Celebration of the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development 2020: the contribution of local authorities to conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent

On 10 August 2020, UCLG Africa is organizing a webinar for the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development (ADD). The meeting will be held online from 2:00pm to 4:30pm on the theme selected by the African Union for the 2020 edition, “The contribution of local authorities to conflict prevention and peacekeeping on the continent.”

This theme is inspired by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the decision of the continent’s heads of state who proclaimed 2020 as the year, “Silencing the guns: creating the conditions for Africa’s development”.

UCLG Africa welcomes this theme, which is all the more justified as conflicts and wars primarily affect populations and communities at the local level. When violent conflicts occur, victims often find their first aid comes from the local population or authorities. It is often the local authorities that are faced with receiving displaced people or migrants due to situations of open conflict or war. Local and regional authorities are therefore in the front line both in conflict prevention and in dealing with post-conflict situations.

As the umbrella organization of local and regional governments of the continent, UCLG Africa will contribute to this webinar by exploring two sub-themes selected by the African Union:

Sub-theme 1: “The participation of Africa’s local and regional authorities in the African Union’s conflict early warning system.

Sub-theme 2: “The contribution of local and regional authorities in Africa for the reconstruction of peace and harmony between communities in post-conflict situations.”

The first panel will address the crucial involvement of territorial authorities in the African Union’s early warning system on conflicts. Participants will reflect on how to improve the system via the contribution of local and regional authorities, in particular:

  • how to articulate the different levels of public governance and apply the principle of subsidiarity in the prevention and management of conflicts and in the treatment of post-conflict situations;
  • The role local authorities should play.

The second panel will draw on the many post-conflict situations encountered on the continent and discuss the role that local authorities play or could play when returning to peace. Participants will develop proposals by answering the following questions:

  • How can we ensure that all the actors involved are indeed stakeholders in the peace talks?
  • What mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the return to peace is a shared responsibility?
  • What specific role should women and youth play in building peace and harmony between groups and communities?
  • What initiatives should be taken at the local authority level so that the return of tensions can be avoided?

Proceedings will be chaired by Mr. Léandre Nzué, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon) and President of UCLG Africa in the presence of presidents of national associations of local and regional governments, representatives of the African Union, representatives of international organizations and academics, amongst others.

It should be noted that the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development was decreed by the African Union in 2012 at its first celebration.

Since 2014, African heads of state and government have adopted the African charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development. This charter recognizes local and regional authorities as privileged partners of national governments in the promotion of the well-being of their populations.

The media are invited to attend the webinar (registration by return email) or by following the live webcast on UCLG Africa’s Facebook page, Monday 10 August 2020 from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.

For further information, please contact:

Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45

 E-mail: gyomi@uclga.org