UNDP, through the ART Initiative, positioned the territorial approach at the Africités Summit in Dakar

Dec 13, 2012

At the Africités Summit in Dakar, the UNDP, through the ART Initiative, positioned the territorial approach and the importance of the dialogue between territories from the North and the South at the heart of the post-2015 debates.

Dakar, Senegal: The 6th edition of the Africités Summit took place from the 4th to the 8th of December 2012, in Dakar, Senegal. More than 5000 participants and 500 exhibitors of the African continent took part in the Summit, representing, among others, local authorities, civil society, associations, the public and private sector, and international cooperation agencies. The theme of this year’s edition was: "Building Africa from its territories”.

UNDP, through its ART Initiative (Articulations of Territorial Networks for Sustainable Human Development), organized its activities around the workshop "The territorial approach for  sustainable human development" in partnership with the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and Delegation for the External Action of Local Authorities (DAECT) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The CMI aims to enhance the convergence of sustainable development policies by providing a platform for knowledge sharing and joint learning, and the DAECT defines and implements the French Government’s strategy in support of decentralized cooperation.

More than 200 senior officials and experts in the field of the international cooperation, in particular African ministers, senior officials of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CMI, the European Commission, UNDP as well as representatives from Gabon, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Tunisia and the Decentralized Cooperation partners from Spain, France and Italy met to discuss on the importance of the territorial approach and the dialogue between territories of the North and the South, as well as on the need to translate the debates into concrete action at the local level.

Thus, during three days, the UNDP ART Initiative and its partners presented the Guidelines for International Cooperation of the regions of Mauritania, Morocco and Senegal; the results and next steps in the implementation of the projects within the framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation between the municipalities of Chefchaouen, Morocco, Kaédi, Mauritania, and Malaga, Spain; as well as the training of some 30 people in the use of the ART ISI@MED Handbook « Harnessing the Power and Potential of Information and Communication Technologies for Local Development».

In addition, the workshop "The territorial approach for sustainable human development" counted with the participation of African ministers involved in the process of territorial development.  Mr. Turpin, Secretary General of the Ministry of Decentralization and Local Authorities of Senegal underlined that the territorial approach  will contribute to the implementation of the vision of the head of State, which "considers the territorialisation of public development policy to be one of the government's priorities." Moreover, Mr. Angelo Baglio, Head of the Civil Society and Local Authorities Unit  in the European Commission, stressed the importance of "organizing the political and fiscal decentralization to provide answers to issues related to the development of territories'.

The workshop showcased how the global debates are translated into action at territorial level, with interactive exchanges of best practices on sustainable local development and local governance between the various panelistes and participants.

The discussions were based on practical experience developed in the articulation frameworks promoted by the UNDP ART in Africa and on specific subjects such as ART ISI@MED (Information Society Initiative for the Mediterranean). The event also discussed the Post-Busan, the United Nations post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable human development, by analyzing the added value of the territorial approach in fostering an inclusive and sustainable social and economic development.

Finally, the workshop assessed the role and potentialities of the African continent in promoting innovative approaches to local governance, local development and sustainable human development, through decentralized South-South and triangular cooperation.

ART is a UNDP international cooperation initiative, which promotes sustainable human development at the local level. Its main objective is to empower territories and communities to meet the Millenium Development Goals.In order to achieve this, ART facilitates processes that enhance the articulation between the local, national, and international levels, fosters a more effective use of internal and external resources and promotes sustainable partnerships between territories and global development cooperation networks.

Contact information

Dakar, Senegal: Lydie Nzengou, UNDP Regional Center, lydie.nzengou@undp.org, +221 77 332 1503

Geneva, Switzerland : Claudia Miccichè, claudia.micciche@undp.org,  +41(0) 22 917 8580

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