From 11 to 13 February 2022, the African Local Government Academy of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), in partnership with Al Akhawayn University and the Geographical Union Commission (UGI), organized an international symposium in hybrid mode, under the theme “Governance and Local Development”. This symposium brought together about forty researchers from universities and practitioners from Africa, Europe and the United States of America (Morocco, France, England, Ghana, Ireland, Tanzania, USA, Tunisia and Cape Verde) to discuss issues related to local governance policies and current development strategies that can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The conference papers focused on the following issues:
– Thinking Big but Acting Local: A Reflective Assessment of Key National Initiatives
– What are we measuring and how? Data and indicators for local governance
– Citizenship and participatory governance: political and geographical dimensions
– Climate change and pandemics: resilience, mitigation and adaptation
– Territorial government and globalization.
The symposium provided an opportunity for participants to scientifically analyze Morocco’s various initiatives to reduce poverty and social inequality and provide essential services to marginalized communities. These include the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), local development planning needs (Communal Development Plans), and more recently the New Development Model. Initiatives that offer great opportunities to reshape the spatial organization of regions, and to solve chronic local infrastructure and investment problems. It was also a question of drawing lessons from these similar experiences of Morocco in other countries of the South.
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Elected Mayor of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda in August 2019 for a 5-year term, Mr. Pudence Rubingisa carries out his duties with excellence and determination. Since his arrival at the head of the municipality, he has resolved to make the protection of the local ecosystem one of his priority fields of action. His ambition is to transform Kigali into a smart city while meeting the ecological challenge.
In three years, the municipal team of the city of Kigali is on the right track to achieve this roadmap. This is despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced local elected officials on the continent to adjust their approaches to take this new factor into account. On 18 January 2022 Kigali was selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of the 15 winning cities in the “Global Mayors Challenge 2021-2022”. These cities are rewarded for having designed the boldest and most ambitious green urban innovations that will emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rwandan capital city is being recognized for its initiative to introduce a smart waste management system that improves sanitation and water quality in the city, particularly in informal settlements. The objective of adopting proven rainwater harvesting technologies in informal communities is to provide an alternative water source and smart waste management solution for a green and resilient recovery in Kigali’s informal areas, to improve the livelihoods of residents.
An award that delighted Mayor Pudence Rubingisa who emphasizes the inclusive aspect of the project. “I am deeply honored to receive this $ 1 Million Grand Prize from the Global Mayors Challenge 2021, on behalf of the City of Kigali. I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Awards Committee for believing in the potential of our sustainable and innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for Kigali’s informal dwellers while enabling them to adapt to the impacts of Covid-19.Our project will actively engage residents in ongoing informal settlements upgrading projects, helping them to leverage green technology to harvest rainwater as an alternative source to meet their daily water needs in addition to providing them with smart waste management facilities.”, he said.
77.8% of households in Kigali agreed that rainwater harvesting would help reduce water bills, which will help residents have more money to feed their children.
As the winner, the city of Kigali will be supported for three (3) years in the implementation of this project.
Throughout his professional career, Rubingisa Pudence has been involved in the world of academia and finance: he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration and Finance at the University of Rwanda, before that he was Vice-Rector in charge of Finance Administration at the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Livestock, he was also Director of the Public Investment Technical Team at the Ministry of Finance. Before being elected Mayor of Kigali, he was the Managing Director of Intare Investments Ltd. In March 2020, as Rwanda faced the onset of a major health crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was able to bring the crisis under control in Kigali, with major screening and preventive measures throughout the City. Rubingisa holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Saint Louis – Belgium and a post-graduate diploma in Public Procurement from the ILI. Rubingisa Pudence’s topics of interest include public finance, urban planning, affordable housing, land use planning and decentralization. He is very interested in sports, especially running. He is also very passionate about Car Free Day, he joins the people of Kigali every time and actively participates in this car free day.
The umbrella organization of African local governments, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), celebrated on 24 January 2022 the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture. To that end, an online workshop was organized around the theme chosen by UNESCO: “Culture, an element of expression of African identity”.
