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Africa Territorial Agency and Network of Young Local Elected Officials Tools for local governance

From 11-15 November, 2019, Durban, South Africa, hosted the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. 3000 participants took part in this event, organized every 3 years by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

During the five days, UCLG Africa made significant contributions through the organization of and participation in twenty sessions. African local and regional elected officials mobilized by UCLG Africa took part in the debates and shared their experiences on themes relating to local finance, urbanization, gender equality, migration, human capital, cultural policies, mobility, climate, territorial development financing and youth

“Whatever its size, a community has a practice to share. Each territorial community present at the congress should share a good practice, whatever the theme.” Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat, Morocco

See a review of the highlights of the sessions for local Africa. (Part One).
The founding club of the Africa Territorial Agency is on track

Durban marked a major step in the establishment of the Africa Territorial Agency. This UCLG Africa vehicle, which aims to give local authorities access to financial markets, saw the first meeting of members of the Agency’s founding club held on 11 November, 2019. The meeting was chaired by Mr Léandre Nzué, President of UCLG Africa. In his opening speech, Mr. Nzué reiterated the importance of this vehicle, which aims to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to act in solidarity and the necessity that, “information circulate on this now unavoidable tool, but also to dissipate all the shadows in order to enable all the actions necessary for the rapid entry into cooperation of the ATA.”

The founding club of the ATA is composed of the cities that have subscribed to inject 100 thousand euros to be part of this cooperative society. They will be the majority shareholders of the capital of this Agency. To date, 44 cities have already registered.

Faced with the density of financial resources required to successfully manage their municipality, recourse to the financial market is a viable gateway for elected officials. Indeed, it is estimated that around 100 billion dollars of investment per year is needed by African local authorities to improve the living conditions of current populations and future generations. “This is equivalent to nearly 5.5% of the continent’s GDP. Four-fifths of these infrastructures are the responsibility of local authorities,” says François Paul Yatta, Director of Programs at UCLG Africa. By going to the financial market with the ATA, local authorities will be able to enjoy the following advantages:

  • ssue bonds that will interest investors.
  • Reduce interest rates;
  • Reduce transaction costs (If local and regional authorities go into the financial market individually, the interest rate on transactions will be at an almost unbearably high level);
  • Provide a guarantee system that reassures investors through the ATA;
  • Enable small local authorities to have access to the financial market (within the ATA, the most endowed cities will have to join forces with the less fortunate cities. This will allow them to have access to financial market resources);
  • Mobilize money to cover the needs of local authorities.
  • How it works?

    The capital required for the agency is 20 million euros, hence the reason why 100 local authorities are needed, each of which will inject 100 thousand euros, so that they will hold 51.1% of the capital. This will allow local and regional authorities to hold the authorship of this instrument. Loans will be made on the basis of a simple procedure. The African Development Bank is a partner of the ATA with its participation divided into 4 categories: Present in the capital of the agency; Guarantor of the Africa Territorial Agency, which will allow the agency to have easier access to the financial market, but also to have loans at lower cost; the AfDB will be able to subscribe to ATA issues and support the rating program, which is intended to upgrade AAT cities so that they are able to lend and repay.

    Roadmap for the future

    2020: Two meetings planned – One to approve the economic and risk management model and a second meeting to approve the institutional structure and the various rules of the ATA.

    2021: Presentation of the agency to investors and preparation of the first issue;

    2022: Completion of the first issue and start of the first loans to local authorities.

    On the basis of this detailed presentation made by Mr. Yatta, the participants in the meeting gave themselves until the end of 2019 to finalize the choice of the 5 cities that will sit on the provisional supervisory board of the cooperative company of the Africa Territorial Agency. Two cities have already signed up. These are Dakar (Senegal) for the West Africa region and Eldoret (Kenya) for the East Africa region. The other three cities will be selected by the end of 2019 for the Central, North and Southern Africa regions.

    The meeting was attended by: Mr Léandre Nzué, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon), President of UCLG Africa, Mrs Souam Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar (Senegal), Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the West African region, Mr Innocent Uwimana, President of the Rwandan Association of Local Authorities and Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the Eastern Africa region, Mr David André, Mayor of Victoria (Seychelles), Mr. Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo, Mayor of Bangui (Central African Republic), Mr. Vincent N’cho Kouaoh, Deputy Governor of Abidjan District (Côte d’Ivoire), Ms. Fatouma Awaleh Osman, Mayor of Djibouti, Mr. Allan Samu Mmadi, President of Mangochi Municipal Council (Malawi), Mr. Lomoyang Joseph, President of the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), Mr. Julius Kitur, President of Eldoret City Council (Kenya), and representatives of the cities of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the urban commune of Yaoundé (Cameroon), the Burundian Association of Communal Councilors (ABELO), the city of Sfax (Tunisia) and Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

    Establishment of the network of young local elected officials within UCLG Africa

    The voices of young African local elected officials echoed throughout the session dedicated to them with three presentations on the experiences of Zambia, Tunisia and Senegal, on the theme: “Young African local elected officials facing the challenges of territorial governance.”

