Tag Archive for: UCLG Africa

10th ordinary session of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa

The Executive Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) held its 10th Ordinary Session on 12 and 13 May 2014, in Victoria, Seychelles.


Two highlights marked this 10th session: the official opening ceremony and the deliberations of the Executive Committee.

The official opening ceremony was chaired by the Vice President of Seychelles, Mr. Danny FAURE, with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Members of the National Assembly and various national authorities of Seychelles.

The ceremony began with a welcome speech by the Mayor of Victoria and President of the Association of Districts of Victoria (ADV), followed by the welcome speech by the President of UCLG Africa.

These two interventions were followed by a presentation on the threats caused by the development of piracy in the Indian Ocean and the measures taken by the Seychelles to address this scourge.

The third speech was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In his speech, he expressed the offer of a strategic partnership of Seychelles with UCLG Africa for the promotion of the neighborhood diplomacy.

The opening speech was delivered by the Vice-President of Seychelles. In his speech, the Vice-President wished to express the honor for him to chair, on behalf of the President of Seychelles, the 10th session of Executive Committee of UCLG Africa and wished the delegates an enjoyable stay. Afterwards, he addressed the ongoing efforts in the Seychelles during the last 20 years in promoting local governance; he addressed as well, the common challenges of urbanization the entire Africa is facing. The Vice-President also expressed that the Seychelles are now proud to have one of their own, the Mayor of Victoria, as Vice-President of UCLG Africa for Eastern Africa Region and Co-President of the UCLG World. At last, he ensured the delegates that UCLG Africa can count on the Seychelles support at the forthcoming African Union Summit in Malabo for the adoption of an African Charter on values and principles of decentralization and local development.

As for the deliberation of the Executive Committee, it has been chaired by Mr. Khalifa Ababacar Sall, President of UCLG Africa.

This deliberation took place from 12 to 13 May and allowed the members of the Executive Committee to discuss the entire items on the agenda.

The Executive Committee, after having heard and discussed each of the items on the agenda, adopted a package of resolutions. The Executive Committee congratulated the City of Victoria, the Association of the Districts of Victoria (ADV), and the Mayor of Victoria for the successful organization of this 10th session. It asked the Mayor of Victoria to convey its thanks to the people of the City of Victoria. As well, it conveys a vote of thanks and encouragements to the City of Victoria, the Association of the Districts of Victoria (ADV) and the Mayor of Victoria, for the successful organization of this 10th session. It further conveys a Vote of Gratitude to the President of the Republic and the Government of Seychelles.


International conference organized by the Mediterranean Network of Medinas

The secretary general represented UCLG Africa in the international conference on the role of heritage in sustainable development of African cities held in Tangiers, Morocco, from 24 to 26 April 2014.

The conference was organized under the high patronage of His Majesty The King Mohammed VI, by the Mediterranean Network of  Medinas, in partnership with the general directorate of local governments of the ministry of Interior of Morocco, the Tangiers Local Government, the Tangiers/Tetouan Region, the Tanger/Tetouan District, and the Agency for the promotion of the development of the Northen Region. Also collaborated in this conference, UCLG, UCLG Africa, MedCities, UNDP and GIZ.

The conference was officially opened by the deputy minister of the Interior, Mr. Draiss, on Thursday 24 April, at 16:00.

The conference was organized around two panels and four workshops. The first panel discussed the role of heritage in sustainable development, and had the privilege to receive the speeches from Mrs. Maty Hamady, Mayor of Nouakchott, UCLG Africa Vice President for North Africa; Mr. Allal Sekrouhi, CEO of local government equipment fund (FEC); Mohamed Ouldmekyine Khattar, specialist of the culture Program at UNESCO for the North Africa Region; Mr. Abdelaziz Salah Salim expert of monuments at the directorate of culture and communication at ISESCO.

