May 28, 2024
Conclusions of the 29th session of United Cities and UCLG Africa Executive Committee in Kisumu
– By Godswill Odiong

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The 29th ordinary session of the Executive Committee of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) (http://www.UCLGA.org) took place on June 3rd 2023, at Ciala Resorts in Kisumu (Kenya).

The proceedings were led by Mrs. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of the Region of Nouakchott (Mauritania) and President of UCLG Africa, in the presence of 12 of the 18 members of the Executive Committee. In her introductive speech, she expressed her joy « to return to Kisumu, the city that hosted the last Africites Summit during which the current members of the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa were elected. We can never thank enough the Governor of Kisumu County, The Council of Governors of Kenya and the Government of Kenya, for the quality of the welcome we received at the Africities Summit and for the resounding success of this 9th edition of the Summit with over 13,000 delegates, a participation record broken, even though the Summit was being held in an intermediate city for the very first time. Once again, thank you and bravo! ».

Governor of Kisumu, Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyongo’o, welcomed participants and particularly, the Deputy Governor of Cairo : « This meeting brings back nostalgic feelings when the family of decentralized governments gathered here last year for the Africities conference. It is indeed a privilege and honor for this honorable Committee to have chosen Kisumu for this 29th Session. Let me take this opportunity to recognize in a special way, the Deputy Governor of Cairo Governorate who are the flag bearers for the next Africities to be held in 2025 ».

Members received from the Deputy Governor Of Cairo, Mr. Ibrahim Saber Khalil, the assurance that Africities 2025 in Cairo will follow in the footsteps of Kisumu.

The 29th session of the Executive Committee was mainly devoted to the approval of the 2022 financial accounts of the organization and review the implementation of the 2023 UCLG Africa action plan in consistency with the 2021-2030 development strategy of UCLG Africa, also known as the Governance, Advocacy Program for Decentralized Development in Africa (GADDEPA 2.0).

The Executive Committee adopted the 2022 financial report and audit accounts of the organization, and gave discharge to the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, for the management of the financial year 2023.

On the Climate Agenda, the Executive Committee acknowledged with satisfaction that UCLG Africa has succeeded to put subnational and local governments on the map as far as climate action is concerned. In fact, UCLG Africa is from now on the representative of subnational and local governments on the implementation platform of the Africa Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) and delivery partner of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Also UCLG Africa has partnered with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) to launch the “African Green Climate Finance National Designated Authorities Network” (AfDAN). For the first time also, at the Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal, UCLG Africa has succeeded in carrying the voice of African subnational and local governments in the debates on the implementation process of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, integrating the Nagoya protocol on access and sharing of genetic resources.

Concerning the Agenda of Culture, UCLG Africa led a series of events in the framework of the celebration of Rabat, African Capital of Culture, organized under the High Patronage of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI. The activities of the celebration were implemented within the framework of a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication of Morocco, the City of Rabat, and UCLG Africa. Among more than hundred activities, three very relevant were mentioned: In partnership with the Movement of Creative Africas (MOCA), a major festival gathered over 40 representatives of networks of professionals of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) to reflect on the present and future of CCIs; a Forum of Mayors and Leaders of Local governments on Culture that brought together over 100 delegates, and during which the City of Lagos, Nigeria, applied to be the second African Capital of Culture. The deadline for African cities to submit their candidacy is on June 30th, 2023, and the designation of the African Capital of Culture by the competent UCLG Africa bodies will take place at the end of July 2023; the Meeting of African Ministers of Culture that gathered 30 ministerial delegations, and promised to share the resolutions adopted to the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Culture during its meeting which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24-26 May 2023. Delegates that participated in these different events praised the instrumental and facilitating role played by UCLG Africa in the organization of the celebration of Rabat, African Capital of Culture, and for its effort to have culture recognized as the fourth pillar of sustainable development beside the economic, social and environmental pillars.

The Executive Committee also acknowledge progress made in the implementation of the Africa Territorial Trade and Investment Agency (ATIA), the vehicle set up to facilitate access of subnational and local governments to the capital market.

The Executive Committee further approved the organization of annual or biennal exhibitions and conferences on the mandates of subnational and local governments and their proposed venues as following: (1) in the City of Tangiers, Morocco, for the Exhibition and Conference on the management of mobility, urban transport and logistics in African cities (TRANSLOG), the first edition to take place in October 2023; (2) in the City of Kisumu, Kenya, for the Exhibition and Conference on the management of Basic Education in African cities, in January 2024; (3) the City of Cairo, Egypt, for the Exhibition and Conference on Waste management in African cities, in February 2024; (3) again in the City of Cairo, Egypt, for the Exhibition and Conference on the management of Water and Sanitation services, in May 2024.

A presentation of the partnership between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and UCLG Africa, was made. The goal of this MoU is to improve the level of investments at the sub-sovereign level of governance. The Executive Committee appreciated this initiative and indicated that the Africa Territorial Trade and Investment Agency (ATIA) form integral part of the activities to be implemented under the MoU between Afreximbank and UCLG Africa.

This 29th session of UCLG Africa Executive Committee registered the participation for the first time of the network of the Young Elected Local Officials of Africa (YELO), whose Constitutive Assembly was held in Tangier On October 31, 2022.

As a reminder, the Executive Committee of UCLG Africa is the body in charge of the political leadership of the organization. The Executive Committee is composed of 18 members, 15 members elected by the General Assembly of UCLG Africa (3 for each of the 5 regions of Africa), and 3 members ex-officio, namely, the President of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) which is the UCLG Africa Standing Committee for Gender Equality; the President of the Forum of the Regions of Africa (FORAF); and the President of the network of the Young Elected Local Officials of Africa (YELO).

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