    Faced with the low representation of young people in local decision-making bodies, Mr Christopher Kangombé, Mayor of Kitwe (Zambia) advocated raising awareness of “Generation Y”. At 34 years old, Mr. Kangombé is now President of the Association of Local Governments of Zambia. In 2006, at the age of 21, he decided to run as a municipal councilor while he was still a student. For Kangombe, the first thing to do for young people who wanted to get involved in local governance was to have a plan. “You can’t win any election if you don’t have people to vote for you. We had put in place a strategy to raise awareness among students one year before the municipal elections to encourage them to vote. We were able to register 5,000 voters and I was able to win the elections as an independent candidate. I was elected because I had a plan.”

    Secondly, he stated that young people needed encouragement to get involved in the decision-making process. This would require targeting schools, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Strong advocacy was needed to ensure that young people were involved in the management of the local authority. “We must ensure that at the level of our respective countries, laws allow young people to run for decision-making positions and advocate for the integration of quotas for young people. In Zambia, we have only 5 mayors under the age of 35 years old“.

    Mrs. Ibticem Atitallah (34), Deputy Mayor of Sfax, recalled that the revolution of 14 January, 2011 in Tunisia was initiated by and made successful by the involvement of young people. This was marked by a massive adherence of young people to political parties. Tunisia has had publications in place since 2017 that encourage young people to apply for local governance. The minimum age for municipal and regional elections has been set at 18 years old and the list of each party must include a young person among its first 3 candidates. The municipality of Sfax has 16 young people out of 42 municipal councilors. At present, 47% of young people are represented in municipal councils in Tunisia.

    Mrs. Thérèse Faye Diouf, mayor of the commune of Diaréré (Senegal) is the first woman to lead this territorial community. In office since 2014, she believes that the involvement of youth in local governance requires the creation of a space for youth expression. “In Senegal, there must be a strong representation of young people in decision-making bodies because young people represent 67.77% of the Senegalese population. Youth councils in localities, youth clubs at school and at university level should be promoted. These are platforms that prepare young people to be leaders,” she explained. At the moment, Senegal has more than thirty mayors less than 40 years of age.

    Panelists and young elected mayors present at the session welcomed the decision of UCLG Africa’s Executive Committee to set up a network of young local elected officials within UCLG Africa as a community of practice for young elected officials on territorial governance. A preparatory committee for the general assembly of young mayors and local elected officials of Africa bureau composed of one representative per region has been appointed. The network’s first general assembly is scheduled for the next Africities Summit in 2021 in Kisumu, Kenya. The committee is composed of: Mr Christopher Kangombé (Kitwe), President for the East Africa region, Mrs Ibticem Atitallah (Sfax), President for the North Africa region and Mrs Thérèse Faye Diouf, President for the West Africa region. The Southern and Central Africa regions will be contacted by the UCLG Africa Secretariat to appoint their representatives on the committee. The session was moderated by Mr. Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo, Mayor of the city of Bangui (Central African Republic) in the presence of Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

    Part Two here

    Rooting Climate Action at the Local Level

    25th September, Bilateral Meetings, UCLG Africa – New York.

    United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) played host to several bilateral meetings as part of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, starting with a High Level Side Event that paved the way for several meetings with African ministers throughout the week.
    After the signing of an MoU between UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force and The West African Development Bank, the Vice President of UCLG Africa for the North Africa Region, Dr Mohamed Boudra, stated in his introductory remarks that, “the fight against climate change will be lost or won in cities and territories.” This was echoed by many of the cities and regional governments, partners and networks throughout the week.
    The MOU sets out the main objectives of each partner which includes

    For UCLG Africa
    – Promoting decentralization where sub national and local governments are legally recognised with financial autonomy
    – Enhancing the capacity of local government so that they are able to provide better and more resilient services to the population, that drives climate action from the grassroots up
    and for the West African Development Bank
    – To contribute to the economic development by financing priority projects for rural development, the environment and basic infrastructure that complements the objectives of climate action and reducing global temperature rises.

    UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force is part of a wider family, known as the Global Task Force, that showcases the ways in which local governments are leading from the bottom-up. It is these members, made up of local and regional governments, that have been able to create the only UN non-state stakeholder mechanism to develop and coordinate inputs into policy.
    The High Level Meeting heard commitments from the West African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank to fund bankable projects from local governments. Anthony Okon Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth from the African Development Bank, stated, “we will address challenges and make sure local governments and sub-national entities have access to climate finance.”

    The UN Climate Action Summit had expectations of more concrete promises from countries around the world. Africa needs to take bold and ambitious steps to implement climate action. It is these actions which need to be localised and which can only be realised with access to climate finance.
    The signing of the MOU marks the beginning of the process to support sub national and local governments engage in the vertical integration of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs). This will be followed by the development of bankable African solutions that seriously address our climate challenges and can impact on the targets set out by climate experts in a concrete and tangible way.

    One of the innovations includes a contractual process between the national government and local and regional governments for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This represents a significant step forward in monitoring the implementation of the NDCs compared to the simple “shame and blame” procedure adopted in the Paris Agreement in the event of non-compliance by any state party with the commitments it has undertaken, as pointed out by the UCLG Africa Secretary General. It has now been largely accepted that better involvement of local and regional governments in climate action is essential to win this race and in this respect, it has been proposed that this revision start with the (LDCs). Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa states that, “This bottom-up approach is likely to promote greater ownership and harmonization of the climate agenda at all levels of governance.”

    Meeting with countries from across Africa will continue throughout the year and UCLG Africa will advocate for starting the revision of NDCs with the elaboration of LDCs. The next steps for UCLG Africa and partners include the Conference of the Covenant of Mayors for Sub Saharan Africa CoM SSA, featuring at the Climate Chance Summit – Africa 2019, in Accra, Ghana from the 16th – 18th October. This will showcase the work being done with cities and local and regional governments as key stakeholders in climate action. The Summit in Accra will look at the foundations of a bottom up approach that has been built to fight against climate change and will also look at lessons learned from the CoM SSA pilot, we will also address the role of non-state actors within the climate ecosystem and the importance of national associations of local and regional governments as implementing partners for all climate finance mechanisms and institutions including the GEF, the Adaptation Facility and the Green Climate Fund.

    For more information:

    Contact: Em Ekong – +44 7801 701 675/+233 509 333 000,
    Email: eekong@uclga.org
    Visit www.uclga.org

    Call for Consultation Drafting of the Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa (Deadline: September 30, 2019 )


    An online consultation will take place with the purpose of facilitating greater participation in the drafting of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa.” This will contribute towards the implementation of the “Marrakech Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality,” established by REFELA-CGLU Africa with CCRE-Platforma-Section Europe and the World Organization, UCLG, at the 8th edition of the Marrakech Africities Summit (20-24 November, 2018).

    The consultation is aimed at local governments in Africa, UCLG Africa and REFELA bodies and national associations of local authorities in Africa. It will also target civil society organizations, including women’s rights associations, national organizations in Africa and Europe and those interested in promoting gender equality in Africa and who wish to be involved, through their ideas and proposals, in the drafting of the charter.

    It will require completion of a short questionnaire (8 closed questions with explanations) and aims to gather information, opinions, guidelines and advice, which will be taken into consideration in order to produce a draft of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa” through a participatory process.

    Calling all women mayors, local elected officials, representatives of civil society and national and international organizations to complete the questionnaire here

    (Please add a cross to indicate your answers and give reasons for your response)

    Please send the questionnaire to the following address: KDrissa@uclga.org / mghefrane@uclga.org or possibility of sending by fax to the following number +212 537 260 060

    Possibility to answer online at the following links:

    The first steps in the drafting of the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa”

    On Thursday 4 July 2019, the first meeting of the Europe-Africa committee to draft the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa” was held at the Paris City Hall (France).

    This 1st meeting is part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” adopted in November 2018 by women mayors and local elected representatives, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, and signed by the Network of Women Elected and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)-Platforma and the World Organization of Local and Regional Governments (UCLG).

    The meeting was opened in the presence of Mr. Pierre Aidenbaum,the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Mr. Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, Mrs Dao Macoura Coulibaly, President of REFELA, Mrs Henriette Essame, Vice-President of REFELA for the Central African region, Mrs Irma Juliandres Harilalaina, Vice-President of REFELA for the East African region.

    The meeting’s agenda included:

    -The presentation of the draft charter development process using a participatory approach,

    -Presentation of the questionnaire for the online consultation,

    – The presentation of the European Charter;

    – A discussion on the draft approach and key questions;

    – Adoption of the calendar of upcoming activities;

    A brief presentation of the UCLG World Congress scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

    In her speech, Mrs Macoura Dao, President of REFELA, expressed particular interest in seeing the charter adopted at the Durban Congress. “The next important event is the UCLG World Congress in November 2019. We would like to see this Charter finalized by the time this congress is held so that it can be discussed and adopted on this occasion,” she said.