The panel discussion was composed of : Ms. Asmaa Rhlalou, President of the City Council of Rabat, Mr. Abdelilah AFIFI, Secretary General of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. John Ayité Dossavi, President of the African Network of Cultural Promoters and Entrepreneurs (RAPEC), Mr. Alain Bidjeck, Director of the Movement Of Creative Africa (MOCA), Forum of African Cultures and Diasporas in France, Mr. Raoul Rugamba, CEO of Africa in Colors, Fields of Cultural, Creative and Digital Industries in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Monceyf Fadili, Essayist, author of (Rabat, un printemps confiné), His Majesty Ness Essombe, Secretary General of the Union of Traditional Authorities of Africa and Mr. Mustapha Moufid, Director of the Department of Culture, Migration, Peace and Security of UCLG Africa.
The various speeches highlighted four issues on which the participants were invited to debate.
1) Africa’s contribution to universal culture. Africa has a very significant cultural depth but is the most missing from the World Heritage register.
2) The loss of African cultural identity, materialized by the ignorance of young people who are unaware of their origins and traditions.
3) The under exploitation of the creative and cultural industries, which is a blind spot of development in African countries, yet these creative, cultural and digital industries are extremely important to economic development.
4) The Foundation of relations between African countries first on the recognition of the common cultural heritage to be revived through South-South cooperation around culture. The goal is for culture to contribute in raising awareness about what Africa brings to the world.
“Cultural heritage is a fundamental lever of human life that participates not only in the promotion of peace, balance, continuity and harmony of human societies, but it is above all a strategic opportunity for the promotion of a sustained, shared and sustainable economic growth, as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goal No. 8” Ms. Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat
The exchanges with the participants led to rich contributions and perspectives. The following recommendations were made for African local authorities:
– Integrate culture as a component of economic development: this requires the promotion and training in new professions in the field of culture;
– Identify and classify cultural sites first at the national level, then at the African level and finally at the universal level. These sites are a tangible and intangible heritage, and on this point there must be an effort on the part of public policies, but also an effort on the part of local authorities. This must be done from the local to the national level;
– Create through UCLG Africa, an African platform of culture;
– Ensure a Production of cultural works between each session of celebration of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture in order to have a common cultural fund to unearth and promote talents every year;
– Rely on African diasporas;
– Develop the African culinary art.
In his concluding message, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa reiterated the willingness of cities, local authorities and their national associations to take up the challenge and make the culture in African daily life shine. “We want this project to be carried out by local governments, because most of the creators live in local communities and until now, local governments have not been very attentive to young creators, to culture. We want to move culture from the sphere of petitions of principles, of national or international injunctions to become a practice and a local policy, thanks to the action of local authorities. In all of the Africities summits, we have a Culture Day and a Diaspora Day. We also have a Digital Day. For this 9th edition of the Africities Summit scheduled for May 17 to 21, 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya, I invite us to continue these exchanges in the framework of the Culture Day. Because this work that is beginning must not stop until Africans identify with their culture and the world recognizes the contribution of African culture to the culture of the world “, pleaded Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.
The proposals from this workshop will also be forwarded to the current Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency Félix Tshisekedi.
As a reminder, the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture was proclaimed in November 2019 by UNESCO at the 40th session of its General Conference. It is celebrated every 24th of January, which coincides with the date of the adoption on 24 January 2006 of the Charter for the Cultural Renaissance of Africa by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. This celebration is the result of efforts led by the African Network of Cultural Promoters and Entrepreneurs (RAPEC) with the support of UCLG Africa.
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On 21 January 2022, During Urban –Rural linkages webinar in preparation of 9th edition of Africities summit, to discuss the Role of intermediaries cities in strengthen Urban –Rural Linkages amid rapid urbanization in Africa, UCLG Africa advised countries to Establish String Link for Rural and Urban Areas through intermediaries cities.
In his opening remarks the secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi said that, this approach would ensure that the supply chain of food and commodities is self-sufficient. Is important that countries have structure a way that people will depend on this link and not so much on importation of food and commodities. The secretary general of UCLG Africa highlighted how global market failed during the Covid 19 Pandemic, where he urges that countries need to come up with alternative solutions to tackle such kind of situations, this includes to create urban and Rural linkages, which will enable supply self sufficient supply of food and commodities.
UCLG Africa also insist there a need of climate change adaptation plan. The climate change is here to stay, thus there a great need new adaptation solution on climate change. These solutions include the following.
