French Support for Decentralisation and Local Governance

[11 January 2013] -- Over the past 30 years, France has undergone a step-by-step decentralisation process with the goal of strengthening local governments and ensuring harmonious development of the regions. The successes and challenges of that process provide useful lessons for other countries that are adopting a similar approach.
As such, France has emerged as a strong advocate for decentralisation on an international level. A recent report by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlines how the country is supporting decentralisation and local governments, particularly in Africa.
It does so through:
  • International advocacy, including active support for the International Guidelines on Decentralisation and Access to Basic Services for all, a text that is promoted by UN-Habitat and its member states
  • Support for the African Municipal Movement through United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) and support for establishing the Council of Local Governments of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)
  • Bilateral projects in support of decentralisation, especially in Africa
  • A network of international technical experts to assist States and local government bodies and enable the exchange of experiences
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