The 7th Africities Summit fits in with the succession of the Africities Summits which were held in the five sub-regions of Africa.
Africities 1, in Abidjan in 1998, had the theme of “Recognition of the essential role of local governments in the development of Africa”. This summit witnessed the emergence of the African local authorities’ movement on the regional and international scene. It offered the opportunity to cut across the official languages inherited from the colonial rule and to build a local African voice on the challenges of decentralisation, local development, regional integration and cooperation with Africa.
Africities 2, in Windhoek, in May 2000, was held on the theme “Funding African local governments to ensure the sustainable development of the continent”. This summit marked the beginning of the structuring of the African local authorities movement and the Pan-African dialogue on decentralisation and local development. It prepared the setting up of an All-Africa Conference on Decentralisation and Local Development (AMCOD) with the aim to include decentralisation among priorities of the African political agenda; and a Council of Cities and Regions of Africa (CCRA), with a view to building and representing the unified voice of the African local governments.
Africities 3, in Yaoundé, in December 2003, had chosen as theme “Speeding up access to basic services within African local governments”. This summit marked the unification of the African local authorities movement, with the effective setting up of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, UCLG-A, that replaced CCRA, and the definition of its participation in the world local authorities movement. It placed decentralisation and strengthening of local governments in the perspective of improvement of the living conditions of the people, and participation of citizens
Africities 4, in Nairobi, in September 2006, had the subject “Building coalitions to attain the Millennium Development Goals within African local governments”. This summit brought together major stakeholders at the level of local governments so as to enable them to discuss the best way to work together to attain the MDGs within the African local governments. It confirmed the alliance between the African local governments and the institutions of the United Nations system. It mobilized, around the African local governments, the different social movements and citizens in Africa.
Africities 5, in Marrakech, from 01 to 5 December 2009, thought about “The response of African local governments to the global crisis: promotion of sustainable local development and employment”. This summit helped to build the alliance between African local governments and the economic stakeholders, and mobilize the economic stakeholders with a view to promote local development and job creation in Africa.
Africities 6, in Dakar, from 04 to 08 December 2012, met around the theme “Building Africa from its territories: which challenges for the local governments?” This Summit illustrated the role of local governments in building Africa in present and future world. It proposed as strategy to start from the local level and its territory as the relevant level for connecting people, and environment, development and democracy.