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Published:September 27th, 2006 05:30 EST
The Africities Conference 2006

The Africities Conference 2006

By Juliet Maruru

Africities 4 Summit, the fourth Pan-African edition of Local Government Days, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18 to 22 September 2006. The Theme of the Summit was: Building joint actions for the effective realization of the Millennium Development Goals in African Local Governments. "

The Africities Conference was mainly a meeting of stakeholders with the intention being to bring together all major local government stakeholders in Africa to discuss the best way to work together at the local level with a view to attaining the Millennium Development Goals in the African local governments.

Like in all previous Africities Summits, an exhibition of African local governments [the Citexpo] was organized within the framework of the Nairobi Africities Summit.  The Summit provided the opportunity for the public and private businesses, groups, and local government suppliers to present their products and/ or services as well as the latest technological advances that might interest the delegates.

There was an opportunity for each country to present its know-how in the area of decentralization. The exhibition also hosted cities and local governments, associations, bilateral or multilateral institutional partners, NGOs, universities and training/research institutions.

The official launching of the Africities 2006 Summit took place on 10 November 2004 under the chairmanship of the Kenyan Head of State, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, with the attendance of the Ministers in charge of local governments and National Associations of Local Authorities of the countries of the sub-region, as well as the Yaoundé City Council that hosted the last Africities Summit in December 2003.

Afterward several preparatory meetings were held in preparation for the summit. These included: -

Ø      a meeting of the Youth Network held in Niamey, Niger, from 21 to 30 July 2005. At this meeting, a proposal for the large involvement of the youth in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals through a campaign of 1,000 projects comprising the construction of schools and health centers, participation in literacy campaigns, water and sanitation works, and so forth was produced.

Ø      a UNDP/ SNV conference was organized in Kampala from 10 to 12 August 2005 on the theme of Localization of MDGs in Africa. "

Ø      a meeting of the technical network of the Directors General of local government departments, was organized in Yaoundé from 15 to 18 September 2005, for the preparation of the meeting of Ministers members of AMCOD (All Africa Ministerial Conference on Decentralization and Local Development) which took place on 28 and 29 October 2005 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, at the invitation of its Chairman, the Cameroonian Senior Minister in charge Territorial Administration and decentralization, Hon. Marafa Yaya.

Ø      an international meeting on the image of Africa was held in Brussels on 23 November 2005 under the effective chairmanship of the Minister of Cooperation of Belgium, with the aim of launching a strong media campaign on the theme New relations with Africa to create wealth together. " 

Ø      a forum on the renewal of governance in Africa was organized under the auspices of the African Union in Addis-Ababa from 24 to 26 November 2005.

Finally the date arrived and the summit saw to an excess of 5000 delegates, lighting up Nairobi into a flurry of activities. The Summit was held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in the heart of Nairobi City. It is my hope and everyone else`s who cares that this summit will help to lead African Development in the right direction.

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