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The 8th Africities Summit to create a vision for the Africa we hope for


Posted: 20November 2018


The 8th Africities Summit kick-started in Marrakech, Morocco today, 20 - 24 November 2018. Under the theme: “The transition from sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and subnational governments of Africa,” the Summit is organised by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) who owns the concept in cooperation and collaboration with the host city.

Held under two major objectives:

  • Defining appropriate shared strategies in order to improve the living conditions of people at the local level; and
  • Contribute to the integration, peace and unity of Africa starting from the grassroots.

The 8th Africities Summit will explore the future of African cities and territories, and that of the local and regional governments responsible for administering and managing them.

The summit takes place at a time when South Africa celebrates 20 years since the development of the white paper on local government that formed the bedrock of a democratic and developmental local government in South Africa. Numerous institutional, policy and implementation reforms have continued to be developed over this period and have been well documented. The ongoing reform agenda will among others need to consider how to support urban development in a manner that enables cities and towns to contribute positively to the National Development Plan.

The 8th Africities Summit also comes at a time when the urban population in the country has passed the 50% mark and the urbanisation rate continues at a rapid pace. This has informed the adoption of an Integrated Urban Development Framework, which itself seeks to facilitate the better management of urbanisation. It is anticipated that through this, South Africa and its towns and cities will contribute positively to the African Agenda 2063, hence SALGA leads the South African contribution to this 2018 summit and beyond.

The opening ceremony had SALGA and UCLG president Cllr Parks Tau discuss the ‘Urban and Territorial Planning for improved Socio-Economic Outcomes,’ who stated that “local and global goals are intrinsically linked and the destiny of the African continent will be the destiny of the world.”

Highlighting the municipal investments funds, Cllr Tau said that “we need to address the renewal of the financial system that is instrumental to enhancing the capacity of local governments to continue our quest for strong and accountable institutions that stand as inclusive pillars of local democracy.”

Migration, largely from under-resourced regions and territories, is not a conversation we can shy away from, and it is also not an issue that can be solved by the national governments alone. Therefore, the UCLG is committed to voicing the vision of local and regional governments in the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration.

Cllr Parks Tau further congratulated the network of locally elected women, REFELA, for becoming a worldwide reference point, not only for the empowerment of women but also for the promotion of societal gender equality.

He emphasised the importance of putting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of our action in the local, national and international levels as they are a key instrument to put local and regional governments at the heart of the international development agenda.

“It is also noteworthy that the Africities Summit will address metropolisation and respond to addressing informality in our cities. The Summit provides a unique opportunity which will serve to shape our World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in 2019,” concluded Cllr Parks Tau. 

The coming days will have SALGA NEC members (Cllr Zandile Gumede, Cllr Nomakhosazan Meth, Cllr Fikile Gomba, and Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng) as well as SALGA CEO Xolile George present on matters that speak to the above objectives.

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