The second panel on heritage and sustainable development in Africa facilitated by the UCLG Africa received inputs from Mr. Mohamed Mokni, Mayor of Sousse, Tunisia; Mr. Ramiantamanana Rakotoarinia, Councillor in the municipality of Ambohimalaza Miray, Madagascar; Mr. Ali Zamir, Representative of the City of Mutsamutu, Comoros; the representative of the Association of Mayors of Senegal; Mr. Aka Konin, general manager of the Ivoirian office of cultural heritage, Côte d’Ivoire; Mr. Issam Abdallah Timany, Governor of Lamu County, Kenya; Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, president of the Mediterranean Network of Medinas, President of the Municipality of Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The four workshops organized in parallel on 25 April 2014 addressed the following topics

Workshop 1: Public policies promoting heritage as a driver of sustainable development

Workshop 2: Mechanism of cooperation, partnership and solidarity for the preservation of heritage

Workshop 3: services and development of intermediate cities: “heritage cities of the 21st century”

Workshop 4: What future for the heritage areas in a crisis situation?


The participants received a speech from Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coopération of Spain. He stated that it is the turn of the South, and Africa in particular, to propose pathways for future and sustainable development of the world. He further suggested that this conference in Tangiers issues a call for the organization a Euro-Mediterranean convention under the auspices of the King of Morocco to imagine a future for the Mediterranean Region, which should also integrate the rest of Africa.

The conference adopted a Tangiers Declaration which hightlighted the need to build an African Heritage Cities.

The Conference ended up with the signing of partnership agreements between the Mediterranean Network of Medinas and Cities from South Saharan Africa.



UCLG Africa at the World Urban Forum

From 8 to 11 April 2014, the UCLG Africa secretary general took part in a number of events and meetings at the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Medellin, Colombia  which theme is Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life.

The Forum included over 500 events and an exhibition around the following thematic areas:

  • urban land, legislation and governance
  • urban planning and design
  • urban economy
  • urban basic services
  • housing and slum upgrading
  • risk reduction and rehabilitation
  • research and capacity development

The roadmap of the Forum comprised high level dialogues on the main substantive theme of the Forum; special sessions to address topical issues that are relevant to the disussion of the theme of the Forum; assemblies vis-a-vis discussions to align perpectives on global urban development; a series of roundtables meetings of peer groups; urban talks with some of the most renewed economists, urbanists and thinkers; plenary sessions for general conclusions of each day’s discussion. The roadmap also included networking, side and training events; a city changer room; an agora room; a One UN room; a cinéma room; as well as parallel events.

The opening was marked by a very compelling address by the President of the Republic of Ghana. Urban talks witnessed the contributions of Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in economics, professor at Columbia University; Ricky Burdett, professor of urban studies at the London School of Economics, director of the Urban Age program; Richard Florida, professor at the University of Toronto and at the New York University; Brent Toderian, city planner and urbanist, former Vancouver Chief Planner. The exhibition showed a lot of interesting exchanges of experiences and peer learning events.

The visit of the city of Medellin showed what can be done to transform the living conditions of the poor in the city, and how civic education, local economic development, public transport, public facilities and public space have been instrumental in the transformation of Medellin from one the most dangerous city to live in in the 80s, to the nowadays rather safe, peaceful and welcoming city (see illustrating photos).

During the Forum, the secretary general contributed in a number of events, including the Kow Your City networking event organized by SDI and UCLG Africa; the session on financing African cities organized by FEICOM; the session on African Urban Agenda.

The secretary general also had talks with the minister of local government and rural development of Ghana; the executive director, UN Habitat; the new mayor of the city of Harare; the deputy mayor of the city of Mogadiscio; the representatives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the French Development Agency (AFD); the manager of the Cities Alliance; the director of projects, UN Habitat.

In the fringes of the Forum, the secretary general attended a meeting organized on the African Urban Agenda (AUA) under the chairmanship of the ministers of Nigeria and Ghana. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the ministries of urban development of Nigeria and Ghana; the high commissioners of Ghana and Nigeria at UN Habitat; and UN Habitat officers. The meeting concluded on the need to establish appropriate bodies in order to structure the work leading to the adoption of the African Urban Agenda. As a follow up to the meeting, it was decided to set up the AUA technical committee which includes the following members: the high commissioners of Ghana and Nigeria at UN Habitat; the two focal points in the ministries of Ghana and Nigeria; the UCLG Africa; and UN Habitat. The technical committee is tasked to quickly produce a roadmap of the process leading to the elaboration and adoption of the African Urban Agenda.

It was also agreed with the minister of Ghana that the secretary general UCLG Africa travel to Ghana in order to discuss and sign the Headquarters Agreement pertaining to the installation of the UCLG Africa West Africa Regional Office (WARO) in Accra.


Medellin, Colombia, 11 April 2014

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi

Secretary General, UCLG Africa


Request for University Student Intern – Programme Office

The UCLG Africa programme manager is responsible for the development of projects within the UCLG Africa’s Governance, Advocacy and Decentralised Development Programme (GADDEPA).

The immediate tasks are (a) to develop and/or finalise project proposals (b) engage financial support partners (c) engage project technical support partners. The tasks involved require dedication of time for literature research, proposal writing, and engaging with financial and technical partners.

For those who are interested, thanks for sending your update Resume and a cover letter in English or French

By email at: ckpatsika@uclga.org (Programme Manager)

C.c:   inqueries@uclga.org

Deadline for application: 30 April 2014

Click here for more information.


Mission at the EU Commission

The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, participated on 26 and 27 March 2014 in a mission at the EU commission in Brussels on the Strategic Partnership between European Commission and International/ Regional Associations of Local Authorities.

The aims of the mission were to: 1) exchange on the proposal submitted on a strategic partnership between the EU Commission and UCLG Africa; and 2) participate in a meeting between DEVCO and all the regional and global associations being considered for a strategic partnership with the EU Commission.

(I) On the exchanges with DEVCO, the following issues were raised:

  1. Capacity building, what is the relationship between capacity building and relations with members?
  2. Sustainability, which Exit strategy and how to involve other stakeholders?
  3. How to link up the proposed strategy with the long term vision of UCLG Africa?
  4. The received requests exceed the availability of the budget. 5. Counter-proposal expected from the Commission next week.


  1. Redefine the objective within the framework of GADDEPA. Redefine the overall objective. The two contribute to the attainment of the objective GADDEPA.
  2. Sustainability: clarification effort beyond the political agreement. What will happen after 2021?  Sustainability strategy, and impact: mapping of aid donors. Matrix of partners. Supports received in the areas presented.  Synergies.
  3. Relations between associations and individual local authorities in the area of capacity development
  4. Clarify what are the regional resource centers and the associations of local government professionals vis-à-vis the regional and national associations of local authorities
  5. Difficult item to be funded  by DEVCO: advocacy for the African Union

(II) On the general meeting
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to comments by participating associations:

We know what to improve. We believe that there is need for clarification on the machinery to put in place. What does the Commission want exactly?

Excellent exchange meeting and the expectations of everyone were noted.

Trust services. The objective of the strategic partnership is to build a policy to enhance the effectiveness of aid, and to engage new stakeholders such as local governments in Europe to increase the impact on the stakeholders in partner countries. The overall response requires a proper consideration of the complementarity between the different proposals and to consider how to promote synergy in order to achieve a comprehensive strategic partnership.

4 strategic objectives: advocacy on global agenda, decentralization policies, research, and capacity building. It is important to clarify the Concept of partnership and there is need for a deeper dialogue about it, including how it is going to be evaluated.

Share the comments already made. We are aware that written comments will allow us to have a better understanding of the strategic partnership. Need for operational flexibility at the implementation stage.

UCLG Africa
Idea of ​​strategic partnership to be clarified, in view of the fact that it is a joint commitment with shared results whose attainment requires the commitment of everyone. It is together that we will be evaluated in 2020 when the time comes to ascertain whether the partnership generates positive or negative results.

Stresses the importance of not losing sight of the expertise of local governments in the implementation of European cooperation and the wealth of local government to local government cooperation in the perspective of sustainable cooperation.

After that DEVCO made the following comments:
These partnerships fall under priority 2 of DCI .
The meetings with the Parliament and internal controls went well. Now begins the inter-service consultation, whose results are expected in July.
Three priorities: 1) country actions (75% of the funds.  Here, it is he delegations which are active. This is where the bulk of resources for decentralized cooperation are to be raised); 2) support for regional and global networks to strengthen the role of local authorities in development; 3) development education reserved for European organizations. A big call for proposals was launched in 2013 with a substantial amount (70 million in 2014-2015, including 20% targeting local authorities).

On evaluation, the Commission proposal was that the evaluations should not be conducted ​​individually. We should mutualize and  launch a call for tenders so as to be equipped right from the beginning with an evaluation system, a consulting firm and a reference group made up of the stakeholders of the strategic partnership. This is new for everyone, and has never been initiated within the EU, for, we are starting from a tradition of support for projects. Our joint capacities can translate this ambition into reality.
The imperatives of development cooperation call for a renewal of models.

The overview reading of the Partnerships proposals shows that:

1. Advocacy aspect is all over the place. It represents 43% of the total budget of the proposals. What kind of coordination is realistic to propose in order to increase synergies between the partnerships?
What is the proportion of advocacy per se compared to service delivery to members.
Agree that advocacy could have many meanings: it can be empowerment and ownership, hence the need for clarification.

2. Decentralized cooperation: 33% of the total amount of the proposals. Is it not too much given the fact that the bulk of the decentralized cooperation resources has to be found in the first priority dedicated to country actions? There is need for a better structuring of what is done at regional and global levels and what is done at country level. On this issue Cités Unies France argued that one should consider the imbalance between demand and supply. Hence the need for regular in-country decentralized cooperation forums as an annual market place to boost and streamline the decentralized cooperation partnerships as well as peer to peer learning.

3. Geographic focus on Africa
There is here a need to avoid overlaps and strengthen genuine coordination. This should go beyond simple announcement but rather imply the implementation of true and effective complementarity on the ground.

4. Way forward
Policy leading to framework partnership and results. This requests a change of culture.
Issues to be addressed:

  • – complementarity of the different proposals
  • – link/impact of capacity development to governance and service delivery for citizen to avoid that institutional strengthening becomes mainly inwards looking
    – is there any need for overheads in a Strategic partnership, which should be different from the project approach?  The partnership implies global support to the organization which does not need to be topped up with overheads.
    – the issue of sustainability should be seriously addressed. This is a weak part of most of the proposals.


5. Next milestones

  • – Written remarks and counterproposals by DEVCO  sent within one week, and comments and second revision of the proposals to be returned to DEVCO no later than end of April 2014.
  • –  Interservices consultation within the EU starts beginning of May 2014.
    – Fine tuning of the template of the partnership from May to September 2014. At this stage it is envisioned to hire an external expert to help develop and fill the template. 
    – Official signing of the partnership agreements in October 2014.

Brussels, 27 March 2014

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi
Secretary General, UCLG Africa






Southern Africa Local Government Regional Forum

Senior local government practitioners from Fourteen Southern African countries gathered in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 17-18 March 2014, in order to explore opportunities for enhanced integration of Local Economic Development (LED)in national and local development policies and programs through regional engagement.

The theme of the forum was “Creating Opportunities for developmental local government through regional engagement on local economic development and it aimed at sharing understanding on LED; promoting regional engagement to LED approach; and reflecting LED in regional strategies of SADC.

Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) secretary general and  Mr. Thabo Manyoni, UCLG Africa vice president for Southern Africa region, took part in this important event where they represented UCLG Africa. The list of participants also included several continental and regional organisations such as the African Union’s All Africa Ministerial Conference on Decentralization and Local Development (AMCOD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

For further information, you are invited to take a look at the attached document.

