RABAT, Morocco, September 12, 2017/ -- In partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Association of Regions of Morocco (ARM), the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC), the International University of Rabat (UIR); and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) (www.AfriqueLocale.org) is organizing within the framework of its African Local Governments Academy (ALGA), the first Forum of Territorial Managers and Training Institutes dedicated to the capacity building of Local Governments in Africa. This event coincides with the celebration of the 2017 World Public Service Day, held every year on 23 June.
The Forum will be organized from 18 to 21 September 2017 at UIR. Its theme is "Human resources of African Local Governments: The time to act ... is now!"
The Forum which enjoys the support and partnership of several African and International Partners, including the Commission of the European Union, will take place at the Campus of the International University of Rabat, within the Technopolis of Salé, starting on 18 September 2017, from 8:30 am.
Africa is urbanizing at a rapid pace. Experts have estimated that in the next 15 years the continent will have 1.2 billion city-dwellers, the equivalent of the current population of Africa, 3 times the one of United States, and 4 times the one of the European Union. It is a major upheaval of the continent's population, which entails both opportunities and risks. If well-managed, urbanization can be a powerful lever for sustainable development. If poorly managed, it will precipitate the majority of people into the poverty trap which will be extremely difficult for the countries to come out from.
To take advantage of the opportunities offered by the dynamics of urbanization and minimize its negative impacts, the experts have predicted that Africa has a window of opportunity for environmental action for about ten years, beyond which the capacity to control urbanization would become erratic. In any case, it is this sense of urgency which inspired the adoption by the United Nations in New York in September 2015, of Sustainable Development Goal 11 within the framework of Agenda 2030, as well as the New Urban Agenda in Quito, Ecuador, at the end of the Habitat III Conference in October 2016 and finally the Climate Change Agenda.
The time to act is now, with an urgency to work towards the training, capacity building and professionalism of the leaders and staff of the territorial administrations who are on the front line in the management of urbanization in Africa. The poor qualification levels of human resources for the cities and territories of Africa does not create conducive conditions for them to be able to effectively plan and manage urban development. Most of the cities of the Continent, notably the secondary cities and the small towns, do not benefit sufficiently from their potential for growth and development, largely due to the inadequate capacity of their local governments. Whereas, these cities account for, today, 2/3 of the urban population, and some of them will be emerging as metropolitan cities in the near future. If they are left in their present state, these administrations will not be able to meet the increasing expectations of the people in terms of job creation and access to services, which further risks increasing the lack of confidence between the people and the public authorities, indeed even develop a feeling of distrust vis-à-vis the authority, a situation that could turn out to be uncontrollable.
The Forum offers the opportunity to ascertain the extent of the challenge, and brings together the first concerned, namely the officials and managers of local governments and the officials of the training institutions who currently offer courses for the benefit of local governments. The event will also be used to address issues related to the prospects of decentralization in the African context, the funding of training dedicated to local governments, and the development of networking among the managers of territorial administrations in African countries, including the integration of these African networks into the international networks of professionals of local administrations.
The Forum will bring together at least 300 participants from 43 African countries, including Ministers of Decentralization and Local Governance, Presidents of National Associations of Local Governments, Mayors, Local Elected Officials / Managers of Local Governments, Presidents and Directors of Training Institutions, Heads of professional networks of local administrations as well as experts in Local Governance.
The opening ceremony of the Forum will be presided over officially by His Excellency Abdelouafi LAFTIT, Minister of Home Security of the Kingdom of Morocco, in the presence of:
- His Excellency Mr. Mohamed BEN ABDELKADER, Minister Delegate to the Head of Government, in charge of the Reform of Administration and Civil Service, Morocco;
- His Excellency Mr. DASSIGLI Zinsou Barnabe, Minister of Decentralization and Local Governance of Benin, Current Chairman of the Specialized Technical Committee (STS) No. 8 on Public Service, Urban Development and Human Settlements, Decentralization and Local Government of the Commission of the African Union;
- The Representative of His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Othman ALTWAIJRI, Director General 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);
- Mr. Mohamed BOUDRA, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC).
For further information on the event, please see the aide-memoire available here(http://APO.af/ZE2aC4).
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).