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Abidjan hosts the 1st Africa-Europe Forum of Local and Regional Governments

22 November 2017

The Forum will discuss key issues such as economic development and employment, investment in youth, migration and human mobility, climate change and access to energy

Abidjan, the economic capital of the Republic of Ivory Coast, will host the First Africa-Europe Forum of Local and Regional Governments at the Abidjan District Hotel on November 27, 2017. This first forum will be held as a side event at the 5th African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Summit, which will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, November 29-30, 2017, with the objective to redefine the strategic orientations of the AU-EU Partnership for the years ahead.

The Forum is organised at initiative of PLATFORMA, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMSSA), with the financial support of the European Union and in cooperation with the African Union, the Assembly of Regions and Districts of Ivory Coast (ARDCI) and the Union of Cities and Local Governments of Ivory Coast (UVICOCI).

Local and regional government leaders from Africa and Europe will meet around the theme of rebuilding Africa-Europe relations for sustainable human development in the territories.

The Forum will discuss key issues such as economic development and employment, investment in youth, migration and human mobility, climate change and access to energy. It will also discuss the contribution of local and regional governments to the structural transformation of Africa and the implementation of Agenda 2063, as well as the contribution of these governments to the implementation of the European Consensus on Development and Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Finally, it will address the issue of the renewal of the cooperation framework between Africa and Europe at a time when negotiations for a new agreement will succeed the Cotonou Agreement, which has structured Europe-Africa relations since the year 2000 and will expire in 2020.

The Forum will adopt the Abidjan Declaration of the Africa-Europe Forum of Local and Regional Governments. This will be presented to the Heads of State and Governments’ Summit of the two regions to be held on November 29 and 30, 2017 in Abidjan.

The official opening of the Forum will be chaired by His Excellency Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, in the presence of:

  • His Excellency Mr. Barnabé Dassigli, Hon. Minister of Decentralisation and Local Governance of Benin and Chairman of the Specialised Technical Committee of the African Union regrouping the African Ministers of Public Service and Urban Development, Local Governments and Decentralization (CTS No. 8);
  • Ms. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Political Affairs for the Commission of the African Union;
  • Mr. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for Development and International Cooperation of the European Union;
  • Mr. Mpho Parks Tau, President of the South African Association of Local Governments and President of the World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG);
  • Mr. Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Region of Emilia-Romagna (Italy), President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR);
  • Mr. Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio, President of ARDCI;
  • Mr. Gilbert Kone Kafana, President of UVICOCI.

Among the panellists of the forum are also Mrs. Linda McAvan, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Committee on Development, Mr. Hans Janssen, Mayor of Oisterwijk (Netherlands), Member of the Committee of the Regions, member of the PLATFORMA political council, Mrs. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, Mayor of Libreville (Gabon), Vice-president of UCLG, Mr. Patrick Klugman, Deputy mayor of Paris, in charge of international relations and Francophonie, as well as Mrs. Celestine Ketcha Courtes, Mayor of Bagangte (Cameroon), President of the Networks of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and Mrs. Jocelyne Bougeard, Deputy Mayor of Rennes (France), representative of AFCCRE, member of PLATFORMA Political Council.

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