On the eve of the 5th AU-EU Summit, 150 African and European leaders of local and regional governments gathered in the first Africa-Europe Local and Regional Government Forum in Abidjan on 27 November 2017 to share their messages and bring the local government perspective on the agenda of the AU-EU Summit. The Forum is an initiative by the United Cities and Local Governments Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and PLATFORMA – the European voice of local and regional governments for development – with support of the European Union and African Union.
The Forum addressed key issues of local economic development, youth empowerment, migration, human mobility and climate action. The debates stressed the fundamental role played by subnational governments to promote inclusive and sustainable development: during discussions emphasis was put on the fact that global challenges as well as the success of the European and African National Countries requires the success at local level by local actions. The Forum contributes to the 5th AU-EU Summit with concrete proposals how to make local and regional governments part of the Joint Africa-EU-Strategy (JAES).
Young representatives of the Youth Plug In initiative contributed actively to the debates sharing the views of the local and regional governments on their fundamental role: local authorities are the closest elected instances to the citizens and to the youth.
In the declaration endorsed the African and European leaders of cities and regions emphasize their determination to mobilise forces of their cities and territories, and illustrate some successful initiatives they have already undertaken to mobilize in particular young people and women to participate more actively in the dynamics of structural transformation. The leaders have also committed to increase investments in their cities and territories in the field of youth education and vocational training, as well as in the field of women's empowerment. The forum equally called for a redefinition of the Joint Africa EU Strategy in order to implement the political partnership between Europe and Africa supported by appropriate financial instruments. Likewise it calls for the launch of an ambitious programme called "Youth Employment", mobilising African and European youth creativity, fostering the creation of economic activities and job creation within their territories.
The endorsement of the Declaration was followed by the signing Ceremony of the 15 African Mayors adhering to the Covenant of Mayors for Sub Saharan Africa.
The Forum ended with the Official delivery of the Declaration to the Minister of Home Affairs for its transmission to the Head of State and his highly appreciative closing remarks.
For more information
To visit the official website of the 5th AU-EU Summit, click here.
Follow the debate on twitter: #AUEU