This session inaugurates a series of online events to share and discuss the evolution of the pandemic in African cities through lived experiences, impacts and resilience strategies
The framing and launching webinar, in collaboration with ENDA ECOPOP, brought together partner institutions and authorities representing the different sub-regions of Africa.
The session took place on Tuesday, 14 July, and featured the interventions and testimonies of local authorities IOPD members and officials through panel discussions and an open debate with the audience. Participants were also welcome to take part in the seminar by contributing in either English or French. Please find here the concept note of the session.
Jean-Marc Yace, mayor of Cocody and IOPD president, opened the seminar by highlighting the biggest challenge of African cities towards sustainability: that of financial resources. A challenge which the COVID-19 crisis has nothing but worsened. Furthermore, he defended the pivotal role of local governments, at the frontline in tackling the pandemic through sensitizing activities, support to SME and material distribution.
Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa, called for the need to review basic service provision and infrastructure in African cities, building upon the acknowledgement that development starts at the local level.
Oumar Sylla, Acting Director at the Regional Office for Africa of UN-Habitat, focused on the need to grant power to local authorities, which remain the most vulnerable ones. Facing the reconstruction phase, he emphasized the role of citizen participation for an economic development which reduces inequalities.
Luc Doray, Secretary General of the Public Consultation Office of Montreal and representative of the IOPD world secretariat. He recalled that cities which are more engaged with their dwellers thanks to participatory democracy practices, can more easily sensitize its population. He also highlighted that the pandemic must in no way be an alibi to destroy participation mechanisms.
Other interventions, such as Mayor of Ngomedzap Bleue Régine's and Mayor of Chefchaouen Mohamed Sefiani's, complemented the seminar with local elected leaders' views.
After this event, five more webinars will be held, one for each of the sub-regions of Africa, bringing together elected authorities, decentralized services, civil society organizations and researchers. We will share the information as soon as it becomes available.
Please use the following link for accessing the platform to attend the following seminars: