United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), the umbrella organization for Africa’s local governments, has announced plans to boost economic, social and environmental development across the continent’s various cities.
UCLG recently marked the inauguration of its new North Africa Regional Office where it held its first statutory meeting and 20th session of its Executive Committee.
The affair was held at the invitation of the Ministry of Local Development of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in Cairo.
Within the framework of the meeting, an international conference was also organized under the High Patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, with the theme, ‘African Cities: Engines of Sustainable Development’ in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Development of Egypt, UN Habitat, and the European Union.
This Conference was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Egypt, Dr. Mostafa Madbouli, and was attended by a large number of Ministers from the Government of Egypt including members of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union (STC 8), comprising African Ministers of Public Service, Urban Development and Housing, Decentralization and Local Governments; members of the Executive Committee of UCLG.
Discussions during the conference highlighted the challenges and opportunities faced by African cities, ways to increase their efficiency, and how to optimize resources for the achievement of sustainable development in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental.
“I would like to emphasize that we intend to turn this into an annual conference hosted by Cairo in order to follow up on recommendations to encourage pan-African dialogue that enhances the integration and cooperation amongst African countries in achieving comprehensive local development that meets the aspirations of its communities,” said Major General Mahmoud Shaarawi, Egypt’s Minister of Local Development, In his closing remarks.
Strategic priorities for the organization in 2019 were also discussed including arrangements for an event titled Africities 2021 to be hosted by Kisumu County in Kenya; as well as the establishment of the Africa Territorial Agency, a financial institution designed to raise funds on the financial markets to direct them towards investments within African cities and territories
Following the meeting key leaders, representing clergy, local governments, cities, business, diplomats and other community stakeholders will come together this November to reconnect and explore investment opportunities.
In line with these commitments, UCLG Africa will work closely with them to connect them to cities and local government leaders in Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria.