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Signing of a Headquarters Agreement Between the Government of Burkina Faso and UCLG-Africa for the Establishment of ALGA-Ouagadougou

The Government of Burkina Faso and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), represented respectively by His Excellency Mr. Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi,

The Government of Burkina Faso and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), represented respectively by His Excellency Mr. Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, signed a Headquarters Agreement on behalf of the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) on Friday, November 30, 2018, in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The Headquarters Agreement lays down the rules on which the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) is established and operates in Burkina Faso, including the privileges and immunities arising from its establishment in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

On behalf of the Government of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Mr. Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, reiterated the willingness of the Burkinabe Government to support this initiative and to surround it with all the conditions for success. He thanked the Secretary General, and through him UCLG Africa, for this show of confidence in Burkina-Faso, which will now house the ALGA headquarters for the French-speaking countries of West and Central Africa.

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong MBASSI, welcomed the commitment of the Burkinabe Government to UCLG Africa and wished that this Academy be a reference in the sub-region in terms of professionalization of human resources of the Local and Subnational Governments.

For the record, this Headquarters Agreement follows the Partnership Agreement signed on December 21, 2016 between UCLG Africa and the Ouagadougou Commune in Rabat, Morocco, defining the modalities of cooperation for the implementation of ALGA’s activities in French-speaking West and Central Africa.

As a reminder, ALGA-Ouagadougou has taken over and is now developing the activities of the former International Center for the Training of Local Stakeholders (CIFAL) in Ouagadougou created in June 2003 under the auspices of the Ouagadougou City Council,

registered in 2007 in the worldwide network of Centers accredited by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

This Headquarters Agreement will enhance the achievements of this reference center through the revitalization of its activities and the implementation of ALGA’s Action Plan in the two regions concerned.

The two (2) parties welcomed this Agreement and expressed their common desire to work towards strengthening these relations with a view to contributing significantly to the development of skills and improving the performance of the human resources of the local and subnational governments of Africa.

Done in Ouagadougou on November 30, 2018.

COP24: UCLG Africa Statement at the Global Climate Action High-Level Event

Statement by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) at the Global Climate Action High-Level Event on December 4th 2018 at 10:00-11:30 during COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa is the umbrella organization representing the voice of over 16,000 local and subnational governments of the African continent.

UCLG Africa as many other key stakeholders do participate to the collective effort to combat climate change through the implementation of the NDCs.

UCLG Africa is aware of the renewed alert by IPCC Experts that the implementation of NDCs as currently defined, direct us towards a global warming of about 3 degrees Celsius, above the 2 degrees defined as the limit to avoid climate chaos.

UCLG Africa also shares the warning of the UN Secretary General that we only have two years left to act before the climate trajectory becomes irreversible.

UCLG Africa members therefore pledge to participate in this ambition to limit the global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius notably by promoting the implementation of Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs) extending and complementing the NDCs.

UCLG Africa members encourage public and private actors involved in climate finance, and specifically the Green Climate Fund, to direct significant financial flows to local and subnational governments.

To this end UCLG Africa hopes to see a “Readiness 2.0” program being defined and implemented with a view to supporting cities and local/subnational governments to prepare and submit funding proposals eligible for the Green Climate Fund and the other instruments of Climate Finance.

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Marrakech Declaration of the Authorities of Local and Subnational Governments of Africa Concerning the Urgency of a Territorial Climate Action

We local and regional elected representatives of Africa, gathered this Thursday, November 22, 2018 in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, within the framework of the First edition of the Climate Day during the Eighth edition of the Africities Summit organized in preparation for the United Nations Climate Conference COP24 to be held from December 03 to December 14, 2018 in Katowice, Republic of Poland,

Aware of the alert renewed by the international scientific community and concerned by the urgency highlighted again in the IPCC report of October 08, 2018 concerning the effects of global warming of 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era,

Noting that this IPCC report has emphasized the need for an extremely fast and ambitious transitions, especially in the areas of energy, transport, construction and agriculture to avoid exceeding 1.5 degrees of anthropogenic global warming, and that in order to achieve this goal the world must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,

Noting that the reality of the current commitments made by the States Parties to the UNFCCC in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) does not make it possible to fit within a trajectory that is compatible with an increase in temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, which are the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate, but that, on the contrary, current trajectories direct us towards a warming around 3 degrees, with catastrophic consequences for Humanity, with a particularly devastating and even existential impact for African societies,

Recalling the need to learn from the limitations of the Kyoto Protocol and in particular the fact that local and subnational communities and governments were not included as participatory stakeholders, which significantly delayed the global establishment of a virtuous moment in terms of local mobilization, which is nonetheless necessary and efficient,

Emphasizing the fact that the bulk of the global climate policy decisions are made and applied at the territorial level, making local authorities and actors the driving force in the overall transformation towards a green economy, sustainable development and a climate-resilient and environment-friendly human civilization;

Recalling the recent commitments and declarations of local and regional elected representatives in favor of the Climate, including, among others   : the Declaration of the Summit of Cities and Regions of Africa in Yamoussoukro , Côte d’Ivoire (June 2015)   ; the Declaration of the World Climate Summit and Territories in Lyon, France (July 2015)   ;  the Declaration of Local and Regional Elected Officials for Climate’s Summit in Paris, France (December 2015)   ; the Declaration of local and Regional Elected Officials of Africa adopted during the Preparatory Forum for COP 22 held in Cotonou, Benin ( September 2016)   ; the Road Map for the Action of the Cities and Regions of the World for Climate adopted at COP 22 in Marrakech , Morocco (November 2016)   ;  the Declaration of Elected Officials  of Local and Regional Africa adopted at the Summit Climate Chance held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (June 2018)   ; and the Declaration of Action World Summit on Climate adopted in San Francisco, USA (July 2018)   ;

Declare the following:

Africities 8 – The Highlights

An unprecedented participation of 8300 participants represented more than 77 countries, including 53 African countries and nearly 3,000 local elected representatives, mayors and other leaders of local and subnational governments. The Africities Summit 2018 in Marrakech has proven itself to be the most important democratic gathering in Africa.

 The Africities Summit gave a voice to local authorities. Thanks to that recognition, the idea that local Africa will change Africa is making headway’, said Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).

20 years of the Africities Summit was celebrated and highlighted with the presentation of the UCLG Africa anthem, composed by David André, Mayor of the City of Victoria, Seychelles, and Vice President of UCLG Africa.

An opening ceremony marked by the inaugural conference of Professor Felwine Sarr, from the Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis (Senegal) whose subject, “African Cities: signs, lineaments, configuration of possibilities” invites people to consider cities as places for the production of meanings which inform us about our social, political and imaginary reality.

 

The closing ceremony of the Africities 8 Summit was marked by the reading of the Royal Message by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, who, on this occasion, officially launched the pan-African campaign,  African cities without street children.”

The initiative from the Network of Locally Elected Women in Africa, (REFELA), UCLG Africa’s Gender Equality Commission, is supported by the National Observatory for the Rights of Children (ONDE) of Morocco. 20 cities in Africa have already subscribed to this campaign, including the city of Rabat, which will serve as the pilot city for the campaign in Morocco. For the implementation of this campaign, three memoranda of understanding have been signed between ONDE and UNICEF in support of this international campaign between ONDE and UCLG Africa. The campaign will be implemented across the continent by UCLG Africa; and between ONDE, the City of Rabat and four ministerial departments of the government for the national campaign in Morocco.

(Attached – ONDE press release, photos and footage available with the MAP press agency – contact: 0021 2661114798)

The political segment of the Summit started on November 23 with a round table on city diplomacy introduced by Denis Coderre, former Mayor of Montreal, Canada, with the participation of panelists including, Her Excellency Catherine Samba-Pandza, former Head of State of the Central African Republic and former Mayor of the city of Bangui.

Several recommendations and proposals emerged from the 160 sessions held across the 5 days under the general theme   “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and sub-national governments of Africa”.  All of the recommendations and proposals were submitted to ministers, mayors and leaders of local governments and development partners for consideration and adoption at the meeting of ministers, the general meeting of UCLG Africa, and the meeting of development partners, which were organized in parallel during the afternoon of November 23. The political segment ended on the morning of November 24, with a tripartite dialogue meeting between ministers, mayors and development partners.

 

UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee held its elections at which The City of Libreville, represented by its Mayor, Mrs. Rose Christiane Ossouka-Raponda was elected as the new President of UCLG Africa for a term of 3 years, which will end at the next general assembly scheduled for 2021. In addition, the city of Bagangte, Cameroon, represented by its Mayor, Celestine Ketcha-Courtès, was re-elected as President of REFELA.

 

Amongst the special events of the Summit, it is worth mentioning the meetings held between the mayors and locally elected officials of Africa and their counterparts in Asia-Pacific, mainly from China and Japan; and the meeting between the mayors and leaders of local and regional governments in Africa and their African American counterparts.  The African American network of mayors announced that, “400 years after crossing the Door of No Return, where the first boat left the shores of Africa bound for the Americas carrying children of Africa, it is now time to consider starting the opposite wave, by opening, at the initiative of the mayors and leaders of the local and regional governments of Africa, the “Door of Return” to the African Americans of the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America and declaring that Africities is the right place to launch this mobilization for the Road of Return.

 

The summary of the sessions and recommendations of the Africities 2018 Summit can be seen on the Summit websitewww.africities.org or you can download it  here .

Three special days were organized during the Summit: Migration Day on November 21; Climate Day on November 22 and Urban Planning Day on November 23.

 The Migration Day recalled the crucial role of local and subnational governments in managing migration; and the urgent need to make them stakeholders in the negotiation of the Global Compact on Migration, which must be concluded at the United Nations Conference on Migration, due to take place between December 8-11, in Marrakesh.

Climate Day emphasized the urgency of involving local and subnational governments in the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and even considering Locally Determined Contributions (LDC’s) if, as is desirable, local and subnational governments plan to participate in the Paris Agreement ambitions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century with respect to the pre-industrial period. In this context, the localization of NDCs is essential and UCLG Africa is asked to develop and implement a capacity-building program for its members, so that they have a climate plan and are able to prepare applications that are eligible for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). UCLG Africa is also asked to broaden the scope of its Climate Task Force to spearhead the climate action of African local governments. A Declaration was adopted at the end of the proceedings of the Climate Day.

The Urban Planning Day focused on urban planning as a basic tool for transitioning to sustainable cities and territories. It reiterated the importance of setting up urban agencies to monitor the dynamics of urbanization and to put in place a framework for dialogue between all actors to define the allocation and policies around the use of urban space in respect of ecological constraints. The day resulted in the signing of eight partnership agreements between 14 African cities in Morocco and their sisters in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Uganda, Tunisia and Cameroon, with the technical support of the Association of Urban Agencies of Morocco, the Moroccan “Al Omrane” Holding, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), and the United Nations Program for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat).

Partnership agreements for urban planning and the establishment of urban agencies have been entered into between: the cities of Dakar  (Senegal) and Rabat (Morocco); Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Casablanca (Morocco); Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Marrakech; Jinja (Uganda) and Essaouira (Morocco); Sousse  (Tunisia) and El Jadida; Rufisque  (Senegal) and Dakhla; and Abomey (Benin) and Al Hoceima.

The Summit highlighted two key players, without whom the transition to sustainable cities and territories cannot be envisioned in Africa:  they are women and youth. 25 percent of Summit sessions were dedicated to gender issues, including the fight against violence against women; and the economic empowerment of women.

The Youth Forum  – Twenty young people aged 16 to 35 were selected on the basis of a call for ideas to participate in a Creative Lab on the theme, “Imagine your city and imagine Africa in 2030 and 2063“. These young people were invited to submit their projects to the delegates of the Summit, using the Africities new innovative voting platform, of which three projects would be awarded. The following three projects were the successful recipients of the Creative Lab awards:

First prize: Yvette Ishinwe, from Rwanda, for her project on the use of new technologies for optimal use of drinking water at standpipes (Iriba tap and drink innovation);

Second Prize: Zaheer Allam, from Mauritius, for her smart urban regeneration project;

Third Prize: Oulimata Sourang, from Senegal, for her E-Learning Assistant project.

 

Climate Initiatives Trophies  – A further competition was organized and also decided by the voting of delegates at the Summit: the Climate Initiatives Trophies celebrating cities and territories that have implemented the most remarkable actions in the fight against climate change. These were awarded to three categories of cities and territories.

For the small towns category  (less than 20,000 inhabitants), the winner was the Municipality of Ndiob (Senegal) for the implementation of its “green and resilient commune” project;

For the category of cities and territories of intermediate size (between 20,000 and 200,000 inhabitants), the laureate is the City of Chefchaouen in Morocco, for the realization of its “Energy Info Center”.

For the category of cities and large territories, the laureate is the Tivaouane Departmental Council (Senegal) for the implementation of its project “Preserving a sustainable agricultural environment”.

The Africities Exhibition, which was organized simultaneously, saw the participation of 84 exhibitors, coming from Morocco (39 exhibitors), other regions of Africa (29 exhibitors from 11 countries), Europe (14 exhibitors from 6 countries), from Asia (1 exhibitor from South Korea), and from America (1 exhibitor from Canada).

The Projects and Partnership Exchange Forum  – The Africities Exhibition gave the opportunity to effectively organize 150 B2B appointments out of the 512 requested by the delegates, who came from 44 countries. These B2B appointments led to 129 requests for partnerships, 40 proposed solutions to problems that delegates deemed urgent, and 39 projects identified as needing immediate implementation.

Best Exhibition Stand – As part of the Exhibition, a competition was also organized concerning the best booth. The results of this competition were:

Stands presenting the most innovative offer:

– Ragni SAS – Street lighting (France)

– Anemoi Magnova – Fans for large public spaces (Spain)

Stands with the best design:

– City of Marrakech (Morocco)

– United Cities and Local Governments (Barcelona)

Liveliest Stands:

– National Initiative for Human Development, INDH (Morocco)

– Special Fund for Intermunicipal Intervention and Equipment, FEICOM (Cameroon)

These awards were announced at the awards ceremony during the closing Gala Dinner held on November 24, 2018 at 20:00 in the Menara Gardens in Marrakech.

Delegates paid tribute to King Mohammed VI of Morocco for agreeing to grant his High Patronage to the eighth edition of the Africities Summit and thanked the Government of Morocco, the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils, and the City and administrative authorities of Marrakech who made every effort to ensure that the Africities Summit took place in excellent conditions.

The call was made for the ninth edition of the Africities Summit, scheduled for 2021, to be hosted by Kisumu, Kenya.

See you in Kisumu Kenya for Africities 9 in 2021!

Media Communication  UCLG Africa 
Gaëlle Yomi:       + 212 610 56 71 45:                 gyomi@uclga.org
Claude Lisbonis: + 33 6 20 67 18 66 / WhatsApp:    clc@claudelisbonis.com

 

 

 

Africities 8 Summit : Summary of sessions and recommendations

The general theme for the Summit is “The transition to sustainable cities and territories, the role of African local and regional authorities”. This theme reconciles the need to provide concrete responses to the demands of the populations for the improvement of their conditions and living environment, with the need to adapt to an environment marked by climate change and the growing divorce between expansive growth models and the impossibility of continuing to borrow from natural resources at the rate that such models do impose, under threat of jeopardizing the lives of future generations. Africa will become the world’s largest home to humans in just less than two generations. The continent can and must take the path of sustainable development now, especially in its cities and territories, because it is the region of the world that is the least entrenched in the globalized economy, and therefore most likely to branch off to a more sober economy in terms of borrowing and discharges into the natural environment, an economy that is fairer and more socially inclusive.

Read more here. 

Africities 8:  Meeting of mayors – preparation of the African Cities Development Fund – ACDF

Introduced by Parks Tau, President of UCLG, and by Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, the meeting of mayors has made it possible to take stock of the preparatory process for the creation of the African Cities Development Fund – ACDF.  The mayors and presidents of local authorities had decided to do this in Africities 7.

Parks Tau clarified the vision he had introduced in his introductory address of the Africities 8 summit, detailing the reasons and the main steps to establish the fund. The autonomous access of cities to financing is a major challenge for real decentralization.

The 40 participants validated the main conclusions stemming from the work of expert groups and from the meetings with potential partners, including African development banks. These options are   :

–           The choice of an organization that will ensure the control of mayors and presidents of local authorities over the fund and the independence of financial management from any political pressure. This management will be provided by professionals from the banking sector.

