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Delay to ratify African Charter irks local govts

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th September 2015 11:19 AM

Local governments leaders in Africa have expressed concern over the delayed signing and ratification of the African Charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development.

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The secretary general of United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A) Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi (centre) Renilde Manariyo, a member of the secretariate and the vice president UCLG-A Jacqueline Moustache Belle. PHOTO: Francis Emorut

Local governments leaders in Africa have expressed concern over the delayed signing and ratification of the African Charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development.

By Francis Emorut

Local governments leaders in Africa have expressed concern over the delayed signing and ratification of the African Charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development.


This, they said will have a negative impact on decentralization and local governance and could lead to collapse of the systems.

Two out of the 54 countries have ratified the Charter since it was adopted in June 27, 2014 by the Heads of State during the 23rd ordinary session of the Assembly in Malobo, Equatorial Guinea. The countries are Mauritius and Cote D'ivoire. 

"If we don't have the champions of decentralization and local governance, then the instrument (Charter) will die and decentralization process will be phased out," the secretary general of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa UCLG-A Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi warned.

Mbassi appealed to leaders of local governments in each member states to mount pressure on governments and parliament to have the Charter signed and ratified.

He pointed out that the ministries of local governments, foreign affairs and Parliament in each member state are critical in pushing the agenda for the signing and ratification of the Charter.

The secretary general was speaking at the opening of the three-day regional seminar for leaders in local governments at Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe.

The UCLG-A boss was supported by Joseph Mbong the head of coordination unit at AU sub-committee on decentralization and local governance who said the Charter must come into force.

"Each of us must therefore, work for his country to sign and ratify as soon as possible," Mbong told delegates.

The leaders in attendance included urban authorities' heads, heads of cities authorities, local government experts, mayors, leaders of local government associations and development partners.

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