Africities 6: Final Declaration

Africities 6 in Dakar marked a turning point in the history of Africities. It brought together over 5,000 participants. It thus affirmed, with the number of local elected officials, over 3,000, including 2,500 African local elected officials, as the main democratic gathering in Africa.Africities is the space of recognition of the growing legitimacy of African local governments. The extension of this recognition was expressed by the presence and effective participation of three former Heads of State, among the most eminent personalities of the continent: President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde, President Thabo Mbecki of South Africa and President Nicephore Soglo of Benin Republic. This recognition is manifested also through the renewed interest of African and international institutions, through the active participation of the civil society, economic stakeholders, experts, technicians, academics and media.How to build Africa from its territories? This questionning served as a guiding principle of Africities 6. African local and regional governments, like the ones in other parts of the world, must consider the impact of globalization, urbanization and democratization on territories at different levels and on among the different levels. They must therefore incorporate into their political vision the essential contribution of local and regional governments in improving people’s living conditions and building the foundations of a new citizenship. This new citizenship should be plural, at the same time local, national and African. Local governments should therefore adopt a new strategy: start from the local level and territories in order to redefine national spaces and invent the Africa perspective. African local governements do not ignore the importance of national spaces. This calls for the urgent need to renew the public authority and legitimacy of the central governements that were inherited from the colonial rule. National sovereignty will be updated by citizen action. Democratization contributes to build the confidence between the people and the public institutions, and can build upon local economic and social action and citizen participation.

Africities 6 has proven the capacity of the movement of local elected officials, by inaugurating exchanges between African local authorities and the ones from other regions of the world, starting with the Chinese, Turkish and Latin American Mayors. Similarly, the concrete implementation of unity on the continent will be strengthened by the Inter-African décentralized cooperation.

Africities 6 was closed with a tripartite dialogue meeting between Mayors, Ministers and Cooperation Partners. This dialogue highlighted the importance of a conducive national environment for the action of local governments and their associations (mobilization of LG’s own resources, status of national associations, transfer of competences and resources, etc.). It revealed the rightful place of local governments in the landscape of international cooperation (preparation of Habitat 3, Paris Declaration, decentralized cooperation). This dialogue highlighted the need to adopt an African Charter on Local Governance and to set up a High Council of Local Authorithies within the African Union.

Dakar, 8 December 2012.

Précedent De l’importance des enjeux
Suivant Africités 2012 : les Osc de l’Ouest en atelier

Auteur

Kamdem Souop
Kamdem Souop 329 Articles

Écrivain, éditeur et spécialiste de communication sur le changement de comportement social, il dirige le journal en ligne www.villesetcommunes.info et la chaîne de télévision www.villesetcommunes.tv.

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