The regional strategic meeting of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) (www.UCLGa.org) for Central Africa was held at Le Méridien Re-Ndama Hotel in Libreville (Gabon) from 16 to 17 April 2018.  The meeting was organized in cooperation with the city of Libreville. Six of the eight countries in the Central African region participated: Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Chad. The delegates were the presidents of the National Covenants of Local Government, the Leaders of the Local Women Network elected in Africa (REFELA) and the permanent secretaries of the National Covenants.
The official opening of the meeting was made by Mrs Judith Koumba Pemba Mombo, Secretary-General of the Interior Ministry, Security, Decentralization and Local Development, in the presence of: Diderot Moutsinga Kebila, Governor of Estuary Province, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, Mayor of Libreville, UCLG Vice President of Africa, Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo), Vice President of UCLG Africa for the Central African Region, Célestine Ketcha Courtès, President of REFELA, Mohamed Yassine Daoudi, Vice President of the Morocco Association of Presidents of Communal Councils (AMPCC) and Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.
The work was led by Christian Roger Okemba, Mayor of Brazzaville (Congo), Vice President of UCLG Africa for Central Africa and moderated by Mr Je Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa
The first day was the exchange of information about decentralization state in the countries of Central Africa, the role of local authorities in implementing the African Union Agenda 2063 and the international agendas adopted by the UN in 201
Participants in the Central African region face several similar realities in the implementation of the decentralization process in their country. If the texts of decentralization exist, their implementation is slow to materialize. According to the UCLG Africa report on "the institutional environment for local and regional authorities in Africa" (https://goo.gl/Dx41E6), Central Africa is the lowest ranked country in terms of a climate favorable to local communities  The members of UCLG Africa in the region were invited to contribute to the update of their country registers in this report and to also request ratification of their country in the African Charter of Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Government and Local Development. Since then adopted in Malabo 2014, the Charter has been signed by 13 countries and ratified by only three countries (Madagascar, Burundi and Namibia), including none of Central Africa. The Charter will become a legal instrument for the African Union when it is signed and ratified by 15 countries and deposited with the African Union Commission. At this point, a delegation of the Ministry of the Interior in Gabon was given a commitment to address the matter in order to ensure ratification of the Charter in the country in June-July 2018.
Associations National Delegations were also invited to write memoranda about the decentralization state in their country and to mark their celebration of African Decentralization Day, a day decorated to celebrate August 10 every year by the African Union.
The participants looked long for their commitment to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. They were invited to invent their own urbanization. Only 12 countries on the African continent have a national urbanization policy. They were sensitized to making partnerships between cities and universities to gain knowledge of quality adapted to the reality of each African city (Bidonvilles, garbage, etc.).
As for the SDGs, they filled out the questionnaire of the UCLG global organization, about the SDG's location and the 2030 agenda. The results of this questionnaire will present the right of local Africa in the report that UCLG will produce for the UN Regional Commissions and the Highest Political Forum. UN level (HLPF) in July 2018.
During the second day, UCLG focused Africa's relations with the European Union. In 2013, the EU adopted a communication that for the first time recognizes local authorities as public authorities. Following this recognition, the European Union has entered into a framework agreement with international and continental associations of local governments, including UCLG Africa. Participants were also informed that national associations in accordance with the provisions of the EU Local Government Notice 2013 may be considered monopolies in their respective countries and as such may access EU co-operation funds assigned to local authorities without having to submit a call for proposals, provided that they present and discuss with the EU Delegation an implementation program approved by the members of the said National Association. Participants were also informed of the opening of negotiations on the Cotonou Agreement, which will govern the African Union-EU cooperation relationship over the next 20 years. UCLG members from Central Africa have been invited to advocate with their national governments that local and regional authorities should participate as important partners in the various phases of the agreement. It was also recommended that a delegation of political decision-makers from UCLG Africa meet with the President of the African Union Commission to request the territorial authorities to participate with the African Union Commission from the beginning of the negotiations on the African Union. post-Cotonou. In addition, UCLG African members from the Central African region were invited to meet with EU delegations in their respective countries to discuss the implementation of the provisions of the 2013 Communication. One of the problems that has been raised is the weakness of national associations' ability to assemble documents that are eligible for European funding. The members asked the secretariat to consider setting up a technical support unit for associations to prepare funding requests. This device must also be able to be used at regional level.
Participants then discussed the establishment of an index of local authorities' transparency and integrity. This concern is increasingly taken into consideration by citizens as well as with states or economies. It is therefore necessary to predict the demand for transparency, for which the territorial authorities are increasingly challenged. Participants then discussed Internet-based communication strategies and the secretariat's offer to help members to set up their websites.
The members were informed of the launch of the three most important campaigns at the core of the 2018-2020 three-year action plan of the African Local Women's Choice Network (REFELA). This is the African Cities Without Street Children campaign, the African Cities Tolerance to Violence Against Women campaign, and the "African Cities Promoting Women's Leadership and Economic Empowerment" campaign. Local governments in Central Africa have joined the African street childless street campaign, which will be officially launched at the Africa Summit 8 in Marrakech, Morocco, 20-24 November 2018.
Members are invited to participate in a large number of numbers at the top. They were also told that they must attend the UCLG Africa General Assembly and that of the Network of Local Women Elected in Africa (REFELA) to be held at the Marrakech Summit. Members are also reminded of the rules and procedures for the Electoral General Assembly held November 23 at the Africa Summit.
The official launch of the 8th edition of the African Summit will take place in Rabat, Morocco, 15th of May 2018. The theme of this issue is: "The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and regional authorities in Africa. The African Political Summit will also be the setting for the elected General Assembly of UCLG Africa on November 23, 2018. In order to send candidatures from the Central African region to the various bodies of the organization, a causus was convened that convened the presidents of the various national federations on April 17 and culminated with the nominations included in the final declaration of the regional meeting (https://goo.gl/NnY36t).
The regional strategic meeting in Libreville follows what was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 09 to April 10, 2018 for the African region East. It will be followed by the strategic meeting in southern Africa in Walvis Bay, Namibia, from 7 to May 8, 2018; West Africa's strategic meeting in Accra, Ghana, 28-29 May, 2018; and the North African strategic meeting in Rabat, Morocco, June 18-19, 2018.
Distributed by the APO Group for the United Cities and Local Government in Africa (UCLG Africa).
For further information please contact:
Gaëlle Yomi: Tel: + 212 610 56 71 45
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