Tribute to Geoff Makhubo

Geoff my Friend, my Brother

So you went away,

Without warning, on tiptoe,

And you chose to do so at a moment when your city, Johannesburg, your country, South Africa, and your continent, Africa, were such in need of your kind of leadership, deeply rooted in the human value of Ubuntu and oriented at the service of  the people,  a message for true Africanity of which you were an intimate bearer.

Praises, you will have, amply deserved.

But will they be able to fill the immense void that you leave in us from now on?


We, who witnessed your personal investment in the success of the Africities Summit, the flagship event of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, hosted in the City of Johannesburg in November 2015.

We, who counted on your optimism for this Continent, which you suffered from the fact that it despaired so much of its youth when it is so immensely endowed.

We, for whom you have so often played your role of watchman, in any situation, without fear, with the great and the small.

I was the lucky beneficiary of this flame that burned in you, sporadic moments, even fleeting, but of an intense luminosity.

I benefited from this appetite for analysis and measurement, which is the mark of great minds.

I saw in you a great mind that accepted to be submitted to the test of the reality of deep Africa, far from the palaces, the plateaus, and the theater of representation that we confuse with a successful life,

On the bumpy paths of our dear Continent, in search of hopefuls to present to the youth of Africa and the world,

You served your city, your country, your continent with dedication and devotion,

You were convinced that it was necessary to change the rumor about Africa, to install in people’s minds and hearts the image of an Africa that is proud of its past and sure of its capacity to finally be master of its future,

Over the last few years, as all of us, you have observed the slow but inexorable maturation of this rise of Africa on the world agenda,

Not only in terms of mobilization of human charity in favor of and I quote “this poor continent which would not have entered the history” end of quote, the history written of course by the sword bearers and the cannon sellers,

But now as the new frontier of the world, the cradle of humanity belatedly recognized, as well as the largest reservoir of natural resources and soon of population of the world, thus closing the loop that makes Africa the alpha and omega of the human species on planet Earth,

As a local government leader, you told us how important it is to present this perspective to African youth so that they become aware of the noble lineage to which they belong, and of the global responsibility which they are now invested with, to define the paths towards a higher order of humanity, where solidarity and sharing will have taken precedence over sterile competition of all against all and every man for himself that fuel xenophobia, racism, inequalities and systematic injustice.

You told us that time has come when the recent history of Africa as drawn on a map in a Tea Party held in Berlin, Germany, in 1885, and reflected in the post-colonial African states, must give way to a dynamic coming from within, carried by an irresistible rise of the Africa of the Peoples, the one that finally settles the accounts with the tears and mutilations of the colonial order, and rebuilds the future by overcoming factitious borders,

Some people smiled sympathetically at such naivety and sweet dreams,

But don’t the events and decisions of the recent history of our continent prove you right, when we see the recent adoption by the Members States of the African Union of the Agreement of the Continental Free Trade Area, which constitutes the cornerstone of the Africa We Want, an Africa that masters her destiny and is custodian of the building of a better and fairer world, because concerned with the equal dignity of all human beings?

I would have liked to continue this conversation with you, and explore how local and regional governments should concretely initiate this shift towards building solid foundations for a finally united Africa. Remember. This was precisely the topic of the Africities Summit in Johannesburg: the contribution of African local and regional governments to the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063. But your breath has stopped, and this stop makes us legatee of a great testament: to pursue your dream of building the Africa of the Peoples from Cape to Cairo.

Be assured, from where you are watching us now, that we will make sure that thousands, hundreds of thousands of young people on this Continent are aware to turn the page of the colonial legacy, to send back to the rebus of history the micro-states of the division of Africa, and to make rise an immense wave carried by this Ubuntu that Africa is proud to offer to the world.

Then, as the tale has it, the Elder Son will have played his part, so that the world will finally become a better place to live in for everyone.

Geoff, my Friend, my Brother,

Rest in peace. You were taken away too early to the affection of your family, your city, your continent that you loved so deeply. You were taken away too soon from our affection.

African wisdom says that the dead are not dead. They are in the sun that shines, in the stars that glisten, in the wind that rustles.

