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Signature of a framework partnership agreement between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé

On April 29, 2021 at the University of Lome (UL) in Togo, Professor Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, President of the UL and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa have signed a framework agreement of partnership and cooperation between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome. The convention will be implemented through the Regional Center of Excellence Sustainable Cities in Africa (CERVIDA).

In his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa explained that without quality human resources there is no sustainable development. The partnership of UCLG Africa with the University of Lomé is a sign of recognition of the excellence of the human resources of this university and explains why the continental umbrella organization wishes to collaborate with the University of Lome to accompany local and regional governments in their development and the exercise of their mandate. The complexity of African cities calls for a new and more comprehensive look at cities by their actors, especially young people, as well as an innovative effort to propose technological packages and institutional and financial arrangements adapted to the context of African communities characterized by rapid urban growth and the limited financial and human resources of local public authorities. The challenge is therefore considerable. But it can and must be addressed. And the framework agreement signed between UCLG Africa and the University of Lomé should help to meet this challenge.

In his concluding speech at the ceremony, the President of the University explained that the signing of the framework agreement is to be linked to the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Cities of the University of Lomé. He insisted on three key points to build an active partnership between UCLG Africa and the University of Lome:

  1. to work on the legal positioning of the umbrella organizations of local government such as the umbrella organization of the communities of Togo to recognize them as public entities governed by public law;
  2. mobilize academics competencies and young graduate students to support local and regional governments in the exercise of their mandate;
  3. to promote the reinforcement of the capacities of the actors of the city, and spaces of collaboration between these last ones and the academics so that they rub shoulders with the concrete lived realities at the level of the management of the territories.

 

 

Capacity building for more than 50 stakeholders of local authorities on the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE)

From April 19 to 22, 2021, the GSEF (World Social Economy Forum), in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its African Local Government Academy (ALGA), held a capacity building training on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) on behalf of Francophone organizations and local elected officials.

The training took place online around the theme of “A global strategy for the co-construction of SSE public policies for sustainable post-COVID recovery and inclusive and sustainable development of territories”. The training made it possible to provide tools to  more than 50  people from 15 countries on 3 continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia). It was 4 days of learning and enriching exchanges of views, sharing of experiences and tools, passionate discussions, and links created for the development of SSE in cities and territories.

In all, there are 4 workshops, 4 Masters Classes, 2 peer-to-peer discussion sessions, and 3 virtual site visits from which participants benefited. The participants appreciated the training and asked for the renewal of this type of program.

For Mr. Aboubakari SYLLA, from the municipality of Abobo-Abidjan, “this initiative allowed us to rub shoulders with other local authorities and other actors that we were not used to seeing. In terms of decentralized cooperation, this opens up prospects for us. For us, it is a question of matching territorial coaching and the Social and Solidarity Economy, because the territorial realities are that populations, especially in Africa, find it difficult to work in synergy with communities. In the municipality of Abobo, territorial coaching has enabled us to bring the populations together “.

The option of establishing synergy with territorial coaching was also highlighted by Mrs. Aminata Diop Samb, General Director of the Municipal Development and Solidarity Fund (FODEM), of the city of Dakar. “The training gave us an idea of ​​everything that revolves around the ecosystem of the Social and Solidarity Economy. Another example of best practice is the experience of territorial coaching which should be valued and which should profitably be taken into account in the development of SSE. The training of social entrepreneurs is also a lever to be developed”.

The Secretary General of GSEF, Ms. Laurence Kwark and her counterpart from UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, have undertaken to do everything possible to offer this type of training on a regular basis to local authorities and their stakeholders.

In her closing message, Ms. Kwark extended an invitation to the participants to attend the next SSE World Forum. “We were glad to organize this training and would like to thank you for your involvement. This year, the GSEF is organizing the 5th edition of the World Social and Solidarity Economy Forum from October 4 to 8, 2021 in Mexico City (Mexico) on the theme of ‘Local governments and social economy: co-creation of pathways for a green and inclusive economy’”.

For his part, Mr. Elong Mbassi underlined the importance of SSE for the African continent. “For us, SSE is the reality of the African economy. Almost 80% of actors in the African economy do work in the Social and Solidarity Economy. This SSE is often criticized for being too much rooted in society, but this rooting is normal because when you remove this rooting you drift away from society and you consider that this economy is outside of society. SSE shows that this disconnect should absolutely not exist and it is to the credit of GSEF and all SSE members to advocate loud and clear for this type of economy. The second reason why SSE is important to us is that SSE is probably one of the best initiation stages for young people moving from the world of education to the world of economics. Obviously young people can fall into what is called the informal sector, but the informal sector does not provide decent employment and does not create hope, which is the complete opposite of what SSE stands for “.

 

 

International Action of Local Governments and Mechanisms of Animation of Decentralized Cooperation: Seminar of Exchanges on Inspiring Practices

On Tuesday 06 April 2021, UCLG Africa in partnership with the Oriental region, the Agence of l’Oriental, Prima Terra and Echos Communication organized a webinar on the theme of decentralized cooperation.

Based on the observation that several local authorities are seeking to strengthen and increase their presence on the national, regional and international scene, as well as to give more coherence to the actions carried out by their various departments, the seminar aimed to share, through the crossed views of local authorities from the South and the North, elements likely to contribute to the sustainability of the international action carried out by local authorities.

Three panels of reflection were held, for the attention of the hundred or so participants, on the following themes :

– International cooperation, a lever for the economic development of the territory,

– The role of national associations of local governments in the implementation of international actions,

– Development Agencies at the service of decentralized cooperation at the level of local authorities.

The meeting was also marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Communes of Guisser of the Kingdom of Morocco and Obala of Cameroon.

 

Find all the exchanges below

ICLEI RISE Africa 2021

World Water Day: Webinar on Water Governance in African Cities

On 24 March 2021, OECD in partnership with UCLG Africa, the World Water Council and the Kingdom of Morocco organised webinar on Water Governance in African Cities.

A contribution to the 9th World Water Forum (Dakar, March 2022) preparatory process, this high-level session  raise the profile of Mayors and City leaders in enhancing water security in Africa, building on the evidence and guidance from two new OECD reports on Water Governance in African Cities and Water Governance in Cape Town, South Africa. These reports, was launched by the OECD Secretary-General, were prepared as part of the OECD Programme on Water Security for sustainable development in Africa, developed as a follow-up to the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize. The Prize was granted to the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in 2018.

The session  was concluded with the launch of a new OECD/UCLG Africa Roundtable of African Mayors for Water Security to galvanise political action at the local level for better water policies.

Watch the full exchange bellow : 

International Women’s Day 2021: Speech of the President of REFELA

More than 25 years ago on September 4, 1995, the Beijing Declaration was adopted, through which the governments of the member states of the United Nations pledged to, quote, “to achieve equal rights and the intrinsic dignity of men and women (…); to guarantee the full realization of the rights of women and girls as an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms ”, end of quote.

Declaration mentions in paragraph 11 the following, and I quote: “We are convinced that the empowerment of women and their full participation on an equal footing in all spheres of social life, including decision-making and their access to power, are the essential conditions for equality, development, and peace ”, end of quote. This declaration, adopted more than 25 years ago, remains very relevant today.

Read more here

UCLG Retreat: UCLG Africa’s Priorities in the Global Agenda

From February 15 to February 22, 2021, UCLG Africa took part in the seventh edition of the annual retreat of the world organization of Local and Regional Governments (United Cities and Local Governments, UCLG).

The second day of the seminar under the theme of “UCLG: A Global Community that Cares” had the Africa chapter moderate the first plenary.

The goal was to share with the great UCLG family ideas and points of view on Africa’s priorities on the global agenda of local authorities.

During his speech, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, paid tribute to the late Mr. Kadir Topaz, former mayor of Istanbul and president of UCLG (2010-2016), who died on February 13, 2021. Mr. Mbassi also reaffirmed his desire that all activities of UCLG Africa be turned towards the future and aligned with the Pact for the Future, supported by the world organization UCLG.

Ms. Rahmatouca Sow, Advisor for International Relations and Political Affairs of UCLG Africa, presented the work plan of the organization focused on the renewal of its strategic priorities, with the aim of making UCLG Africa a “one stop shop” for Local Africa over the 2021-2030 decade (GADEPPA 2.0).

The new strategic orientation includes 3 pillars (Advocacy and mobilization for decentralization, Capacity and knowledge management of local authorities and National Associations, Access to funding and Technical assistance of local authorities and their associations) and fundamentals that ensure the institutional development of UCLG Africa.

