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PLATFORMA accompanies the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation of Burkina Faso in Brussels

19 July 2017

On 10 and 11 July, Siméon Sawadogo, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation of Burkina Faso, participated in the “Assises de la coopération décentralisée” organised by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission in Brussels. The PLATFORMA team accompanied the ministerial delegation during its visit.

Minister Sawadogo and Eric K. Tiemtore, President of the Association of the Regions of Burkina Faso (ARBF), took part in the dinner-debate organised by PLATFORMA, CEMR and UCLG-Africa on the fringe of the Assises. The Minister spoke of the importance of co-operation with his European partners and invited all participants to take part in the Burkina Faso Decentralized Cooperation National Assizes organised from 5 to 7 October 2017 in Ouagadougou. He invited CEMR President Stefano Bonaccini and UCLG Africa Secretary General Jean-Pierre Elong M’bassi to become ambassadors for the event.

On the second day of the Brussels Assizes, a bilateral meeting was held between the delegation of the Minister, Armand Pierre Beoinde, Mayor of Ouagadougou and President of the Association of Municipalities of Burkina Faso (AMBF), and the networks CEMR-PLATFORMA and UCLG-Africa. The objectives of the meeting were to explore opportunities for cooperation and partnerships between local and regional governments in Burkina Faso and in Europe, notably through the Ouagadougou National Assizes, the Europe-Africa Forum of Local and Regional Governments in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and CEMR-PLATFORMA programs.

Minister Siméon Sawadogo presented the draft of the National Assizes on Decentralized Cooperation carried out by the President of the Republic of Burkina Faso. This event will be an excellent opportunity to meet one last time to coordinate the voice of local and regional governments before the 5th EU-Africa summit in Abidjan in November.

Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, recalled CEMR’s long-standing commitment to international cooperation, its action on climate and the strategic partnership between the CEMR-PLATFORMA network and the European Commission.

A firm commitment

The CONNECT mechanism was also presented to the representatives of Burkina Faso: this can help coordinating decentralised cooperation projects with the technical support of the national associations of local and regional governments and the European Union delegations. This mechanism, which is currently being tested in several countries in Africa, Asia and South America, will provide local expertise to solve practical problems, but could also result in long-term partnerships for governments Burkinabe municipalities.

The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMO SSA), a decentralised cooperation tool designed to meet the challenges of climate change and inspired by the European Covenant of Mayors which has already more than 7,500 signatures, caught the delegation’s attention and in particular the mayor of Ouagadougou Armand Pierre Beouindé. The latter promissed to organise the signing of the Covenant during the October Decentralised Cooperation Assizes.

Jean-Pierre Elong M’Bassi, Secretary General of UCLG-Africa, welcomed the Minister’s action for the local and regional governments of Burkina Faso and wished his counterparts to do the same. He nevertheless invited the Minister to sign the African Charter on the Values ??and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development in order to continue to set an example in the African Union.