–           The importance of pooling resources in all the dimensions of the management of the fund.

–           The high priority given to securing excellent financial credibility, as a condition of access to the financial markets at competitive rates.

–           The need for close cooperation with institutions and programs that support local authorities to improve their financial management.

–           The indispensable support of States to authorize and facilitate the participation of cities and local authorities in the fund: subscription to the capital and then loans.

The exchange of views and ideas made it possible to specify points of attention, to be treated within the framework of the financial, legal and taxation studies which must now be conducted.

The participants validated the roadmap in all its components.

The steering and financing of the stage that will lead to the start of operations within 4 years will be provided by a club of founding cities and local authorities.

Africities 2018: Find out the climate day program !

Cities and territories members of UCLG Africa committed to the fight againstt Climate Change

Cities and territories of Africa represent a significant share of the continent’s GHG emissions (about 70 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa) and they host millions of people in areas that are sometimes very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They also concentrate the bulk of economic activity in Africa and the bulk of investment (infrastructure, business buildings, equipment, etc.). These realities reinforce the importance of the cities and territories of Africa in the implementation of the policies of fight against climate change.

UCLG Africa intends to make of the 8th edition of the Africities Summit a strong political moment in the service of the achievement of a common goal of the cities and local governments in response to the major challenges of climate change and of the transition towards sustainable development.

This general objectives aims specifically to strengthen the actions of the cities and territories in support of states for the implementation of their Nationally Determined Planned Contributions (NDPCs) or their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

This moment should lead to the adoption of a joint Declaration on the commitment to a broader partnership between national governments and local and regional governments in Africa for the implementation of the NDCs.

Goals and objectives of the Africities Climate Day

The Africities Climate Day is held five years earlier to the deadline of 2023 for elevating the ambitions of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This Climate Day Aims to bring together all the stakeholders mobilized for the fighr against global warming and the effects of Climate change. For its first edition, the Africities Climate Day will focus its reflections on the creation of the NDCs of the African countries concerning the seven key components of the Paris Agreement, namely :

  1. Adaptation ;
  2. Mitigation ;
  3. South-South cooperation ;
  4. Territorialization of the NDCs ;
  5. Financing ;
  6. Capacity building ;
  7. The transparency framework

The Africities “Climate Day” sets five strategic & operational goals :

  1. Identifying best practices ;
  2. Setting the priorities and goals to be achieved by 2023, starting date of the binding period of the Paris Agreement ;
  3. Developing the 2030 Agenda of the cities and territories of Africa for Climate ;
  4. Evaluating the Declaration the Africities “Climate Day” to be presented at COP 24 in Poland in December.

This Desclaration aims to have UNFC recognize the centrality of cities and territories of African in the resilience to Climate Change and the need for these cities and territories, to receive more attention and involvement in implementation of the NDCs, on the one hand, and to be represented in the international climate proceedings, on the other hand.

The program is available here 

Discover the 9 nominated for the 2018 Climate Initiative Awards at Africities Summit

On Friday, 2 November 2018, the members of the jury of the Climate Initiatives Awards held a meeting at UCLG Africa headquarters in Rabat. The 2018 edition is organized by UCLG Africa and the Climate Initiatives association in the framework of the Africities 8 summit, scheduled for 20-24 November 2018 in Marrakech, on the theme: “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: The role of Local and Sub- national governments of Africa.”.

The jury designed 9 nominees in the 3 categories of African Local and Sub- national governments in competition : Small cities : less than 20,000 inhabitants, Intermediary Cities From 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants and Big Cities : More than 100,000 inhabitants.

31 initiatives were received from 16 countries, the jury select the 9 most innovative initiatives in climate change adaptation and mitigation. There are:

-Category 1 (Small Cities, less than 20,000 inhabitants):

* Commune Rurale Ambohimanambola (Madagascar): Development of a waste processing station

* Commune of Ndiob (Senegal): A green and resilient commune

Category 2 (Intermediary Cities, from 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants)

* Commune of Yoko (Cameroon): Integral protection of a communal forest

* Chefchaouen (Morocco): Energy Info Center

* Goz Beida (Chad): Reconstitution of plant cover and fight against soil erosion

– Category 3 (Large communities, more than 100,000 inhabitants)

* Quelimane (Mozambique):   Quelimane Mangrove Restoration

* EThekwini Municipality (South Africa): Buffelsdraai Reforestation Project

* Departmental Council of Tivaouane (Senegal): Preservation of a sustainable agricultural environment

* Yaoundé City Council (Cameroon): Yaoundé Sanitation Project

These nine initiatives will be put to the vote of the 5000 delegates expected at Africities 2018 Summit, to nominate the winner of each category. The votes will be made via the application of Africities Summit.

