contracts between protagonists.

The Summit ends with a gala dinner during which the attributes of honorary members will be distributed to the personalities selected by the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa as well as the Africities prizes awarded to local governments that have made remarkable achievements that can inspire their counterparts.

The 9th Africities  Summit will also serve  as a framework for the elective general assembly responsible for appointing the members of the organization’s governing bodies. Indeed, the elective general assembly of UCLG Africa will be held on May 19, 2022, preceded on May 18 by the general assemblies of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and the Network of Young Local Elected Officials of Africa (YELO).

Find all the information: Presentation / Program / Speakers on: www.africities.org

Press contact: media@africities.org

 

 

 

Road to Africities 9: The big interview with…Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu County (Kenya): “We may have to come up with a common understanding at the continental level on how to restructure our cities “

In the run-up to the Africities 9 summit scheduled for 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu (Kenya), under the theme: “The contribution of African intermediary cities to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063”, UCLG Africa is conducting a serie of interviews with mayors of intermediary cities on the continent. For this second issue our guest is the Honorable Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu (Kenya). He reveals the ambition of his city to improve its green coverage, the urgency for Local Governments of the continent to agree their violins to face the problems related to governance in Africa. The host city of Africities also wishes that during the 5 days of the Summit, Kisumu is a connected city with free Wi-Fi access. In advance, Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o welcomes participants to Kisumu, “the city of infinite possibilities”.

Watch the video or read the interview.

Can you introduce your city?

Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya, sitting almost on the Equator, to the West of Nairobi, on Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. Therefore, the fishing industry is one of the most important industries in the Kisumu County, of which I am the Governor. Kisumu is also known for its sporting population, with young people who excel in soccer, hockey and other games, and who have won several medals in international and African matches. As we sit here today, Kisumu is going to hold the 9th edition of the Africities Summit, as an intermediary city. Indeed it is, because the population has been growing and we do believe that by the year 2050, the population of Kisumu may be easily 3 million. One of the reasons why the population is growing very fast is because the economy is also growing. The county has a strong agricultural sector which supplies the city with agricultural commodities, both for consumption and for export to other parts of East Africa. We are therefore talking about a very dynamic, lively and entertaining city. We have a lot of entertainment sports in the county, on the lake, and anybody who comes to Kisumu will come to a city that is typical of cities which sit on great sizes of water resources.

In 2010, Kenya had a new constitution which restructured the system of government. We say that we have 48 governments in Kenya, one national and 47 counties, separate but interdependent. Kisumu happens to be one of those default systems of government along other 13 counties around Lake Victoria. So we have formed an economic and cultural community called the Lake Region Economic Block to synergize our development across these 14 counties, because we realize that we trade with each other and have close communication. We are also closely related to neighboring countries through Lake Victoria: at least four other counties around Lake Victoria are borders touching Uganda or Tanzania. Therefore, coming together in the Lake Region Economic Bloc, with headquarters in Kisumu, provides us with the potential for economic integration and economic growth in the future. Kisumu is definitely a gateway to a large market. It is the epicenter for a lot of activities. Most people in the region come here to meet, have conferences, or invest in housing and other businesses, so Kisumu really acts more or less as the capital of the Lake Region Economic Bloc.

Intermediate cities occupy a strategic place in Africa’s urbanization. By 2050, the majority of new urban dwellers will settle in cities of less than 500,000 inhabitants. How is your municipality preparing for this change? 

One of the ways we are preparing for this change is by having a local, detailed geophysical and special plan of the city, to know exactly where people live, what kind of natural resources and infrastructure we have, and what kind of problems we have in terms of use of land and environmental control, because environment is a very important issue. During the COVID pandemic, it was realized that we need to revive urban farming because access to market beyond Kisumu became difficult, but people had to be fed. You know, human beings are very innovative. All of a sudden, we saw corn gardening in the city. It provided people with meals daily, and corn gardening has been proven to be a very effective way of producing food. We also found during this pandemic, that when there are lockdowns in the city and people can’t travel to the central business district to have access to malls and other facilities, they need to have them in their neighborhood. Following our special geophysical plan for future urban planning, which we have already initiated today, the neighborhood must be integrated in this planning, and not just in terms of apartments, but also in terms of what people need on a day-to-day basis: markets, playgrounds, health facilities… This must be integrated in planning so that agglomeration of settlement within the city can actually be as self-sufficient as possible.

We can’t do this without technology. We need it to collect our revenue, for example. We must have internet to collect data. Therefore, the old way of doing things by pen and paper, which is a danger for increasing non-accountability of fund revenues, for example, is becoming a thing of the past. We intend, during the Africities Summit, to make Kisumu a free Wi-Fi city, where you can access to Wi-Fi and call people as well as get informed, which is much easier than calling someone in a phone booth.

Do you think that cities like yours receive enough attention from public policies? 