The dead are not dead

Geoff in us, you remain more alive than ever, in us you will never die

Rest in peace my Dear Friend, My Dear Borther

May the African land of our Ancestors be light to you



UCLG Africa  Secretary General

Death of the Mayor of Joburg, Mr. Geoff Makhubo: UCLG Africa Message of condolences and compassion

Read the message here.

Luc Atrokpo: Pragmatic Leadership

At the head of the National Association of Communes of Benin (ANCB) since 2015, Mr. Luc Sètondji Atrokpo has positioned himself over the years as a key player in the country’s local governance. Mayor of the capital city Cotonou, since his election on 6 June 2020, Mr. Atrokpo began his duties in 2003 as first Deputy Mayor of Bohicon. Five years later,  he took the reins of the municipality of Bohicon  and rose through the ranks by occupying the position of President of the Union of Communes of Zou and of the National Association of Communes of Benin in 2015.

Reelected in December 2020, for five years at the head of the ANCB.  Under his authority, the Association made headway and succeeded in asserting its role as the voice of local authorities and interface,  in terms of advocacy with the national authorities. Particular emphasis was placed on decentralized cooperation. It was under the leadership of Luc Atrokpo, that the umbrella organization of the seventy seven  Beninese municipalities carried out a number of actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

These include “training campaigns for local elected officials and executives of territorial administrations, the implementation of several studies including: the Lexicon of themes and common expressions on the SDGs, identification of the needs of Municipalities; the implementation of the toolbox for the financing of the SDGs, the production of advocacy documents to increase the transfer of resources by the national Government to the Municipalities; participation in various national and international fora; the documentation of experience and best practices related to the SDGs in the Municipalities; the study on the specialization of the SDGs in collaboration with the DGCSODD; strengthening the partnership for the implementation of the SDGs and decentralized cooperation; and the signing of numerous Agreements between the Government and the Municipalities for interventions for the benefit of sustainable development “, indicated the local councilor in his foreword in the report on the localization of the SDGs in Benin, produced in 2020 with UCLG World.

Amongst  the members of UCLG Africa, ANCB is deemed  one of its most seasoned and  experienced members. In February 2020, in partnership with UCLG Africa, ANCB organized the Cotonou forum on: “Territorialization as a lever to accelerate the implementation of NDCs in Africa: The contribution of the Associations of African Local Authorities in the mobilization of African cities in favor of climate action”. In March 2020, the new ANCB headquarters was inaugurated in Abomey-Calavi.

During the month of June 2021, ANCB held a series of training activities for its members on climate, gender, and participatory local democracy. The major meeting was without any doubt the seminar for the reactivation of decentralized cooperation between Benin and France, held on  22 June. “Our main goal at ANCB is that Beninese municipalities should take advantage of partnerships to not only strengthen themselves, improve their technical capacities and their know-how, but also to constitute with their counterparts in France a force of proposals in order to mobilize resources around concrete projects in favor of the populations”, declared Luc Sètondji ATROKPO.

Express Bio

Luc Atrokpo whose  full name is Luc Sètondji Atrokpo is a Beninese politician born in Bohicon, Benin, won at several  elections  as member of parliament at the National Assembly, as well as in the post of mayor of the commune of Bohicon.  During the municipal elections of 2020 he was elected mayor of the commune of Cotonou on the list of the Progressive Union party.

On the international scene, he was first vice-president of the Council of Local Authorities of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Francophone Regions, and member of the Networks of the International Association of Francophone Mayors.

In his capacity as mayor, Luc S. Atrokpo was the recipient of several trophies:

  • Prize for the “best municipality” from the German cooperation in 2009,
  • Prize for “best actor in decentralized cooperation in Benin” at the Djembe Awards Ceremony in 201011.

During COP21, Luc S. Atrokpo presented an impressive plan to fight against floods linked to runoff in the Zou basin. An outstanding  project carried out with the support of the French inter-municipal Associations and the study of which,  will be partly financed by France. In this regard, he said: “The city of Bohicon is located in a valley. Water is a nuisance there, we want to make it an asset “12,2.

Stay informed about ANCB actions via their website here

Visit the ANCB Facebook page here


Signing of an agreement between the ANCB and the Association of French Elected Representatives of Beninese Origin

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Africa – Europe Partnership: Connecting young local leaders!