The nine nominees are fully supported by UCLG Africa (one person per municipality) to attend the Africities Summit from 20 to 24 November 2018. A trophy will be awarded to all winners at the Africities summit gala dinner on 24 November 2018.

 

Publication: UCLG Africa Regional Strategic Meetings Reports 2018

UCLG Africa has organized 4 regional strategic meetings during the year 2018.

The main objectives of these meetings were:

-Take stock of the state of decentralization in the different regions and address the priorities of the decentralization agenda in the regions

-Deliberate on the priority actions required to support local governments to become reliable partners for national governments; the regional economic communities; other development partners and stakeholders.

The reports of the 2018 Regional Strategic Meetings are now available via the links below:

-East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, 10 – 11 April 2018)

-Central Africa  (Libreville, Gabon, 16-17 April 2018) ( Avialable in French)

-Southern Africa (Walvis Bay, Namibia, 7-8 May 2018)

-West Africa (Accra, Ghana, 28-29 May 2018)

 

Africities Summit 2018: 20 years of Pan-Africanism of Cities and Regions Celebrated in Morocco

“For an  Africa of all Transitions, for Cities and Regions as Drivers of Changes  Strategies”

Press Release 

Rabat, on 24 October 2018,

The flagship pan-African event of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA Africa) will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It will bring together the 5,000 expected participants for creating a shared vision of the «Africa We Want».

By hosting the Summit for the second time in 10 years, the Kingdom of Morocco and all the Moroccan stakeholders, mobilized under the aegis of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), support this event which amplifies «the Voice of Territorial Africa».

Press Notice 

Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco hosts the Africities Summit for the second time, addressing the theme: «The Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories: the Role of Territorial Communities of Africa.»

Indeed, it is a decisive role, as more than 60% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations fall within the competence of territorial communities, as recognized by decentralization laws. The actual achievement of these objectives depends thus on the strong involvement of elected representatives, local public administrations, and territorial actors (communities, businesses, artists, women, young people, banking institutions, etc.).

The future of Africa and its evolution are increasingly played out at the level of the Continent’s cities and territories. Globalization and rapid urbanization are the two powerful trends that mark this evolution. These two trends have a significant impact on the development of African societies. They raise questions about the effectiveness of the current growth and development models pursued in the African context, and even prompt one to consider a paradigm shift in the way people think about the Continent’s sustainable development.

In choosing the theme of «the Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories» for the Africities 2018 Summit, the territorial authorities of  Africa have opted for a break proposal that justifies the urgency for a farreaching change in the growth and development patterns, and a paradigm shift in the Continent’s development in order to achieve the structural transformation sought by the African Union Agenda 2063. The Summit will discuss the various dimensions of transition, without disregarding the interactions they maintain among themselves: demographic, ecological, democratic and political, economic and social, geopolitical, as well as culture and communication.

It is further recognized that it is rather in cities and territories that the fight against climate change and poverty would be won or lost. This is why cities and territories of Africa are now key actors in the process of implementing the international agendas adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and 2016, and more particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG), the Paris Agreement that builds on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the implementation of the said Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecuador. It is for the sake of raising awareness of the new responsibilities incumbent upon them and exploring the ways and means for fully assuming these responsibilities that the leaders of territorial communities of Africa invite all relevant stakeholders to explore with them at the Africities Summit, to be held from 20 to 24 November 2018 in Marrakech, the strategies to be defined and the paths to move along in order to start now the transition towards sustainable cities and territories in Africa.

This eighth edition is therefore a not-to-be-missed event for the territorial communities of Africa, and a significant anniversary date, as it marks the 20 years of existence and organization of the Africities Summits !

Read more…