The theme of the Africities 7 summit
The Africities 7 Summit, the seventh edition of the Local Governments Pan-African Days, will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 29 November to 3 December 2015. Its central theme will be: “SHAPING THE FUTURE OF AFRICA WITH THE PEOPLE: THE CONTRIBUTION OF AFRICAN LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO AGENDA 2063 OF THE AFRICAN UNION.”
Creating a Vision for Africa
It is an exciting time for Africa, filled with possibility and a renewed sense of self-confidence. This is powerfully captured in the Agenda 2063 – Towards an Africa we want, which incites everyone to play an active role to see the following vision come to fruition:
We aspire that by 2063, Africa shall be a prosperous continent, with the means and resources to drive its own development, and where:
African people have a high standard of living, quality of life, sound health and well-being.
A continent full of well educated citizens through a skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation for a knowledge society.
Cities and other settlements are hubs of cultural and economic activities, with modernized infrastructure, and people have access to all the basic necessities of life including shelter, water, sanitation, energy, public transport and ICT.
Economies are structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all… (Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want)
Importantly, the vision is rooted in a sober understanding of the lessons of the past, the changing position and role of Africa in a rapidly changing international system, and how far we need to go still to meet the needs of all our people. It also incites all of us to identify the strategic opportunities in the short and medium-term to lay down tracks towards this alternative future to ensure a positive socio- economic transformation of Africa within the fifty years ahead.
Taking its cue from Agenda 2063, The Africities Summit 7 theme is designed to connect a rigorous understanding of likely future trends with a strategic debate about what needs to be done at the local level, with immediate effect to address the emergency of service delivery, shelter, economic opportunities, safe and affordable mobility and more.
The Africities Summit, now in its seventh edition, has long been a highlight for the gathering of African local authorities. It intends to be the mouthpiece of the 15000 African local governments from all the regions of Africa.
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT
The Africities 7 Summit fits in with an international context that impacts on the development of Africa. After the 2008 financial and economic upheavals and the ensuing contradictions that resulted, the new context is marked by major uncertainties. Several questions must be considered:
- The global crisis is deepening and the structural imbalances remain. A first questioning concerns, for the future, the place of Africa in contemporary globalization and its crisis.
- The context is also characterized by a geopolitical, economic, social and cultural reorganization of the different world regions linked to their specific developments. A second questioning concerns the specificities of the African evolution among the major regions of the world.
- The last decades marked a trend towards extending the worldwide dynamic of democratization. A third questioning concerns the forms that democratization will take across Africa.
- The approach via territories, highlighted in the Africities 7 Summit, helps to reconsider and redefine the dynamic of African unity and integration. With decentralization and the creation of regional levels, public governance becomes more complex. We can identify at least four levels of governance in Africa: local, national, regional and sub-continental. A fourth questioning concerns the structuring of the various levels of governance across the African continent, across the five sub-regions of the African continent, national African States, and the scale of local and regional authorities.
- The approach via territories helps also to link up the people, the activities, the ecosystems and the institutions. Dogmas that travel with mainstream globalization is trying to spread a uniform development model which is not sustainable neither from the perspective of ecosystems nor from the point of view of equity. A fifth questioning concerns the possibility for Africa to provide development modes and transformations of African societies that are more sustainable and just.
The Architecture of the Africities 7 Summit
The Africities Summit 7 proposes to address all of these questions based on the construction of the 2063 Vision of Africa which debate is proposed by the African Union Commission.
From 29 November to 3 December 2015, the Africities 7 Summit will host, in Johannesburg, over 5000 participants. The latter will represent all the stakeholders of African local life as well as their partners of the other regions of 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 organizations, 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. The Africities 7 Exhibition will host between 400 and 500 exhibitors.
The Africities Summit pursues two major objectives:
- Defining appropriate shared strategies in order to improve the living conditions of the people at the local level.
- Contribute to the integration, peace and unity of Africa starting from the grassroots.
The Africities 7 Summit is organized in three segments
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 organized in three blocks:
1. The block of African local coalitions: which will address the relationship between;
2. The block of UCLG-A programs: which will take stock of the work done by the organization in implementing its long term perspectives strategy, also known as the Governance, Advocacy and decentralized development in Africa. (GADDEPA)
3. The block partners wishing to cooperate with African local authorities for proposals local authorities and the different African local stakeholders. of programs, methods and tools in response to the main concerns of African local governments.
The Summit will deepen the theme of shaping the future of Africa with the peoples. 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 situation
Political meetings of mayors, local authorities, ministers, followed by a political dialogue between mayors and local authorities, ministers, African institutions and development partners.s.