That is one of the reasons we have the Committee of Urban Affairs and Urban Development in the Council of Governors. It’s a very important Committee because we do realize that, in the Constitution, we have to produce a devolved government although we have an Urban Areas and Cities Act, which deals specifically with city problems. The government has not internalized the fact that planning for cities and financing cities development is a very important issue in counties like ours. We must also plan for the growth of small towns, because they are growing exponentially into the future. Therefore, planning for urban development and financing it, giving urban areas resources to look after their need, is something we must cater for, especially in the Division of Revenue Bill used in the Constitution to divide revenue between the national government and the county government.

Our Committee has so far been dependent mainly on money from the World Bank for urban development. We cannot continue to forever depend on donor-funded projects in urban areas; it must be domain that is available in the treasury dispatched to counties under the Division of Revenue Bill.

The Africities 9 Summit will be crucial for intermediary cities…

During the Summit, it will be important for us to compare notes with other cities in Africa, to find answers to the following questions: what is the mode of financing of urban areas in other parts of Africa? How do they envisage dealing with emerging problems of growing and exponentially growing urban areas? Do we, in Kenya, have any lessons that we want to share with others? What lessons do others have to share with us? The answers will help Africa develop a common pool of knowledge and ideas on how to deal with urban development and with the problems that the urban areas face. I think it is very important because we may find that what happens in Burkina Faso may be relevant to what happens in Kenya.

The Africities 9 Summit Scheduled from 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu (Kenya) places intermediary cities at the heart of the debate, with the theme: “The contribution of African intermediate cities to the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063”.  What are your expectations for this meeting which brings together local authorities as well as financial institutions, civil society organizations and development partners at the continental and international levels?  

My expectation is that we may have to come up with a common understanding at the continental level on how to restructure our cities and how to deal with problems of governance in Africa as a whole. In certain countries, local governments enjoy tremendous power and resources from their national government, whereby you may find a country where 40% of the national budget is dedicated to local governments, either in terms of states or provinces. For example, Nigeria is a federal system that has states. South Africa has provinces, but they do not have as much political power as the states of Nigeria. Here in Kenya, we have counties, which is something between what provinces are in South Africa and what states are in Nigeria. We must, during the Summit, ask ourselves, what differences does this make, if you have one model of local government, rather than the other? Is there one that works better in the African situation? Or should we expect a multiplicity of systems precisely depending on the history of a country? Does this multiplicity of systems still provide a future for citizens living in intermediary cities? Especially as they quickly become metropolises, because they are not going to remain intermediary cities forever. That transition from being intermediary to being a metropolis must be very carefully managed and resourced if we want to avoid some of the problems that Africa’s metropolises have, like urban congestion and lack of proper structures of habitation. When you want to build a metro, the built environment is so dense that it costs you an arm and a leg to build! I always said that we should avoid catching the Mumbai flu: when Mumbai wanted to build a metro, they found it very difficult. While the city had grown over time, the need for a metro was not envisaged and it became a very big problem, whereas Mexico City, which is very big and has a huge population, did not have many difficulties building a metro underground. We need to get these lessons and find out if there are certain things we may not do today but must envisage doing them later as these cities grow, for cheaper because we precisely planned ahead of time.

The global challenge of climate change can only be met through the territorialization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). How is your municipality dealing with the consequences of climate change in the daily lives of your populations?  

It is not easy, because we never envisaged the effects of climate change. Nobody knew, so nobody can pretend that we have the answers to that question, but we must confront the problem. We are improvising where we can; taking drastic measures to prevent its consequence in the future if we have to.  I think the most important thing is to understand, what is this animal called climate change? How does it affect us? Can we avoid climate change, or can we mitigate it because we cannot avoid it? At the moment, we can definitely avoid it, because we know its causes. One of them is carbon emissions. We can start reducing carbon emissions in our own city, Kisumu, where motorbikes are the most popular form of transport, and perhaps the biggest polluters. We had two choices, either ban motorbike transportation, which we couldn’t,  or make it safe and free from carbon emission, which we are doing by gradually turning our petroleum powered motorbikes into electricity powered ones, because electricity is clean energy.

Secondly, we must improve the green coverage in our city. The first thing we did when we came into local government was to rehabilitate all our parks and protect them from encroachment and destruction, at a time when the reduction of green spaces in Kisumu was alarming. Thirdly, climate change recently led to the rise of the level of the lake we live next to and that was very detrimental to economic activities on the lakefront. Homes, schools and hotels were destroyed, and there was a tremendous loss of development around the lakefront. We must protect riparian land now. We should make sure that, while we are fighting carbon emissions, we are also protecting water resources, so that we can manage the rise of water levels of the rivers and lakes, in the way in which we have managed the waterfront in good time.

How can intermediate cities like yours contribute to national wealth creation, local economic development and local democracy?  

