(Sec Activity) Cities Alliance’s engagement and presence at Africities 2018; 20-24th of November 2018



Approval Date
Core Focus
Secondary Cities


2.1 Project background and rationale What is the context of the project? Africities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s flagship pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa. We mobilize communities and local authorities in African countries, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level. The Cities Alliance Secretariat has committed itself at the corporate level throughout recent years to provide contributions to two key events: World Urban Fora and Africities. Africities brings together a core target audience of the Cities Alliance Operations: mayors and practitioners from cities in Africa. The event can therefore be seen as an outstanding opportunity to reach key target audiences for the dissemination of CA tools and practices. The Africities 8 Exhibition will also host between 400 – 500 exhibitors. What are the key issues to be addressed? The architecture of all Africities Summits aims to address major questions based on the construction of the 2063 Vision of Africa with debate proposed by the African Union Commission. From November 20 -24, 2018, the Africities 8 Summit will be hosted in Marrakesh, with over 5000 participants. The latter will represent all the stakeholders of African local life as well as their partners from other regions of the world: ministers in charge of local governments; ministers in charge of housing and urban development; ministers of finance and public service; local authorities and local elected officials; officials of local and central administrations; civil society organizations, associations and trade unions; economic operators of the public and private sectors as well as of the social/ solidarity economy; traditional rulers; researchers and academics; and international cooperation agencies. The Africities Summit pursues two major objectives: • Defining appropriate shared strategies in order to improve the living conditions of people at the local level in African Cities; • Contribute to the integration, peace and unity of Africa starting from the grassroots. As from the Secretariat’s perspectives, our intervention may be informed on selected key themes and advocacy messages deriving from the Strategic Plan 2018-21 and more specifically around the identified three points of departure in our operations: Governance ( Fragile National Enabling Environment and Local Government Capacity), Markets (Unlinked Informal Economy and Land Markets) and Rights (Unrecognised Citizenship). The UCLGA Secretariat has requested the Cities Alliance Secretariat to co-organise a number of sessions and products, which will be used to disseminate Cities Alliance’s advocacy messages. Why is this activity needed? In addition to the corporate and bilaterally agreed commitment to contribute to the every Africities Conference, the event is timely occasion to launch and present the Strategic Plan of the Cities Alliance allowing in particular a clearer communication on our priorities, fundraising aims and operations. Given that so far, all existing country programmes are located in Africa, it offers an opportunity to train constituencies, promote own achievements and develop future operational opportunities with selected priority countries. Depending on staff and budget availability, Africities may offer an opportunity to repackage, translate and disseminate Cities Alliance knowledge and communication products. How different and innovative it is this activity from other or earlier projects on the same issue? The major difference will be the ambition to apply a cost sharing principle among different projects in the Cities Alliance and a downsizing of the CA contribution by omitting the organisation of a booth.
The primary objectives of Cities Alliance’s participation in Africities Conference and Exhibition are: 1. Relevant Profile – be seen at the right place a. Participation and visibility in what is regarded as the world’s premier conference on urban issues b. Opportunity to fine-tune corporate communications about Cities Alliance Strategic Plan 2018-2021 2. Positioning and networking – Making a difference a. Strategic window to confirm Cities Alliance as a “must have” agent/partner for SDGs and NUA implementation and partnership-building - High visibility for the results of Cities Alliance theory of change in the field and for the knowledge tools - Accelerator of Cities Alliance’s advocacy and policy potential b. Channel to facilitate African Cities exchanges and networking 3. Knowledge sharing and Information gathering – Maximising the CA knowledge on African Urbanisation a. Strategic opportunity to gather information directly from key constituencies to better understand the demand for tools, practices and support.
Component 1: Coproduction of the Third Edition of the Cities Enabling Environment Africa Activities Activity 1.1: Validation of the CEE Ratings Activity 1.2: Translation, Edition and Publication of the CEE Component 2: Organisation of Events during Africities Activity 2.1: Co organisation of the CEE rating launch on the 21st of November Activity 2.2: Organisation of the session STS 1 on 21st of November: Planning and Local Programming Strategies to foster Equitable Economic Growth Activity 2.3: Organisation of the session Part I of the political dialogue on the 24th of November: Panel discussion of recommendations Activity 2.4: Organisation of the session Part II of the political dialogue on the 24th of November: Tripartite Dialogue Activity 2.5: Development and implementation of a communication plan for the Cities Alliance Secretariat Others, eg session on migration, global agendas, training session on CA tools(tbd)
Expected Impacts and Results
The Cities Alliance will be recognised by local and national governments in Africa as a technical partner with adequate approaches and instruments to respond to territorial inequalities, planning and policy gaps for rapidly urbanising cities and economies.