Tag Archive for: UCLG Africa

Round Table on “Towards accelerating and strengthening local climate action in the Central African region”

In the framework of the action plan of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) and in order to further mobilize local and regional authorities in Central Africa in the process of implementing the climate agenda, a round table was held on 26 October  2021, at the headquarters of the Libreville City Hall (Gabon). The session was co-chaired by Ms. Christine Mba N’Dutume, President of the Mayors of Gabon represented by Ms. Annie Chrystel Limbourg Iwenga, Deputy Mayor of Libreville, in charge of Decentralized Cooperation and Intercollectivities, H. E. Ms. Rosario Bento Pais, Ambassador of the European Union in Gabon.

Moderated by Mr. Jean Pierre Elong  Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, the Round Table was attended by Presidents of associations, mayors, Permanent Secretaries of CEMAC countries and mayors of Gabonese municipalities.

At the end of this round table it was decided:

  1. To launch a regional readiness program for the CEMAC region in partnership with the Forum of Banks and Deposits and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through the GCF focal points in the countries of the region.
  2. Accompany the region’s communes in the process of joining the CoM SSA

This round table was followed by a capacity building workshop for local government associations on climate action in the areas of:

– Decentralized cooperation

– Climate finance

– Territorial climate plans (adaptation – mitigation)

This workshop was facilitated by :

Mr. Mohamed Nbou, Director of the Climate, Biodiversity and Food Security Department

Mr. Sébastien Leclef, Policy Officer, CoM SSA.

 

 

Audience: The First Lady Dominique Ouattara exchanges with the President of REFELA, Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao

The First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara exchanged with Mrs. Macoura Coulibaly Dao, President of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and Mayor of the commune of Foumbolo, on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, at her office in Cocody. The meeting was attended by Mrs. Dagnogo Karidjatou, Mayor of Sirasso in the Poro region, Vice President of REFELA-local and Mrs. Diomandé Salimata, Mayor of Djibrosso in the Woroba region, Secretary General of REFELA.

The exchanges, during this audience, focused among other things on the presentation of the activities of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), but also, on the solicitude of the sponsorship of the wife of the Head of State for the launch of the campaign of African cities committed to the fight for zero children on the street. The First Lady, who is also President of the Children of Africa Foundation, accepted this request because of her decades-long commitment to the welfare of children in difficult situations in Africa.

PSI and UCLG Africa sign cooperation agreement to boost quality local public services in Africa and Arab Countries

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and the Africa and Arab Countries Region of Public Service International (PSI) signed today 24 September 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for structured dialogue and cooperation between their respective constituencies. The Partners are the most representative membership-based organisations namely of local and regional government (LRG) managers and staff in the African continent.

Building on the longstanding dialogue and continued partnership between their international secretariats, the Partners sealed in a virtual launch their joint commitment to “bring their cooperation down to the subregions and territories where they operate and close to their respective memberships” their MoU reads.

The challenges local and regional governments face in the African continent are vast and public services inequalities stark. According to the UN, only 20 percent of the African urban population (excluding North Africa) has access to safely managed sanitation services, while 23 percent of slum dwellers are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, through the Covid crisis, many African local authorities have rapidly put in place innovative emergency solutions and adaptation measures to ensure continued public service delivery. Their losses are now of up to 60 percent of average own sourced revenues.

Acknowledging these challenges, the Partners will prioritize joint initiatives towards:

  • enabling equitable access to quality local public services for all;
  • making cities, communities, and territories inclusive and fair;
  • realizing sustainable, just local socio-economic development;
  • building LRG staff’s capacity and skills, while ensuring their decent working conditions

UCLG Africa and PSI Africa and the Arab Countries will also cooperate to develop joint advocacy and actions – including in regional policy forums such as the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) – on shared strategic priorities including effective decentralization; investment in LRG human capital through institutional and staff capacity enhancement and empowerment; funding for quality local public services; social dialogue; good and effective local governance; the localisation of regional and UN global agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement to address climate change in African cities and territories, the Decent Work Agenda, and the Africa Agenda 2063.

Quotes:

Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, UCLG Africa General Secretary said: «Recalling that decentralisation means the transfer of power relationship, responsibilities, capacities and resources from national to all sub-national levels of government with the aim of strengthening the ability of the latter to both foster people’s participation and deliver quality services as defined by the 2014 African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development, UCLG Africa’s membership is happy to cooperate from now on with PSI as a strategic partner, to invest in human capital and quality public services at sub-national level, and make sure to leave no one and no place behind».