On 23 and 24 June 2021, CEMR, Platforma, and UCLG Africa held the first Africa-Europe meeting of young local elected officials, since the Africities Summit of 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco.

This meeting, aimed at finding new avenues of reflection and action, to bring the continents closer through the action of young local leaders. The participants of this seminar were mostly young mayors, entrepreneurs and other representatives of youth Organisations.

Together, the young leaders analyzed the weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities of the Africa-Europe partnership in light of the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis. This 2-day meeting had 3 main highlights, including the opening of the proceedings with contributions from Mr. Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of CEMR, who called on young African and European elected representatives to bring the partnership between the 2 continents to a higher level. Ms. Jacqueline Mustache-Belle, Director of the Gender and Youth Department at UCLG Africa, for her part, invited young people to build a collaborative partnership. The contributions that followed the opening of the proceedings emphasized the essentiality of young people for the development of territories on the 2 continents and the need for their inclusion in the decision-making process both on the political level and from the economic and sanitary standpoint.

Ladies Annica Floren, Fiorella Perotto, and Betania Lulu Berhanu from the European Commission mentioned many European Union programs dedicated to youth and especially the place of cooperation of education in what will be the new partnership desired by the young elected officials. It became clear in their message that young people are at the heart of the partnership between Africa and Europe. Ms. Adelaide Hirwe, Secretary General of the African Union’s Diaspora Youth Initiative and Mr. Daniel Ajudeonu of Génération Action Afrique (GAA), for their part insisted on capacity building for young people and its importance for the future of the 2 continents.

The political voice was expressed by 3 local elected officials, Mr. Cemal Bas, Municipal Councilor at the municipality of Keçiören (Ankara), Ms. Thérèse Faye Diouf, Mayor of the municipality of Diarrere (Senegal), Mr. Nektarios Kalantzis, Municipal Councilor of the Municipality of Pallini (Greece), and Ms. Ibticem Atitallah, Deputy Mayor of Sfax (Tunisia). Based on their political experience, the elected officials discussed the means of engaging young people at the political level and highlighted the challenges awaiting young leaders in this new approach to the Africa-Europe partnership.

Thanks to the use of technological tools during this virtual meeting, the participants were called upon in particular to answer the following questions: in a word, how do they see the future of this partnership desired by the young leaders, and what would be the priorities for which the platform of young African and European leaders should initiate discussions and concrete actions?

For the first question, the majority of participants mentioned collaboration, reciprocity, and innovation.

For the second question, the participants overwhelmingly chose: gender equality, migration, climate change, and political and democratic inclusion.


You can see and review the proceedings of the first day and of the second day by clicking on the following links:

Day 1

Day 2


The Didier Drogba Foundation and 01Talent Africa are committed in partnership with UCLG Africa to support the growth of the digital economy through the development of exceptional entrepreneurial skills


Partnership between the Didier Drogba Foundation and 01Talent Africa to identify, train and support new African digital talent

  • The Didier Drogba Foundation and 01Talent Africa signed in Abidjan, a strategic partnership to address the challenges of the digital transformation of the continent through an inclusive and sustainable approach to human capital development
  • The Didier Drogba Foundation reaffirms its mission to promote the fundamental right to education for all without distinction and more specifically for the most vulnerable populations (unemployed youth, women and girls, migrants, …)
  • 01Talent Africa, co-founded by Nicolas Sadirac and Deror Sultan, is committed to the identification, development and provision of professional support to more than 1 million digital talents in Africa through the establishment of inclusive business schools (“Zone01”) without any financial or academic barriers, true catalysts and accelerators of opportunities for youth and innovation.
  • Didier Drogba and his foundation become international ambassadors for 01Talent.
  • From autumn 2021, an ambitious pan-African campaign will be launched to identify and reveal the digital talents and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, driving the continental tech ecosystem.

Read More.

Regional Forum – WAEMU area: Local governments call for their integration into climate finance

On 10 and 11 June 2021, the Regional Forum on  “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing Climate Ambitions of Local Governments in Africa” was held at the Hôtel 2 Février in Lomé (Togo).