Photo-Thabo Manyoni                                                Photo-Carl Wright

Mr. Thabo Manyoni, UCLG Africa Vice President                                   Mr. Carl Wright, Secretary General, CLGF

for Southern Africa


A view of the participants


May his soul rest in peace

“It was with deep shock and profound sadness that we heard of the passing on, on 13 February 2014, of Francis Perkins Duri, secretary general of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and Acting Secretary General of the UCLG Africa Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO). Mr Duri was a strong pillar in the development of good and strong local governments not only in his home nation of Zimbabwe but also in the Southern Africa region and indeed throughout Africa. He will sadly be missed.

On behalf of the UCLG Africa Secretariat, the Secretary General, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi wishes to express sincere condolences to Francis’s wife, children and entire family and his work colleagues for this sad loss of an outstanding professional. May his soul rest in peace.”

GIZ Annual Planning Meeting

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) held its annual planning meeting for 2014 at the Hotel Framotel, Kribi, Cameroon from 29 to 31 January 2014.

The workshop participants were drawn largely from the partners for GIZ-AMCOD/ UCLG Africa Support Programme as well as other stakeholders such as the Municipal Development Partnerships for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDP-ESA); East Africa Local Government Association (EALGA);  and the  Fonds Spécial d’Equipement et d’Intervention Intercommunale (FEICOM) of Cameroon.

As this was the last year of the current operational programme, the activities planned for this year had to be limited to what could be feasibly executed within the year without risking spill-over into next year as this would then fall out of the current funding purview. Notable achievements of the partnership programme of AMCOD and the UCLG Africa were the completion of the African Charter on Local Governance and the proposed creation of a High Council of Local Governments. The former will usher in high profile document that charts the values on which local government would be championed in Africa. Such a document is essential to guide African governments on how the local government institutions should be conceived and set up. The Charter is expected to be presented to the African Union for its adoption this year.

The proposal for the establishment of a High Council of Local Governments will also be presented to the African Union this year. If adopted, it will, for the first time, provide an interactive platform for local governments to articulate their concerns and recommendations to the highest political organ for Africa. It will also provide a platform for harmonising policies across Africa, a major contributor to African unity in the future.

The workshop also considered other activities such as the proposed introduction of an Award Scheme for Excellence in Local Governance and the promotion and capacity building of women serving in local governments as one of the strategies to enhance gender equity.

Workshop participants also reiterated the need to work towards renewing German support for the programme as it was considered essential that the initiatives started require further support in order to strengthen their sustainability.



Johannesburg (South Africa) will host the 7th Edition of the Africities Summit

The Africities Political Commission met on 18 December 2013 in Brazzaville at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Congo.


The aim of this meeting was to choose the Host City of the Africities Summit to be held from 01 to 05 December 2015.

The Africities Political Commission is composed of the President of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) who is presently from the West African sub-region, and the four Vice -Presidents of each of the other 4 sub-regions of Africa, as well as the UCLG-A Secretary General who is an ex officio member of the Commission.

After deliberation, the Africities Political Commission chose the City of Johannesburg (South Africa), to host the 7th Edition of the Africities Summit from 01 to 05 December 2015.

Furthermore, the Commission decided to adopt as theme of the Summit: “2063 Vision for Africa: Which contributions from the African Local Governments ?”

Please click here to read the Presse release

2nd Annual High Level Dialogue on Governance and Democracy in Africa

The UCLG Africa secretary general attended from 25 to 27 November 2013, the 2nd annual high level dialogue on governance and democracy in Africa which theme was “enhancing constitutional order and rule of law in Africa”.

The dialogue was officially opened by the Head of State of Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Macky Sall, and attended by many eminent personalities from all over Africa, among which the former President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Mr. Pierre Buyoya, the former Prime Minister of the Central Africa Republic, Mr. Dologuele, the Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, Dr. Aisha Abdullahie, and the Chairperson of the African Institute of Governance and Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr. Abdoulie Janneh.

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