These pillars are anchored around 7 priority themes that will enable African local and regional authorities to implement the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and other global development agendas. In this new approach, the regional offices of UCLG Africa will occupy a central place for an offer of local services to members. These themes are: 1- Local Economy and Finance, 2- Gender and youth 3- Climate, biodiversity and food systems 4- Basic services and localization of SDGs, 5-Migration, 6-Culture, 7- Peace and security.

The state of play of preparations for the Africities 9 summit (April 26-30, 2022, Kisumu-Kenya) was also presented during the session.

The question-and-answer session allowed other partners such as UNDP to appreciate the new vision of UCLG Africa and to consider a more systematic collaboration with the organization.

In addition to this session moderated by UCLG Africa, the staff of the organization participated in several other panels organized as part of the annual UCLG retreat.

For more information on the annual UCLG seminar, click here. 

European Union 2021-2027 Programming Process: Africa’s Local and Regional Authorities Hold National Seminars

The preparation of African local governments is intensifying with a view to taking part in the negotiations for the 2021-2027 programming of European cooperation. Benefiting from the technical support of UCLG Africa since May 2020, the national associations of local authorities of the continent are working hard to meet expectations during the exchanges scheduled for the end of February 2021.

January 2021 was marked by the holding of national seminars for the validation of the roadmap that the associations will bring to the negotiating table. This roadmap highlights the priority areas of financing for local authorities according to the needs of the populations of their country. For this EU programming cycle (2021-2027), they will be around the table with national governments.

The first associations that have already organized their national seminars to validate their roadmap are : Libya (14 December 2020), Nigeria (19 January 2021), Cameroon (21 January 2021), Zambia (21 January 2021), Cape Verde (26 January 2021).

As a reminder, the national associations of African local authorities will have to lead the advocacy on 3 points:

1) To have local governments recognized as state actors. Associations must obtain this status from national governments on the basis of the EU Communication made in 2013;

2) To have national associations of local and regional authorities considered as political representatives of local governments and have them integrated into negotiations alongside national governments;

3) To ensure that all public policies are territorialized since there is a national dimension and a territorial dimension to any policy that will be implemented, including the financial support to be provided by the European Union.

The financing made available in the new programming of the European Union Commission for the period (2021-2027) amounts to Thirty-two billion euros.

24th session of UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee

The Executive Committee and the Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa attended ordinary sessions by video conference, on Monday 07 December 2020.

The session of the Executive committee was mainly devoted to the adoption of UCLG Africa’s budget and 2021 work plan, whilst the session of the Pan-African Council primarily focused on the 2021-2030 ten-year strategic plan of the organization (GADDEPA 2.0). Sessions were led by Dr. Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), Vice-President of UCLG Africa, and President of UCLG World.

The opening speech of the Executive committee was made by General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the presence of Ms. Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar (Senegal), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the West Africa Region; Mr. Uwimana Innocent, President of RALGA (Rwanda), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the East Africa Region; Ms. Dao Macoura, Mayor of Foumbolo (Côte d’Ivoire), President of REFELA (Network of locally elected women in Africa); General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of Cairo (Egypt); Ms. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of the Regional Council of Nouakchott (Mauritania); and Mr. Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

General Mahmoud Shaarawy welcomed the cooperation between his country, Egypt, and UCLG Africa and announced the signing of the Headquarters Agreement for the North Africa regional office of UCLG Africa, which is scheduled for February 2021 in Cairo (Egypt). “In addition, we would like to reiterate our call to host the second edition of the conference, ‘African cities, locomotive of sustainable development’, to continue the momentum of the first edition, organized in June 2019. We are eager to emerge from this Covid crisis to find out how our African cities have been able to face this major challenge. I would like to express our support for the celebration of Rabat as African Capital of Culture for 2020-2021. Rabat is a historic city that has contributed to the enrichment of Arab and African culture through the ages. I take the opportunity to report that we are continuing the work for the signing and ratification by our country of the African Charter of the Values ​​and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development and of the Civil Service Charter of the African Union. We will let you know once the process is complete.

The Executive Committee adopted the 2021 budget and work plan of UCLG Africa and approved the activity report of the general secretariat for the period from June to November 2020 and the budget execution report, dated 30 October 2020.

Read more.