 

Sani Baba, PSI Regional Secretary for Africa and the Arab Countries said: «Addressing the dire needs of the African and Arab Countries’ people for equitable access to quality local public services such as safe water and sanitation, heath care, energy, proper waste disposal, effective public transport, and decent housing is a major challenge for both our organisations. But working together we can unleash the unique potential of our local government constituencies to co-create and bring about concrete, progressive change to African cities and territories, to the benefit of local communities, as well as of local government institutions and their workers”.

 

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary said: «PSI and UCLG are stronger together when their respective memberships cooperate to confront the multiple, concurrent challenges they increasingly face, including pandemic, climate, unemployment and informality, migration, public service funding, gender equality and the respect of human rights. This first regional commitment brings the spirit of the global dialogue and cooperation built over the years between PSI and UCLG down to the ground of African cities and territories and I am confident it will translate into concrete actions at a local level”.

 

 

Document:

Memorandum of Understanding between United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and Public Service International (PSI) Africa and the Arab Countries (+).

About the Partners:

United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) is the Pan-African Organization composed of 54 National Associations of Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) from all regions of Africa, as well as 2000 cities and territories with more than 100,000 inhabitants, representing through its memberships nearly 350 million African citizen.

Public Service International (PSI) Africa and the Arab Countries is composed of 157 affiliated trade union organisations in 45 countries representing a combined membership of around 1.5 million women and men working at all levels of governments, including LRGs, to deliver quality public services to communities and territories. PSI Africa and the Arab Countries is a Region of Public Services International (PSI), a Global Union Federation of more than 700 trade unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries. PSI brings the voice of public service workers to the UN, ILO, WHO and other regional and global organisations, defends trade union and workers’ rights and fights for universal access to quality public services.

Call for contributions for issue N°5 of the Voice of the African Local Manager

The African Local Manager Voice is a periodical publication produced by the African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG-Africa, the Network of HR Managers of African Local Governments, and the Observatory of Human Resources of Local Governments of UCLG Africa, within the framework of the enhancement, motivation and development of Human Resources of Local and Subnational Governments in Africa, as well as within the framework of regional and local initiatives.

It is a forum offered to Territorial Managers as a space for exchange, communication, debate and networking, making it possible to give visibility to Territorial Managers, to hear their voices, opinions and concerns, to exchange their experiences. success stories, and best practices. It is also a window where they can present and promote their missions, their jobs, their challenges, their innovations, and their creativity. Finally, it is an opportunity for them to discuss the various issues related to Human Resources Management at the local level. Taking due account of the cultural diversity which characterizes our continent, the Bulletin can welcome contributions in the different languages used at UCLG Africa, in particular English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic.

This 5th Issue of the “The Voice of the African Local Manager” bulletin will be a Special Issue dedicated to the following general theme: “Digital Transformation at African Local Level in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond: Benchmark of regional and local experiences”.

The choice of theme is not accidental. The Covid-19 crisis has radically changed the forecasts, the order of priorities, public policies, the action plans, as well as the strategies and prospects at all levels of governance. ICTs have proven to be a strategic lever to allow people to stay connected, to continue to govern, manage and produce, and to meet the expectations and concerns of populations. The pandemic has also been an accelerator of digitization according to the Twilio Report 2020, Covid-19 Digital Engagement Report.
The contribution must consist of four (4) pages maximum, i.e. 1,500 words, up to a maximum of 2,000 words; Font Type: Times New Roman, and Font Size 12; Any quotation from another author must be put in brackets and include its source, namely the author of the quotation or the document from which it is extracted, the exact title of the document, the date of publication, and the place of publication, by respect for intellectual property rights. You must provide your photo and a short biography (100 words maximum), mentioning the name of your Local Authority / Institution, as well as your contact information (Mobile phone, home or office phone, Fax, e- mail or Website of the Local Government / Institution to which you belong).

Deadline for submitting contributions: November 15, 2021.

Read  the full call here

Young local officials facing the effects of Covid-19

On 27 July 2021, UCLG Africa held the first virtual meeting of the Network of Young Elected Officials of Africa,  on the theme of « Young local elected officials facing the effects of Covid -19 ».

This meeting was attended by about fifty participants, which included elected youth, researchers and entrepreneurs, who assembled to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on young people,  and the initiatives and role of the youth in the context of the ongoing health crisis.

Two panels structured these exchanges. The first, on the theme “Youth and responsibility“, addressed the political dimension of youth engagements at the height of the crisis, which was handled  by Mrs. Thérèse Faye Diouf, Mayor of Diarrere; the impact of digital on the security dimension of our territories, was taken care of  by M. Tom Marten.

The second panel on “Youth as a workforce in the growth of the continent” focused on the role of young people in economic recovery. This slot was marked by the intervention, of Mr. Frederik Tchoungui, Founder of “Community of Global Leaders”.  Mr. Oliver Bastienne, President of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made an impressive presentation with explanation and examples of how young entrepreneurs  were faring the recovery of the effect of the pandemic.  Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Director of the Gender and Youth Department at the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa, moderated this meeting in the presence of the Secretary General, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.

The first panel highlighted two important points; the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 crisis on young people, both politically and in terms of mobility of people, and the importance of involving young people in the stimulus strategies.

The closure of public places and restrictions of movements have completely changed the behaviour of the youth in African cities. The Mayor of Diarrere, emphasized on the importance of the involvement of young people in the economic recovery and in building the future of African cities. She encouraged young men and women to invest in municipal councils and to actively participate in decision-making processes and deliberations relating to budgets.

For his part, Mr. Marten emphasized the constraints of COVID-19 on international travelling particularly for tourism purposes. The tourism  industry  has been brought to its knees by the pandemic. The closure of frontiers worldwide indirectly accelerated the use of technology and innovation in the digital field.  The use of digital technologies by governments, for example Seychelles has been favored to revive and foster tourism, in and to create the conditions for a return to normalcy and equally ensuring the health security of citizens and tourists. During this panel, the questions were mainly focused on the political aspects of the contribution of young people to the revival of urban economies: how to mobilize young people? How to increase the participation of young people in political parties? It was proposed that UCLG Africa and the national associations of African local governments, should develop advocacy for national governments and political parties,  to facilitate the access to electoral lists and political affairs.

The second panel addressed the issue of economic recovery by highlighting the role of young people in the field of entrepreneurship. In this panel, it was first a question of promoting the initiatives of young people who aim to create and find sources of funding, despite the context of the health crisis. Mr. Tchoungui thus encouraged young entrepreneurs and elected officials to make digital technology one of the keys to the development of African cities. To achieve this, improving and upgrading telecommunications infrastructure is essential, hence the appeal to the public authorities for more investment in this sector.

Mr. Bastienne’s presentation showed how COVID-19 has impacted all areas of the private sector employing young people (drop in productivity, unemployment, etc.). The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce has supported young people by providing them with financing, technical support, and training, especially for entrepreneurs. The government, together with the private sector also designed  a recovery and prosperity plan in which the youth participated actively. The importance of Information and Communication Technologies was underlined to show the impact of young people in digital development as a provider for the jobs of the future.

The summary of the discussions highlighted the need to network and form coalitions because the many issues facing young local elected officials cannot be addressed without the participation of all stakeholders. Synergies is of utmost necessity towards  building the Africa we want.

The exchanges on this vital issues allowed the participants to realize that “one cannot build Africa without its driving force, namely the youth”, and that the COVID-19 crisis has brought changes that will be here to stay. We have to learn to adapt. It is only through solidarity that our African cities and the world will overcome this pandemic.

By way of closing this meeting, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa stressed on the importance that the national and local levels should work to produce youth policies and youth participation, and to include youth representation at decision making level,  in order to have credible and lasting responses.

Find the concept note of the meeting here.

Read the final report of the Lomé Forum on: “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing Climate Ambitions of Local Governments in Africa”

On the 10th and 11th June 2021, was held in Lome, Togo, under the patronage of His Excellency, M. Faure Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo, the regional Forum on Local Authorities and the Role of Cities and Territories in Addressing Climate Change, under the theme “Strengthening the Resilience and Increasing Climate Ambitions of Local Governments in Africa”. This Forum was co-organized by UCLG Africa, the Government of Togo, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa (COM SSA), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the West African Development Bank (WADB) and Expertise France.

The final report of the Forum is available here.

 

Happy ADD 2021

On the occasion of the celebration of the African Decentralization and Local Development Day (ADD) on 10 August 2021, we have collected the wishes of some African mayors.

Tribute to Geoff Makhubo

Geoff my Friend, my Brother

So you went away,

Without warning, on tiptoe,

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

Praises, you will have, amply deserved.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some people smiled sympathetically at such naivety and sweet dreams,

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

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

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

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

Geoff, my Friend, my Brother,

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

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

The dead are not dead

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

Rest in peace my Dear Friend, My Dear Borther

May the African land of our Ancestors be light to you

 

Jean Pierre ELONG MBASSI

UCLG Africa  Secretary General

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

Read the message here.

Luc Atrokpo: Pragmatic Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

Express Bio

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

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

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

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

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

Stay informed about ANCB actions via their website here

Visit the ANCB Facebook page here

Sources:

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

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