To invest a new adaptation solution in intermediary cities, which focus on the human settlement and nature
Total rethink on how Africa is going to manage urbanization in continent. Where by intermediary cities have to be major pillar in Managing a fast growing population in Africa. Therefore, is very key for Africities Summit to be seen as place where cities in Africa, will bring a position of Africa on climate change adaptation plan, which will focus on feeding the population, self-sufficient of food and commodities and rebuild of cities to adapt the current and future demands of growing population.
They also need to come up with news solution of managing infrastructure investments on intermediary cities to ensure that there a good return to those investments. This also can be done by ensuring that the infrastructure to be installed must adapt the need of very fast population and they must prove value for money criteria.
UCLG Africa Secretary General conclude that for all these to be materialized there a great need of good governance, to ensure the trust between the population and governments. He pointed out that current their serious lack of confidence by population to the governments.
During this webinar UN-Habitat pointed out that faced many challenges, include unfavorable national government policies, lack of financial and technical capacity. UN Habitat echoed what Mr. Mbassi said that, during the Covid pandemic, there was great realization of how global system can depend on intermediaries cities to provide for good and services to population, it was during this time that there was realization how relevant the universal health care is needed and the role intermediaries cities to provide for such services. UN Habitat pointed out that well empowered intermediaries cities can display great role in providing the following things:
Intermediaries cities will provide a balance of territory development linking urban and Rural activities and vice and versa
Intermediaries cities can act as service center, to provide goods and services to both urban and rural areas.
Advancing food security by linking rural production and urban market and service
UN-Habitat also pointed out is currently working three areas to improve the Role of intermediaries cities.
Supporting and encouraging countries in establishment of Urban and linages in their policy-making plans.
Raising awareness of importance of Urban-Rural linkages to member states
Collecting and disseminate best practice of urban –Rural Linkages
UN-Habitat conclude that, it recognize that urban and rural areas cannot deem isolated from one another, therefore the intermediaries cities is a solution in moving forward in tackling today world population challenges and demands.
Participants were urged to propose solutions and position, which will be presented in next Africties summit in Kisumu (17-21 May 2022).
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In view of the 9th World Water Forum to be held in Dakar from 21 to 26 March 2022, the OECD and UCLG Africa organized on 19 January a preparatory meeting to launch the “Roundtable of African Mayors for Water Security”.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Lamia Kamal Chaoui: Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE) of the OECD and Mr. Jean Pierre elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, and moderated by Ms. Aziza Akhmouch, Head of the Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division of the OECD. About fifty mayors, Presidents of Associations, representatives of local governments and other key and institutional actors involved in water and sanitation management in Africa.
The meeting was structured around three axes, namely:
The three main challenges facing cities:
– The devastating effects of climate change in African cities. The OECD report points out that floods have affected 38 million people and caused an estimated $4 billion in damage over the past 15 years in Africa. The risks of drought and water scarcity will affect 162 million people in African urban areas by 2050. The link between the water theme and the biodiversity agenda was also highlighted in the perspective of developing local solutions based on nature.
– Water governance: Many mayors have highlighted the reality of competences related to water resources management and sanitation, which in most cases are not transferred to local authorities. Indeed, a minority (42% of the cities surveyed by the OECD) have adopted public policies relating to water resources management, as these competencies often fall under national prerogatives.
– Access to finance: This issue affects both local governments and service operators and has also been raised on several occasions. In particular, the lack of financial resources and capacity are the main obstacles to the maintenance of existing infrastructure by local governments.
2- Mayors’ expectations regarding the Roundtable’s activities:
– Promote dialogue between local and national administrative levels regarding water and sanitation management for a good coordination between levels of government and integrated and territorialized policies.
– To shed light on the framework conditions for an effective territorial decentralization of water policies on the African continent, taking into account institutional diversity.
– To ensure capacity building of African cities and local authorities on water-related issues.
– Learn from successful experiences of good governance in the management of water services and resources on the African continent and beyond on the basis of the 12 OECD Principles on Water Governance;
– Create a permanent consultation platform on the theme of water governance in cities, which can encourage synergies and complementarities between territories, and raise the voice of mayors at the national, regional and international levels.
3- Engagement of institutional partners:
The meeting also provided an opportunity to initiate a consultation with many institutional partners active in Africa on water resources and management issues, in order to explore synergies and collaborations within the framework of the roundtable’s activities. The various donors, research organizations, associations, city networks and other stakeholders who participated in the launch meeting all welcomed the establishment of the roundtable, which will allow for
– Create a space for discussion and exchange between mayors and key actors of the ecosystem operating in the field of water and sanitation in Africa.