As I told you, Kenya is composed of 48 governments, one national and 47 counties, which means that the counties really are where people live. A Kenyan lives somewhere in a county, a devolved unit. A Kenyan does business and creates wealth somewhere in a county, the total sum of wealth creation of all these counties is what comes to be the national GDP or the Gross National Product, because productive activities and wealth creation happens in these counties. Now, they may happen because national government itself stimulates investment in these counties, therefore, the initial capital that initiates development comes from the treasury that is still developing Kenyan’s capital, but it may also happen that this wealth creation is initiated by the counties themselves, through their own unique development programs and policies.

If Kenya’s GDP is going to grow exponentially, then the two levels of government, which are interdependent, must commit to wealth creation, both at the local and national level. Kisumu County is finding in areas in which the national government has the resources, even more needed resources to undertake development, like what they did at the port, which we ourselves cannot do. That is important to the Kenyan economy, as well as the county’s economy.

The wealth created at the port could easily be counted as part of the GDP of the county but it is really the GDP of the nation. Now, I will tell you that when we create a good environment for investment both by the private and the public sector, it will add towards wealth creation within the county and part of its GDP. This is taken into account by the National Statistical Authority when it calculates the GDP’s of counties. A correlation has been found between good economic policies, better systems of accountability in counties and their rate of GDP growth. We distinguish the Gross Domestic Product growth of the counties from the GDP of the nation as whole. If we do not have policies and regulations that are conducive to investment, of course we shall not grow rapidly. Now, one of the areas in which we must have good policies is the agricultural sector, because it’s the biggest part of our economy. We are capable of producing low volume, high price agricultural commodities, like spices. They are low volume because you can grow them in a very small piece of land, they do not require as much intensive labor as the crops that require large pieces of land, but they feature fantastic good prices in the market. So we must begin retooling ourselves in the agricultural sector in Kisumu County, and create a sector that produces low volume, high price commodities, because an agricultural sector that depends entirely on high volume, low price commodities sometimes do not do very well in the competitive market internationally:  the cost of transportation is rather high. Imagine exporting maize rather than exporting spices to Saudi Arabia, you will pay more for they are lifting them there, so you would prefer to use shipping, which takes a longer time, when you can put spices in a plane that will enter Saudi Arabia within no time and get you a lot of money, so we must begin thinking of a new way of growing our GDP in the county.

Intermediate cities play an important role in rapid urbanization in developing countries, balancing territories, providing services to surrounding populations, creating jobs and generating income, and mitigating rural migration, rather than large cities. Can you share with us your city’s experience on these aspects?  

Sometime ago, before infrastructure was improved in Kenya, people from the region went to work in Mombasa or Nairobi for the Kenya Railways and Harbours Corporation. They worked on railways, in the port of Mombasa, the Thika plantations… Policemen and teachers were also employed in big urban centers like Nairobi. There was a big export of labor from our region, and they stayed for long, often not even coming back for Christmas. They finally came back later when they retired, which means whatever they have earned was invested in the cities where they worked. Lately, with devolution, there has been the opposite movement of human resources. This has lead to other people who are not necessarily residents of Kisumu County coming to invest in it. We have seen an increased backflow of skills and expertise to the County. It is very interesting because we might assume that people who are coming back might create unemployment, yet they actually come back because they have money to invest in something, so they actually increase employment. More people are staying in the rural areas of Kisumu because they have to produce food for the new comers in the city, which is an expanding market for rural commodities from the countryside.

Middle class people leave Nairobi and come back to Kisumu to build houses. A single person needs a watchman, a cook and a domestic cleaner. Those are three workers for one house. Given the numbers of houses being built in some areas, the amount of employment created is not small.

What is your message of invitation to the participants of the 9th Africities Summit? 

Welcome to Kisumu, the city of limitless opportunities, as we begin our journey for Africa’s renaissance and for intermediary cities which will become the metropolises of Africa in the next 20 years.

Yawa Kouigan: The one who is paving the way to meet the challenge of decentralization!

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.

Express bio

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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Sources :  1, 2 , 3 , 4 , 5, 6 , 7

 

Webinar on Metropolitan Governance in Africa: “Peer Learning from Local Experiences

On 17 February 2022, the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and its partner Metropolis organized their 4th webinar on Metropolitan Governance in Africa: “Peer Learning from Local Experiences”.

This learning program focused on educational content designed by Metropolis and its “alliances” and provided an opportunity for participants to understand the metropolitan reality and how metropolitan governance from a gender perspective can be key to addressing the challenges and threats facing our metropolises.

The first webinar focused on “Metropolitan Governance Models” ; the characteristics of governance models namely: funding, competencies, democratic representation, multi-level relationships and the main challenges and strategies to promote a form of metropolitan governance with a gender perspective.

The second webinar was entitled “The right to the metropolitan city in the framework of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda” and focused on the importance of reconsidering the right to the city in a metropolitan context that reflects the current reality of urban dynamics. As for the third webinar, it served as a space to present, share and discuss some case studies based on an African perspective.

This last round of the program was peer learning from metropolises including Cairo, Nouakchott, Lome, Tunis, Rabat, Abidjan, Kigali and Harare. 90 participants benefited from this learning session.

Follow the entire exchange here.