18 February 2011: Cities Alliance Executive Committee: Update on Burkina Faso

18 February 2011

Dear Members of the Consultative Group,
1. At our recent meeting in Mexico City in November 2010, you will recall that we had an excellent debate of the way forward for the Cities Alliance's Country Programmes in general, and the identification of the next country for possible Cities Alliance support.

2. You will further recall that the Secretariat submitted a matrix outlining a range of possible options from within francophone Africa, which had been identified as a priority for the Cities Alliance, and the Land, Services and Citizenship programme;

3. After a relatively short debate, Burkina Faso  was unanimously endorsed as the next potential candidate for a country programme;

4. In order to initiate the process, the Secretariat was pleased to respond positively to an offer from the World Bank to approach the Government on behalf of the Cities Alliance, and to request the Government to indicate its potential interest in the programme. Below is the letter which was submitted by Galina Sotirova, Country Manager, to the Ministry of Finance, on 26 January 2011;

5. Our colleagues in the Bank's Africa region anticipate a positive response. We believe that the next step would then be a joint Mission, comprising the members that indicated an interest in supporting a programme in Burkina Faso. In the first instance, we believe that this would include the World Bank, UN-Habitat and AfD, with the active support of the Cities Alliance secretariat;

6. At the current time, we envisage the joint mission taking place around the second half of March, subject to confirmation of the Government. I would be grateful if members would please confirm their interest, and their availability. I am taking the liberty of copying this email to MFA and AFD in Paris, given their previously-expressed interest;

7. This would be the first such joint mission to be undertaken under the new Charter and business model of the Cities Alliance. We would hope that the outcome of the mission would be a clear outline of the possible programme with the Government of Burkina Faso, including the identification of roles amongst Cities Alliance members.

8. To facilitate its role in making the Cities Alliance operate more effectively as a partnership, the Secretariat is currently exploring the possibility of identifying a national professional to provide support to the programme as a whole;

9. I need to remind members that, for the envisaged programme in Burkina Faso, the Cities Alliance will be utilising funds made available  through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in terms of the agreement outlined in the Land, Services and Citizenship programme; and, finally,

10. I would ask all members to work closely with the Secretariat to make this joint initiative in Burkina Faso a success, exemplifying the benefits of CA members augmenting each others' skills to the benefit of the host country and its residents.  

I look forward to confirmation of your interest.

With my best wishes,






William Cobbett
Cities Alliance
1818H Street, NW
Washington DC