– Promote and highlight the messages and advocacy of local governments on the issue of water and sanitation.
– Coordinate the objectives and interests of their ongoing initiatives with those of the roundtable in order to create value and collective dynamics.
Major objective of the Mayors’ Roundtable for Water Security:
The establishment of a platform for sharing and strengthening the collaborative approach with a view to fostering the effective territorialization of water-related public policies.
The modus operandi of this round table will be structured around an observatory that will allow the creation of a framework that favors access to innovation, financing and the evaluation of needs in terms of capacity building
About the Roundtable
Scheduled to take place on 24 March 2022 in Dakar during the 9th World Water Forum, “The Round Table of African Mayors for Water Security”, is a high-level initiative, jointly led by the OECD and UCLG Africa, which aims to provide a platform for the voice of African mayors to be heard and to put their actions related to the management of water services and resources at the center of local, national and international agendas. The Roundtable aims to facilitate the design and implementation of robust local public policies in the areas of water and sanitation. Supported by an Observatory on Water Governance in Africa, the Roundtable will promote the production of new local data and territorialized analyses in the field of water, in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation” and SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”). The Roundtable will also encourage the sharing of knowledge, experiences and good practices, and enhance learning and collaboration among mayors.
The Roundtable builds on the key findings of the OECD report on “Water Governance in African Cities“, published in March 2021, based on a survey conducted jointly by the OECD and UCLG Africa in 36 African cities of different sizes. Membership in the roundtable is free and offers local governments the opportunity to i) attend the bi-annual meetings, in person or online, ii) present water-related initiatives and projects, and iii) benefit from peer-to-peer knowledge and experience sharing.
The roundtable will be the starting point for the establishment of a permanent consultation platform beyond the World Water Forum to ensure that the issue of water management is everyone’s business. The next steps in the roadmap are: The 9th Africities Summit scheduled for 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya and the COP 27 scheduled in November 2022 (Egypt).
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Mayor of the municipality of Yaoundé 7 since 2013, Augustin Tamba has entered the race for the presidency of the National Association of the United Communes and Cities of Cameroon (UCCC). His program won over Cameroonian mayors who elected him to head UCCC on 04 November 2020, for a five-year term.
One year after his arrival, Augustin Tamba is making his mark. His campaign program had among its priorities the strengthening of intermunicipality, the pooling of local resources, the development of decentralized cooperation and the financing of value-added projects.
To materialize one of the aspects of this vision, UCCC organized from 03 to 05 December 2021 the International Economic Days of the Communes of Cameroon (Jeicom). The Jeicom aims to create a framework of opportunities for the financing of communal projects as well as the development of the potential of the territories.
The meeting recorded a massive participation of local authorities, international organizations and institutions, investors and development partners. In the momentum of these days, the president of UCCC Augustin Tamba, and Armand Claude Abanda, Resident Representative of the African Institute of Informatics (IAI) Cameroon signed on 8 December 2021 a partnership agreement to strengthen the capacity of municipal staff on the use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
Since his arrival at the head of the UCCC, Augustin Tamba has also taken an active and effective part in the work of international organizations of local authorities, including those of UCLG Africa and AIMF. As a member of the Executive Committee (Exco) of UCLG Africa, Augustin Tamba took the opportunity of his participation in the 25th session of the ExCo meeting of UCLG Africa in June 2021 in Cairo (Egypt) to establish a strategic partnership with the Egyptian authorities in the field of industrial wood processing. Indeed, the Egyptian Minister of Local Development, HE Mr. Mahmoud Shaarawy, had met with a delegation of UCCC to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries and examine methods to exploit the competitive advantages of both countries, Egypt being a regional and global leader in the furniture industry. As for Cameroon, it is one of the main exporters of various types of wood in the world. It will import wood from Cameroon and export Egyptian furniture to open new markets on the continent. An Egyptian delegation took part in Jeicom21 to implement this partnership.
A graduate in strategic management of decentralized local government from HEC Paris, Augustin Tamba is an international lecturer in Social and Solidarity Economy. Former director general of the HDS-etTFAN Consulting group specialized in coaching, lobbying, business engineering and economic intelligence, he arrived at the head of the Yaoundé 7 mayor’s office in 2013. This municipality newly created in 2007 renewed its confidence in him during the 2020 municipal elections.
