10 years of cross-border dialogue between the Mayors of the Great Lakes Region

8 June 2023

Bujumbura (Burundi) was hosting the 10th General Assembly of the Platform of Local Authorities of the Great Lakes Countries (PALPGL) from 31 May to 3 June, under the theme “Cities and living together around the lakes: 10 years on”. This was an opportunity to take stock of this regional dialogue initiative launched by the cities of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

The dialogue between the Local authorities of the Great Lakes countries was initiated in 2012 as part of the work on the role of Local authorities in conflict prevention and peace-building carried out by the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) Standing Committee on Cities, Intercultural Dialogue and Peace.

After the first official launch meeting in Rubavu (Rwanda) and Goma (DRC) in July 2014, this regional dialogue has been consolidated over the years. The PALPGL has worked extensively with local elected representatives to mobilise women and young people in the dialogue process.

While the political situation in the region is threatening peace, this dialogue between mayors is more essential than ever. Held at the invitation of the Mayor of Bujumbura and current President of the PALPGL, Police Brigadier General Jimmy Hatungimana, the 10th General Assembly provided over 2 days an opportunity for local elected representatives from the region and local stakeholders to exchange ideas and develop synergies, focusing on a number of themes, including :

  • Co-building peace and living together in the Great Lakes region
  • Women’s entrepreneurship and cross-border trade as development and peacekeeping issues
  • Presentation of innovative projects by young people from PALPGL member cities
  • Collaboration between the PALPGL and universities, as the PALPGL has just launched a city-university cooperation programme
  • Presentation of civil society initiatives

This initiative is supported by the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) as part of its Strategic Partnership of the European Union.

More information on AIMF website.

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