Placed under the High Patronage of His Excellency M. Faure Gnassingbé , President of the Republic of Togo, the meeting for local and regional governments of the WAEMU area was organized by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa),  in collaboration with the Government of Togo, the Economic Union and West African Monetary (WAEMU), the West African Development Bank (BOAD), UNDP, and Expertise France.

As part of the activities of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA), the Forum registered the participation in a hybrid format of more than two hundred delegates.

The proceedings were opened by His Excellency Mr. Payadowa Boukpessi, Minister of State, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Territory Development of Togo, representative of the President of the Republic of Togo, and included the participation of  HE Mr. Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Togo, Mr. Mohamed Yassine Daoudi, representative of the President of UCLG World, Mr. François Amichia, President of the CCT of WAEMU, Mr. Serge Ekué, President of  West African Development Bank (BOAD), Mr. Aymeric Lorthiois, First Counselor of the Embassy of France in Togo, representative of the Ambassador of France, Mr. Markus Wagner, Director General of GIZ Togo, Mr. MacDonald S. GOANUE, Director of the Research and Strategic Planning Department of EBID, representative of the President, Mr. Kossi Dzinyefa Atabuh, Prefect of the Golfe district (in Lomé), and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.



Call for greater involvement of local authorities

The various speeches highlighted the essential role that local authorities must play in the fight against climate change. This requires in particular a paradigm shift as underlined by the President of BOAD, Mr. Serge Ekué. “The WAEMU countries are among the 50 countries most exposed to global warming. We will not be able to cope with climate change without a real paradigm shift in the financing of African economies. It would be wise to involve local authorities as key players to understand and deal with the difficulties encountered by municipalities. It is crucial to include them in the process of planning, preparing, and budgeting for investment plans. Access to financial resources by local authorities should be improved. We stand ready to support local authorities in the context of robust, transparent issues allowing investors to gain the confidence of investors around the world “, he pleaded.

The Togolese government is of the same opinion. “Our local governments must become vanguard actors in the fight against climate change and the acceleration of the continent’s climate ambition. The holding of this forum represents for us an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and convergence of the territories of the WAEMU countries in terms of operational solutions and the search for the necessary financial resources in support of low-carbon growth, in a quality environment”, declared Mr. Payadowa BOUKPESSI, Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and Territorial Development of Togo.

For the EU, “the regional forum marks the start of the implementation of the national approach of the CoM SSA in Togo, through which the EU intends to support inclusion, an environmental, energy and climate dimension in the decentralization process. We appreciate the efforts of the CoM SSA and of UCLG Africa to rightly promote the action of local governments with other donors, so as to give them the means to access climate finance alongside their national governments”, said HE Mr. Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Togo.


WAEMU welcomes the opportunities presented to local and regional governments. “This forum rightly reminds us that the territories are partners in the new agenda of resilience and of the fight against climate change. This is an opportunity for us to salute and congratulate the community of technical and financial partners for the many initiatives and projects undertaken in this area by relying on local governments through UCLG Africa. Among these initiatives, we note with great interest the preparation of a climate – energy portfolio and the mobilization of climate finance through the Readiness program, for the benefit of local and regional governments in the WAEMU area with the Green Climate Fund”.

Local governments must be our active partners to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement“, said in her video intervention Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC



The two days of the Forum made it possible to address issues such as carbon neutrality and the resilience of African cities and territories, the implementation of the territorialization of Nationally Determined Contributions at the center of post-Covid 19 economic recovery plans, the role of dialogue between the national government and local authorities for improving the territorialization of NDCs, the planning for the implementation of territorial climate plans and capacity building of National Associations of Local Governments,  and the  mobilization of Climate Finance.

These issues were the subject of in-depth debates during the 5 sessions that led to recommendations that are intended to be a contribution of the local authorities of the WAEMU space to the main events included in the climate agenda, namely, the Africa Climate Week scheduled for August 2021 in Kampala, Uganda; the Climate Chance conference scheduled for September 2021 in Dakar, Senegal; and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, in November 2021 (COP 26), and the adoption of the Lomé Declaration by the participants representing: WAEMU member states; the focal points of the Green Climate Fund of the WAEMU member states; the WAEMU Commission, the Council of Territorial Communities (CCT-WAEMU) and the Presidents of the National Associations of Local Authorities that are members of the Council of Territorial Communities (CCT) of WAEMU; the local authorities adhering to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) and their partners; representatives of regional development banks and international cooperation partners.