On 4 November 2020, he was brought to the head of the United Communes and Cities of Cameroon (UCCC).
Following the holding of the regional caucuses of UCLG Africa for the regions of Central Africa and North Africa respectively in Libreville, Gabon, on 25 and 26 October 2021 and in Luxor, Egypt, on 1 and 2 November 2021, and with a view to mobilizing young local elected officials for Africities Summit scheduled to take place in Kisumu, Kenya, from 17 to 21 May 2022, the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa organized two virtual meetings of the young elected officials of the YELO network.
These meetings held on 22 November 2021 (North Africa) and 15 December 2021 (Central Africa) aimed to address in each region, issues related to the establishment of national chapters of YELO, and also some aspects of territorial governance, including the challenges faced by young people in general and by young elected officials in particular.
In North Africa as well as in Central Africa, youth seem to have a prominent position in the constitutions. In Gabon, Cameroon, Tunisia and Mauritania, young people are political actors as soon as they reach the age of majority, which is frequently set at 18. On the other hand, their selection for access to the political world as well as to positions of responsibility within political bodies depends on the political parties.
As pointed out by Mrs. Ibticem Aitalllah of the Municipality of Sfax, in Tunisia, young elected officials most often hold responsibilities at the head of relatively important commissions in communal councils. This reality reflects a lack of confidence of the political class in youth, hence the need for a paradigm shift. The representatives of Mauritania, through the voice of Sidi Ahmed Mohamed El Hadrami, from the Commune of Teyaret, proposed an upgrade by law, in order to force political parties to put forward young candidates on electoral lists.
The young local elected officials from Central Africa, particularly those from Gabon and Cameroon, called for the demystification of politics in order to make it more accessible to ordinary citizens. During these meetings, the young people insisted several times on the financial conditions of their participation in electoral events which remain, in many African countries, too high to allow an optimal participation of young people in politics.
On the issue of the establishment of national chapters of YELO in each region, Gabon through the representatives of Libreville and Port-Gentil, and the representatives of Nouakchott have committed to begin the process of implementing the network. These national chapters will help structure the contribution of youth in politics and local development. This network will make it possible to propose training and awareness-raising actions for the benefit of young people, and will make it possible to build, with the associations of young elected officials, an advocacy for the attention of political parties.
For the Africities summit, the young elected officials of North Africa have proposed some session themes, including
– Waste management
– Digitalization of municipal services (job creation for youth)
– Neighborhood outreach and new housing programs,
– Youth entrepreneurship
– The creation of spaces dedicated to youth (cultural, sports, etc.)
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On Tuesday 14 December 2021, a delegation of 32 students from Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech (Morocco) visited the headquarters of UCLG Africa. This delegation was led by Professor Fatima ARIB, Director of the ENCG, Professor Tarik ZAHRANE, Deputy Director in charge of Cooperation and Scientific Research, Ms. BENHAMMOU Nisrine and Mr. MANTOUR Youssef in charge of Communication and Cooperation and Sports Affairs at UCA of Marrakech.
This Delegation had the honor to be welcomed by the Secretary General of the umbrella organization of local governments in Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi and some of his collaborators: Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of Development, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management and Director of the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG Africa, Mr. Mustapha Moufid, Director of the African Capitals of Culture Program, Director, Department of Culture, Migration, Peace and Security and Mr. Thierry Sanzhie Bokally, Head of the Knowledge Management Unit of UCLG Africa.
The Secretary General made a presentation on the history of UCLG Africa, its vision, its objectives, its structure, its governing bodies and finally on the various projects on which UCLG Africa is committed to contribute to the unity of the African continent through the dynamism of local and regional authorities, and to allow the transformation of “Africa of Nation States” into “Africa of Peoples and Territories”. He briefed them on the organization’s triennial flagship event, the “Africities Summit”, which is its 9th edition. This event will be held in Kisumu, an intermediate city in Kenya, on the theme “The role of Africa’s intermediate cities in the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063”. Mr. Mbassi gave useful advice to the students while inviting them to get involved at a very young age in the management of local authorities. He awarded a certificate of recognition to the President of Cadi Ayyad University for his active involvement and collaboration during the 5th edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting local authorities (FAMI 5).
