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What is Africities?

The seventh Africities Summit is held every three years and looks at issues affecting urban and economic development in African cities, finding ways to share knowledge and experiences.
The Africities Summit is organised by the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG Africa), an organisation that represents and defends the global interests of local government.
The summit attracts the leaders of local governments across the continent, as well as representatives from trade unions, the private sector and researchers and academics who share a common interest in sustainable development in Africa.
UCLG Africa also focuses on increasing the role and influence of local government and its representative organisations in global governance.

Where and When will Africities take place?

The Africities Summit will be held in Johannesburg from 29 November 2015 to 03 December 2015 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The selection of Johannesburg as host city will give the City an opportunity to show its wide-ranging developmental programmes as outlined it its Growth and Development Strategy, Joburg 2040; creating a liveable and sustainable city.
The opportunity also comes at a time when the City is making preparations to host the C40 summit early next year.

What is the theme of the Africities summit?

Taking its cue from Agenda 2063, The Africities 7 Summit theme is designed to connect a rigorous understanding of likely future trends with a strategic debate about what needs to be done at local level with immediate effect to address the emergency of service delivery, shelter, economic opportunities, safety and affordable mobility.


Who attends the Africities summit?

Attendees of the Africities Summit include all the stakeholders of African local life as well as their partners from other regions in the world: ministers in charge of local governments, ministers in charge of housing and urban development and ministers of public service; local authorities and local elected officials; officials of local and central administrations; civil society organisations, associations and trade unions; economic operators of the public and private sectors as well as of the social/ solidarity economy, traditional rulers; researchers and academics; international cooperation agencies and media.

How is the Africities summit structured?

The Africities 7 Summit is organised in three segments:
Thematic sessions, the Summit will deepen the theme of shaping the future of Africa with the people. The contribution of the African local authorities to the African Union 2063 Agenda will be supported with a development of local government policies and strategies to meet the needs of the people in concrete situations.
Open sessions allow different networks of African local authorities and networks wishing to work with the African local authorities to present their proposals and to contribute to the reflections. Open sessions will be organised in three blocks:

The block of African local coalitions: which will address the relationship between the local authorities and the different African local stakeholders.
The block of UCLG-A programs: which will take stock of the work done by the organisation in implementing its long term perspectives strategy, also known as the Governance, Advocacy and Decentralised Development in Africa. (GADDEPA)

The block partners wishing to cooperate with African local authorities for proposals of programmes, methods and tools in response to the main concerns of African local governments.
Political sessions: political meetings of mayors, local authorities, ministers, followed by a political dialogue between mayors and local authorities, ministers, African institutions and development partners.

Special events at Africities Summit?

Several events of major significance will mark the Africities 7 Summit. These include notably:
The UCLG-A General Assembly.
The meeting of ministers of public service, local governments, urban development and decentralisation.
The political dialogue meeting between local authorities, ministers, African institutions and cooperation partners.
The General Assembly of REFELA, the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa.
The meeting of the African Former Heads of State, Honorary Members of UCLG-A.
The meetings of African local authorities with their Chinese, Brazilian, European, Turkish counterparts.
The meetings of BRICS on local authorities.
The presentation of the United Nations program on Afro-descendants.
The launch of Network of African major cities.
The launch of the African council on local government foresight.
The revival of inter-African decentralised cooperation.
The discussion on the African participation to the COP 21 on climate change.
The discussion on the African participation in HABITAT 3 conference.

Historical background of Africities summit?

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.