In the recommendations, the participants in the Forum mainly undertake:

  • Integrate environmental and climate goals in the development plans of local authorities and in the post-COVID economic recovery plans in order to make our societies and our economies more resilient to foreseeable future shocks;
  • Encourage local authorities in the WAEMU area to adhere to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (CoM SSA) so that they can benefit from the support put in place within this framework for the development of climate and energy plans of their territories;
  • Establish a sub-regional version of the African Alliance of Ministers for Urban Affairs and Urban Development launched at the Abidjan Meetings to support African Sustainable Cities, in February 2020. This Alliance of WAEMU Ministers will work primarily under the aegis of the WAEMU CCT on the financing of the climate transition of the cities of the sub-region. The Alliance will engage in a strategic dialogue with the umbrella associations of local governments, the financing institutions of local governments, and the technical and financial partners on strengthening the financing of city climate plans and projects;
  • Subscribe to the establishment of a Regional Readiness program targeting the local and regional governments of the countries of the WAEMU area with a view to mobilizing climate finance and contributing to the transition towards inclusive, sustainable, and resilient territorial development;
  • Welcome the commitment of WAEMU, EBID, and BOAD to support the implementation of the regional Readiness program intended to support local authorities in the WAEMU space for the definition of portfolios of projects eligible for finance climate. In this regard, we call on these actors to work to make Lomé the hub of climate finance in West Africa;
  • Request that within the framework of the planned Readiness Program, with the support of the Climate Task Force of UCLG Africa in collaboration with WAEMU, a capacity building mechanism and a technical assistance tool for the benefit of associations be set up local authorities in the WAEMU area, including through the establishment of focal points for the climate within said associations, the development of awareness and training guides, and the provision of consultants for support technical structure of climate-energy projects integrated into territorial development plans;
  • Invite the local authorities of the WAEMU space to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach in the definition and implementation of climate action at the territorial level, and to work with the private sector, the research community, and the civil society to explore innovative solutions and participate in the collection of the data necessary to ensure the monitoring, reporting, and verification of the implementation of the climate agenda within our territories.

The full declaration is available here

The Summary report is available here.

Find the full forum content below:

Day 1

Day 2


The forum photo gallery is available here

Africa-Europe Partnership: Call to young African local elected officials!

Are you a young African local elected official? Do you know a young African local elected official?

This is for you!

Participate in the meeting dedicated to young actors of local authorities from Africa and Europe, under the theme: “Africa-Europe Partnership: Connecting young local leaders! “. The event will take place online from 23 to 24 June 2021.

Register here.

The challenges of the meeting

Europe and Africa face more and more common challenges, there is a growing need for greater cooperation and solidarity, starting with the local level. Many of these challenges are long-term and intergenerational, meaning young people are deeply affected. And indeed who better to talk about the world of tomorrow than the youth?

That’s why UCLG Africa, Platforma and CEMR are holding the “Africa-Europe partnership: Connecting young local leaders!” event gathering young local and regional elected officials, youth organisations, representatives and partners from Europe and Africa to tackle one big question: how should African and European young local leaders organise their collaboration?

The event will explore how local leaders can structure their future dialogue and provide input to major events such as the African Union-European Union summits and Africities. The session will build upon previous work begun in Abidjan and Marrakesh in 2018.

During the opening session, inspiring young leaders will share their reflections on a future for Africa-Europe relations that takes into account the needs and wishes of young people in an increasingly connected world.

The following day, we’ll discuss the future of this partnership during a practical working group session and gather ideas to structure the dialogue and address common challenges together from a local perspective.

So don’t hesitate to come along to build the foundations of a partnership that will shake up Europe-Africa relations as we know them!

Registration link

Pam Belcher Taylor: May in action 

The municipality of Paynesville in Liberia is among those that do not hesitate to trust the fairer sex to ensure the leadership of the town hall. After Mrs. Cyvette M. Gibson, who served as mayor from 2012 to January 2018, it is Ms. Pam Belcher Taylor‘s turn to don the town hall’s scarf, following her appointment in February 2018.