    The meeting, moderated by Mr Emil Broberg, President of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and member of the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities, was marked by very relevant exchanges and the sharing of information and proposals that enriched the drafting process of the charter.

    The name of the committee has changed to: The Africa-Europe Committee for Consultation and Support to the Charter, has set itself the task of monitoring and supporting the drafting of the Charter; stressing that the Charter must be an African product. The speakers insisted on the fact that the consultation of mayors and elected women and men of African cities and communities should be broadened for their participation in this drafting process and to guarantee, from this stage, better information and communication on the Charter and thus enable it to be better anchored once it has been drafted and adopted.

    One of the main recommendations is to take the time necessary for the drafting of the first drafts of this charter by the internal working group of REFELA UCLG Africa and to submit it to committee meetings, or even workshops and events such as the 6th UCLG World Congress for consultation for their enrichment; the important thing is to produce a final version of this charter in line with the expectations of local governments in Africa.

    The drafting committee also approved the draft approach for the elaboration of the “Charter of Local Authorities for Gender Equality in Africa”, the online consultation platform and the Committee’s calendar of upcoming activities for the period 2019-2021.

    The main steps include:

    – The organization of a session during the UCLG World Congress in Durban (11-15 November 2019) by UCLG Africa, in collaboration with CEMR and with the support of UCLG, to present the Pact and the drafting plan of the Charter, and to encourage the emergence of a debate at international level, in particular by convening the participation of other regional sections of UCLG;

    – The preparation, organization and implementation by CEMR and UCLG Africa, with the support of UCLG, of the second working meeting of the Drafting Committee and a session during the Europe-Africa Forum to present the Pact and the draft charter for approval (during 2020);

    – The finalization of the charter and the production of a strategic plan for information, dissemination and advocacy for the adhesion and signature of the charter;

    – The preparation, organization and implementation by UCLG Africa and CEMR, with the support of UCLG, of a presentation, information, dissemination and advocacy session on the Pact, aimed at encouraging adherence to the Charter and launching the process of signing the Charter during the 9th Africities Summit of UCLG Africa in Kenya, (16-20 November 2021).

    As a reminder, the elaboration of the charter aims to meet the commitments made by local elected officials at the level of the African continent and at the international level. With regard to : The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2008), the principles and aspiration 6 of the African Union’s Vision 2063, 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG5: achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls by 2030; The commitments made by REFELA-UCLG Africa and CEMR with the support of UCLG, to translate the Declaration of the Abidjan Europe-Africa Forum (2017) into action, mainly on gender equality at local level in Africa. One of the conclusions of the Forum was to work to strengthen the role of women in the governance of local and regional authorities in Africa, and to develop an African Local and Regional Authorities Charter for Gender Equality.

    “PLATFORMA, a project co-financed by the European Union, is the pan-European coalition of towns and regions – and the associations representing them – active in development cooperation”

    For further information, please contact:

    Gaëlle Yomi : Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45


    International Women’s Day Medal Awarded to Mrs Souad Bendimya from the Membership Department of UCLG Africa’s General Secretariat

    On the celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, UCLG Africa has instituted an award, the International Women’s Day Medal. The award will be annually bestowed to a colleague in the General Secretariat or Regional Offices, chosen by her peers, for making a remarkable contribution to the promotion of gender equality and actions in favor of women’s leadership within local and subnational governments in Africa, as well as for the development and strengthening of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) in support of its initiatives and campaigns.

    The recipient for 2019 is Mrs. Souad Bendimya, who was awarded this year’s Medal for International Women’s Day.   Mrs. Souad Bendimya works in the Membership Department at the General Secretariat of UCLG Africa in Rabat. Fondly known as “Hajja” by her colleagues, she is one of the most senior staff members, having worked for the Union of African Cities (UVA), which was one of the founding organizations of UCLG Africa.

    This Medal is in recognition of the dedication of Mrs. Souad Bendimya to REFELA who has provided an interface between the UCLG Africa secretariat and the network’s leaders, both at the Pan-African level and at the national level. Mrs. Bendimya was also responsible for the creation of a position dedicated to REFELA within the General Secretariat and given her longevity in the organization she is also a source of knowledge and memories of all the changes in the life of the network.

    The medal-awarding ceremony in the honor of Mrs. Bendimya took place in the presence of the entire secretariat staff on March 8, 2019 at the UCLG Africa headquarters in Rabat.