Prof. Arib, on behalf of the delegation, thanked the Secretary General and all the staff of UCLG Africa for the warm welcome and the honor of being a privileged partner of UCLG Africa, especially during the FAMI, and for allowing the students present to understand the real stakes of decentralization and the role that UCLG Africa plays in the implementation of the global agendas
Dr. Zarrouk appreciated the visit and took the opportunity to thank the first officials of the UCA for their remarkable support in the organization of the FAMI 5 and the strong partnership between the UCA and UCLG Africa.
Mr. Moufid in his speech drew the attention of students on the importance of culture as the essence of creativity, innovation and social link.
This visit follows the fruit of the partnership that exists on the one hand, between Cadi Ayyad University and UCLG Africa and on the other hand the holding of the 5th edition of the African Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes targeting the Territorial Communities (FAMI5_2021) of UCLG Africa from 6 to 11 December 2021 at the Administrative and Cultural Complex MOHAMMED VI of Habous, Bab IGHLY in the Region of Marrakech-Safi on the theme “The Digital and Smart Transformation of Local Africa: The Time to Act is Now! !! “. The UCA is among the first partners who supported this edition with the participation of the faculty in the first row the president of the UCA and its students in Master and Doctorate in the plenary sessions and the various Workshops throughout the Forum.
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To turn ideas into adaptation action in one of the world’s most climate vulnerable regions: Africa, the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) against the backdrop of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The new agreement, signed on 9th November, will facilitate and strengthen collaboration between GCA and UCLG Africa, the leading umbrella organization for African local governments, to support the urgent scale-up of locally-led adaptation throughout a continent that has the fastest urbanization rate in the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, about 40 percent of the population lives in urban areas, up from 22 percent in 1980.
The African continent is disproportionately threatened by heatwaves, flooding and drought, and low-lying coastal areas, where about half of African settlements with 1-5 million inhabitants are located, have specific climate risks due to sea level rise and increased flood frequency, as stated in GCA’s flagship report State and Trends in Adaptation 2021, focused on the African continent.
UCLG Africa President Christine Mba Ndutume Mihindou, GCA CEO Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, and UCLG Africa Secretary-General Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi
The Africa-led Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), developed jointly by GCA and the African Development Bank (AfDB), aims to mobilize $25 billion for adaptation in Africa in the next five years to address the impacts of COVID-19, climate change and the economy.
In line with the AAAP, the new agreement with UCLG Africa will promote the development and implementation of plans and programs to strengthen adaptation and resilience in African cities and territories, which provide unique opportunities for adaptation action because of their early stages of urbanization, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and post-pandemic recovery.
“Working jointly with UCLG Africa, an organization that channels the united voice of local African governments, will enable GCA to deliver the AAAP on the ground in this region where adaptation can no longer be delayed, and immediate action is required,” said Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of GCA, who signed the MoU along with Secretary General of UCLG Africa Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.
The MoU provides a framework for cooperation in three main areas: Programs and Action, Knowledge Acceleration and Advocacy and Agenda Setting.
GCA and UCLG Africa will jointly create platforms and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning for local governments and stakeholders, facilitate partnerships to bolster local government capacity and strengthen the gender approach in climate adaptation.
In terms of knowledge acceleration, the organizations aim to strengthen the framework for the acquisition and reporting of information and data related to resilience and adaptation by cities and local governments. They will also co-create knowledge products such as tool kits and knowledge-sharing platforms for local governments to assist them in identifying good adaptation practices.
Finally, the organizations will work jointly to advocate for early, strong and inclusive adaptation action by subnational and local governments, including through advocacy fora such as a Partnerships Market place for scaling up Locally-led Adaptation. They plan to explore options and barriers to accessing adaptation financing for urban and rural governments, where feasible, through GCA and UCLG Africa’s programs and initiatives and will promote African city leadership at regional and global fora, showcasing the challenges of climate adaptation across African countries and also the solutions ready to be scaled.
GCA will participate in UCLG Africa’s 9th Africities Summit, to be held from 17th to 21st May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The events’ theme is “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063.”
About the Global Center on Adaptation The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to accelerate, innovate and scale adaptation action worldwide, in partnership with the public and private sector, to work together for a climate resilient future. Founded in 2018, the GCA is hosted by the Netherlands, working from its headquarters in Rotterdam with a knowledge and research hub based in Groningen. The GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Beijing, China. Through this evolving network of offices and global and regional GCA teams, the organization engages in high-level policy activities, new research contributions, communications, and technical assistance to governments and the private sector.
About the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa
Founded in 2005 in Tshwane, South Africa, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), is an international pan African organization that aims to spearhead the decentralization of local governance in Africa.
Founded through a constitution adopted by mayors of African cities, its primary goal is to actualize the establishment of local governments with distinct legal and political personalities and financial autonomy. UCLG Africa is governed by a constitution which states that it is mandated to serve as the unified voice of local governments on the African continent. It was formed through the unification of three continental groups serving the interests of local governments and represents almost 350 million African citizens.
UCLG Africa acts to strengthen the capacity of local governments to provide better services to their population, to support and train Local Government Associations, and represent local authorities at the pan-African and international level.
https://www.uclga.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/1636537926373.jpeg12001600Gaellehttps://www.uclga.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/logo.jpgGaelle2021-11-12 21:20:442021-12-07 15:45:49GCA and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa sign Memorandum of Understanding to scale up locally-led adaptation in Africa
The North Africa regional caucus of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) was held from 01 to 02 November 2021 in Luxor (Egypt).
The opening ceremony was marked by speeches from: His Excellency Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development of Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Qader, Deputy Governor of Luxor, the Honorable Peter Anyang Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu, Kenya, and Mrs. Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat.
The proceedings were chaired by Mr. Lahcen Amrouche of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC), who is the vice-president of UCLG Africa for the North Africa region. Five out of the seven countries in the region took part in the two-day conclave: Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia. They were represented by the President and the Permanent Secretary of the national association of local authorities, the President of the national chapter of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), and one Representative of the Network of Local Elected Young People Africa (YELO).
The meeting in Luxor was the second in a series of regional caucuses organized in preparation for the 9thedition of the Africities Summit to be held from May 17th to May 21st, 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The elective general assembly during which it is planned to elect the full and alternate members of UCLG Africa’s governing bodies will also be will be held during Africities on May 20th, 2022. The theme chosen for the Africities summit is: ” The role of Africa’s intermediate cities in the implementation of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063″.
During the two days of proceedings, the participants were informed of the current actions carried out by UCLG Africa through its new GADDEPA 2.0 strategy and its 7 priority focus areas selected by the members of UCLG Africa for the 2021-2030 decade, namely: Economy and local finance; climate, biodiversity, and food systems; gender and youth; access to basic and SDG services; migration; culture; and peace and security.
The participants paid particular attention to the implementation process of the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA), the financial vehicle enabling African local governments to access the financial market. One hundred voluntary local authorities are invited to subscribe as founding members of the ATA cooperative society with a contribution of 100,000 Euros each. In carrying out this project, UCLG Africa intends to rely on partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), so that the ATA becomes a subsidiary body of the AfDB.
The Africities summit was also presented, which will take place over 5 days. A distinction is made between thematic sessions organized during the first 3 days of the Summit, and the political sessions organized during the last 2 days of the Summit in addition to the Exhibition which is part and parcel of Africities. The sessions also include a series of special events in the form of “Special Days”. The thematic sessions set out the details of the theme of the Summit and of the strategies to be implemented, as well as the coalitions to be built so that intermediate cities are able to play the role expected from them. These sessions make recommendations for the attention of Ministers, Mayors, Leaders and elected representatives of local governments, as well as for the attention of development partners. The political sessions include the meeting of Ministers, the meeting of Mayors and Leaders of local authorities, and the meeting of Development Partners, as well as the tripartite political dialogue meeting between Ministers, Mayors and Leaders of local authorities, and Development Partners. The Africities Exhibition offers to companies, institutions, and organizations the opportunity to present their products and solutions through the rental of booths, the animation of workshops, and the organization of B-to-B meetings on site and virtually.
The summit also serves as a framework for the presentation of the barometer relating to the institutional environment of African local governments (CEE Rating). The report produced by UCLG Africa proposes a framework within which cities and countries can compare each other’s performance and act in order to create an environment conducive to decentralization. The report helps identify the challenges faced by countries in implementing these actions, and helps all stakeholders to discuss the reforms needed to meet these challenges. The initiative also aims to guide international technical and financial partners in defining their support. The members of the North Africa region were informed about their respective ranking in the last report (CEE Rating).
A plea was made for gender equality in the governing bodies for North Africa, for the representation of women in the governing bodies of regional authorities in the region through the REFELA network. A plea was also made for the representation of young people within the governing bodies of local governments in North Africa. The local elected officials of the North Africa region were invited to promote and energize the actions of REFELA in their respective countries around the three campaigns launched by the network, namely: the Campaign of African Cities without Street Children (launched in 2018), the Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women (launched in 2019), and the Campaign of African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women (launched in 2020). Regarding youth issues, local elected officials were invited to supervise young people by involving them in issues of territorial governance. The fact is that most of the young local elected officials in the region are only municipal councilors, and very few of them hold the office of mayors.
The experience of Egypt’s “Smart Transport System” was shared with the elected officials, and an invitation was extended to the Egyptian side to share it again during the Africities 9 summit in Kisumu.
Local elected officials from the North Africa region expressed their major concerns towards the Africities Summit:
– The issue of access by local governments to financing remains a recurring concern. The participants ask that support be given to the Africa Territorial Agency (ATA), a financial vehicle enabling local governments to access the financial market. The participants also recommend continuing the efforts led by the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa to facilitate the access of local authorities to climate finance, in particular to the Green Fund.
– The major challenge of the day is to succeed in the digital transformation of local authorities. A real program to support the digital transformation of local governments should be set up at the level of UCLG Africa. In this regard, the participants welcomed the partnership between UCLG Africa and 01 Talent for the training of young people in coding techniques and the creation of Zones 01 in African cities at their request.
– The participants expressed the wish that “Open Government” be adopted everywhere, making it possible to facilitate relations between citizens and those in charge of local governments. “Open Government” will help rebuild trust between citizens and public authorities, as well as transparency and integrity in the management of local authorities.
– The strengthening of the international action of local authorities and in particular in the field of decentralized cross-border cooperation with a view to strengthening regional integration and initiating the dynamics of… the Africa of the People. In this regard, the participants welcomed the initiative taken by Morocco to create an African Fund to support decentralized cooperation and express the hope that other countries can do the same.
The participants will continue their consultation to develop the 5 questions for the attention of ministers during the tripartite political dialogue between Ministers, Mayors and leaders of local authorities, and Development Partners planned to take place in Africities.
The North Africa Regional caucus has also appointed its main candidates for the elective general assembly of UCLG Africa scheduled to take place on May 20, 2022 in Kisumu. The participation of the candidates is expected with a view to the designation of nine members of the North Africa region out of the 45 members of the Pan-African Council, the three members of the North Africa region out of the 15 members of the Executive Committee, and one Vice-President for North Africa out of the five members of the Presidency, and one representative of the North Africa region out of the 5 members of the Financial Management Commission (only for UCLG Africa). Ditto for the members of the Pan-African council of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and of the Network of Young Elected Representatives of Africa (YELO).
A list of 6 permanent candidates for the Pan-African Council of UCLG Africa (see table) has been communicated. The list will be completed by December 31st, 2021. The secretariat of the regional caucus will contact the absent local governments so that they can express their candidacies before December 31st, 2021. After this deadline, the remaining positions will be filled by interested members. The members of the caucus resolved to meet at the headquarters of UCLG Africa in Rabat, Morocco in January 2022 to finalize the list of candidates from North Africa with the incumbents, the alternates, and the member of the electoral commission. For YELO, the caucus instructs the Association of Mayors of Mauritania, whose delegation includes the only young person present at the work, to initiate and ensure, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa, the coordination of the youth networks of various member countries in order to prepare appropriately for the establishment of the North African Network of Young Local Elected Officials during the Africities summit to be held in Kisumu, Kenya. The REFELA network has communicated the names of its candidates listed in the table below.
GOVERNING BODIES OF UCLG AFRICA
VICE PRESIDENCY UCLG Africa
National Association of Municipal Councils of Libya (NMCA)
Region of Nouakchott (Mauritania)
City of Rabat
Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC)
Region of Nouakchott
Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC- Morocco)
https://www.uclga.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/en-une.jpg443591Gaellehttps://www.uclga.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/logo.jpgGaelle2021-11-11 10:47:452021-11-11 10:47:45UCLG AFRICA Regional Caucus: North Africa sets out its priorities for the Africities 9 Summit in Kisumu, Kenya, on May 17-21, 2022 (PRESS RELEASE)
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