Paynesville is a suburb East of Monrovia, Liberia. It is the largest city in Liberia with approximately 320,000 inhabitants. In taking charge of the city, Pam Belcher Taylor had to tackle the problems of waste collection as a priority. Three months after taking office, the municipal team set out to install garbage bins in strategic areas of the city as well as awareness nameplates. She also presented these main actions to her peers during the 3rd edition of the Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting Territorial Governments in Africa (FAMI), organized by the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa held from June 10-14, 2019 in Ifrane (Morocco).

The place of young people and women is also one of the key priorities of the Mayor. On May 21, 2021, one of the flagship projects of his term in office was launched with the construction of the bookstore in favor of youth (Liberian Learning Center). Begun in 2019 with fundraising, the launch of the construction works served as a framework for the municipal team to explain their wish to leave the structure as a legacy for future generations. The Liberian Learning Center is a collaborative project of the Canadian charity Empowerment Squared in partnership with the Rotary Club International, Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), Mc CallumSather, and the Hamilton Public Library. “As we all know, libraries help to develop students’ vocabulary, improve their comprehension and develop the habit of reading silently,” Pam Taylor already explained in 2019 when the project started.

During the month of May 2021, another action in the field of education was implemented by the mayor in partnership with the Orange Foundation and EDU Care Liberia, with the launch of the Orange Digital Schools initiative in the town of Paynesville. Seven schools has benefited from this project. Each school received a kit containing: 50 tablets, 50 tablet cases, 50 headsets, 10 multi-socket adapters, 2 dust-proof cases with padlock, 1 projector and 1 projector screen, 1 Bluetooth speaker, 1 solar energy system, and 2 Raspberry servers with thousands of free educational materials. The project offers children who have no books and no internet digital access to education for equal opportunities and digital inclusion. Speaking briefly at one of the beneficiary schools (Vine International Bilingual Christian School), Mayor Taylor encouraged the young people who are the future leaders to take advantage of this opportunity and learn to the maximum of their abilities.

Focusing on proximity to the people, Ms. Taylor kicked off the Muscat FC city team soccer match on May 7.

It should be noted that in 2019, Ms. Pam Belcher-Taylor made her city adhere to the ‘Campaign of African cities with zero tolerance to violence against women and girls‘, led by the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA). Paynesville was one of the first cities to join the campaign.

Express Bio

Mayor Pam Belcher-Taylor was born in 1963 in the Republic of Liberia, where she grew up and received her primary and secondary education. She continued her education in the United States, where she obtained a university degree in business administration and a professional degree in cosmetology. Ms. Taylor returned to school in 2010 and studied biology and obtained a professional degree in landscaping. She was appointed Mayor of the City of Paynesville in February 2018. In 1998, Mayor Taylor was recruited as the International Coordinator for the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Liberia. That same year, she founded Elijah’s Hair Studio in Monrovia, Liberia. In 2006, she worked as Deputy Project Coordinator for the Aid to Africa Program in Monrovia, Liberia. Ms. Belcher-Taylor has served as President of the Liberia Water Producers Association, a member of the Liberia Copyright Board, a member of the ECOWAS Manufacturers Association, and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mayor Belcher-Taylor is married to Boimah S. Taylor and together they have four children.

Follow the news of the Mayor on the Facebook page of the municipality here .


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“African Cities and Local Governments at the heart of the post-COVID Economic and Financial Recovery: The role of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA)

On May 26, 2021, UCLG Africa held a webinar on the theme of “African Cities and Local Governments at the heart of post-COVID Economic and Financial Recovery: The role of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA)“.

The official opening was made by General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of  Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt. More than 150 participants including elected officials (Mayors and Presidents of Regions), members of financial institutions (AfDB), Chief Financial Officers of Local and Regional Governments, City Managers,  Chief technical Officers, Executive Secretaries of National Associations of Local Authorities, Executives and Directors of Tax and Treasury services, and the Heads of the National Decentralization Directorates of the Local Authorities as well as Officers in charge of  development planning at the national level.

Productive exchanges of ideas were held around the sharing of experience of the various actors of the 5 regions of the continent concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the financial capacities of local authorities and the role that the Africa Territorial Agency would play in the provision of additional resources from the financial market and ensure a revival of the more viable financial system.

It emerges from the work that local and regional governments of the continent are determined to adhere to the implementation process of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA) which will allow them to have access to the financial market in a collective manner.

The proposed next steps include enrolling more members into the ATA cooperative in order to reach 100 or more members. The national associations of local authorities and cities were invited to: 1) Seize the financing opportunities put in place by the AfDB in favor of local authorities, 2) Organize exchanges between them and with their government on ways and means to strengthen the capacities of local authorities to access the financial market.

Follow the different exchanges here .

Check out the ATA presentation brochure here.

Africa Day Celebration: Young People Invited to Actively Build the Future of Africa

The Institute of African Studies at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat in partnership with UCLG Africa organized a seminar on Tuesday, May 25, 2021to celebrate Africa Day. Placed under the theme of ” Cultural and Creative Economy, lever of sustainable development”, the meeting, held in blended format, both in-person at the Institute of African Studies in Rabat (Morocco) and online via the Zoom platform, who was recorded the participation of a hundred people.

The official opening of the seminar was punctuated by speeches from: Mr. Mohammed Rhachi, President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, and H.E. Mr. Ambassador of Cameroon in Morocco, Mouhamadou Youssifou, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Morocco.

They underlined the importance for young Africans to take their place, in their home which is the African Union for the construction of the Africa of We Want. “Many of our young people have doubts about Africa. Young Africans must change the way they look at Africa. Young Africans must have a good esteem of themselves. We are here to invite the youth of Africa to inhabit this slogan “the Africa we want” said Mr. Mbassi. “This is the 58th edition of the celebration of Africa Day, for us, it is a duty of remembrance to African youth to remind them of all the struggle that the founding fathers of African states have had to lead to free the African continent from the yoke of colonization. It is also a moment of reflection to think about the future of the African continent. We are Africans, we must take root in our culture before opening up to the world. No development as sustainable and as comprehensive may be sustainable if it is not based on an endogenous cultural substrate,” explained H.E. Mr. Mouhamadou Youssifou. “This theme highlights a year full of promise for the creative economy. The Mohammed V University has a significant cultural asset with an enrollment of nearly 90,000 students including more than 2,000 students from African countries, neighbors and friends, “said Mr. Mohammed Rhachi.   

Students representing each region of the continent actively participated in the discussions and sent creative messages for “The Africa They Want”.

The meeting was punctuated by two discussion panels:

Panel 1: Cultural and creative activities and attractiveness of territories: what prospects for emergence?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Mohamed Mbarki, Director General of the Oriental Agency, Morocco.

Dr. Najib Kettani, Expert in Development, President of Organization Maroc Afrika, Cultures & Development, Morocco

Mr. Ibrahima Wane, Professor of African Civilizations at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Director of Doctoral Training in African Studies, Senegal

Mr. Saliou Ndour, Cultural industries specialist, Professor at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis, Senegal.

Ms. Hanane Baali, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco.

The second panel focused on: Development of cultural professions, creative arts and design in Africa: what strategies for what impacts in the digital age?

Featuring as speakers:

Mr. Raoul Rugamba, Founder of “Africa in Colors” and “Hobe Agency”, Rwanda.

Mr. Brahim El Mazned, Founding Director of Visa for Music, Artistic Director of the Timitar World Music Festival, Morocco.

Mr. Mehdi Alaoui, Vice-president of APEBI, Founder of the startup Factory, Morocco.

Mr. Mustapha Moufid, Director of the Culture, Migration, Peace and Security Task Force, UCLG Africa, Morocco.

Mr. Mohamed Dafir El Kettani, Vice-President of the Mohammed V University of Rabat in charge of Governance and Information System, and Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies, Morocco.

Moderation was provided by: Mr. Abdelkader Betari, Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Morocco and Mr. Gautier Brygo, Communications Director UCLG Africa and representative of the Belgian NGO Echos Communication in Morocco.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa expressed the wish to institutionalize this celebration with the IEA every 25 May.

As a reminder, the day coincides this year with 3 major events:

– The African Union has adopted, for 2021, the theme of “Arts, culture and heritage: a lever to build the Africa We Want”,

– The UN has declared 2021 ”International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development “,

– United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) designated the city of Rabat as “African Capital of Culture”.

Watch the full webinar here

 The photo album of the event is available here