[29 July 2010] -- Cities Alliance Programme Manager William Cobbett attended the Executive Committee meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) at its headquarters in Rabat, Morocco 12 July 2010.

This was the first meeting between the Cities Alliance Secretariat and the new leadership for the African continent, which had been elected at the United Cities and Local Governments Pan-African Electoral Assembly in March 2010 in Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Association of Local Governments Authorities of Kenya (ALGAK), President Tarayia Kores, and assisted by Secretary General Jean Pierre Elong M’Bassi.

In his presentation to UCLGA, Mr Cobbett analysed the role of local governments in responding to the promise, and the challenge, of urbanisation in Africa. He called on UCLGA to take a leadership role in helping national governments improve the policy environment for sustainable urbanisation.

He also highlighted a number of key areas in which the Cities Alliance and its members could work with UCLGA. These include: (i) Migration, both internal and regional; (ii) Local economic development; (iii) The role of women in urban development; (iv) Cities and climate change; and (v) Intergovernmental relations, including fiscal relations.

The meeting endorsed Mr Cobbett’s suggestion that the two Secretariats should work together to formulate a multi-year, joint work programme to address these, and other issues. UCLGA and Cities Alliance members should also work together to raise the quality of the public debate about urbanisation, and the role of cities, in Africa.

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