    The first forum for local government officials and managers of training institutions who offer training for  African local governments took place at the Campus of the International University of Rabat (UIR), located at the Technopolis of Salé (Morocco), September 18-20, 2017.  The forum was dedicated to the  theme, “Human Resources in African Local Governments: The Time to Act … is Now!” and was sponsored by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa) and its African Local Government Academy (ALGA).

    The forum was attended by more than 400 participants from 58 countries, of which 46 were from countries in Africa, including Ministers, Presidents of Associations of Local Governments, Presidents and Directors of Training Institutes, local government senior staff, experts in local governance and members from civil societies and the general public.

    Proceedings were opened by His Excellency Mr. Noureddine BOUTAYEB, Minister-Delegate to the Minister of Home Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco at the opening ceremony which was attended by: His Excellency Mohamed BENABDELKADER, Minister Delegate to  the Head of Government, in charge of Administration and Civil Service Reform, Morocco; Her Excellency Ms. Jeanne d’Arc KAGAYO UMURUNDI, Minister of Municipal Development of Burundi; Her Excellency Ms. Hajia ALIMA MAHAMA, Minister of Decentralization and Rural Development of Ghana; Mr. Ahmed Ould BAH, Director of External Relations of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); Mr. Cheikh Ould Ahmed Ould BAYA, President of the Association of Mayors of Mauritania, Vice-President of UCLG-Africa for the Region of Northern Africa; Mr. Mohand LAENSER, President of the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM); and Mr. Mohamed BOUDRA, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC).

    The three day forum addressed the following issues with extensive discussion around:

    – The place of human capital in the new geopolitical context of decentralization in Africa;

    – Networking of local government senior staff and peer learning;

    – Promotion of the quality of education, training and capacity building targeting local government administration;

    Attendees included the following partners: the Department of Public Administration and Development Management; the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; the Bahrain Institute of Public Administration (BIPA); Cities Alliance; the National Center of Local Government Civil Service (CNFPT); the Seoul Human Resources Development Center (SHRDC); the Metropolis International Training Institute (MITI); the International City Management Association (ICMA) of USA; European Federation of Local Government Chief Executive Officers (UDITE); AAPAM Africa; the French Union of Directors General of Local Governments (SNDGCT); the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF); and the African Training and Research Center in Administration for Development (CAFRAD).

    Proceedings ended with the adoption of a declaration from Salé which highlighted the challenges being faced in human resources for local governments, the urgency for training and the need to find sustainable solutions that would address the problem of funding for training and capacity building of elected officials and senior staff in African local governments.

    The African Local Government Academy (ALGA) of UCLG-Africa was proposed as a center of excellence for the modernization and professionalization of management for local governments on the continent.

    Participants expressed their interest that the forum of Salé be scheduled as an annual event at the International University of Rabat (UIR) under the aegis of UCLG-Africa and ALGA.

    For further information, please contact:

    Gaëlle Yomi: +212 610 56 71 45 / Mail : gyomi@uclga.org

    Salé Declaration. 

    Ndjamena: A Woman at the Head of the New Municipal Executive Team

    At the end of the extraordinary session of the City Council of the Municipality of the City of N’Djamena, Chad, the Government Delegate to the N’Djamena City Council officially installed, on November 7th, 2016, the new municipal executive team chaired by a woman, Mrs. Djimet Ibet/Mariam Mahamat Maïtha.

    The new team that Mrs. Djimet Ibet/Mariam Mahamat Maïtha chairs as Mayor is composed by Atidjani Abderamane Nourene, 1st Deputy Mayor, Saleh Kochi zougoulou, 2nd Deputy Mayor, and Mrs. Djondang Keb-Keyne Denise, 3rd Deputy Mayor.

    Mrs. Djimet Ibet Mariam who, so far, was an adviser to the President of the Republic, made a commitment “to help, with the contribution of each of her fellow countrywomen and countrymen, in the success of the legitimate ambitions of the Head of State to make Ndjamena a beautiful city”.

    For his part, the Government Delegate to the N’Djamena City Council, Mr. Dago Yacoub, insisted that the choice of Mrs. Djimet Ibet/Mariam Mahamat Maïtha and Mrs. Djondang Keb-Keyne Denise by the city council is “a challenge for them and for all the women of the country to show their capacity to lead and to manage well.”

    The city of Ndjamena has a population of approximately 2 million people and besides its status of the capital city of Chad, it has a particular status, which confers it the rank of full region with a governor, and ten districts headed each by a mayor.

    Source: Municipality of the City of N’Djamena

    More information here. (In French)