The first edition of the Africities Trade and Invest Forum (ATIF) took place on the second day of the ninth Africities Summit. An event hosted by AfDB, AFREXIMBANK, AfCFTA, ABSA, UNCDF and UCLG Africa (, led by Dr. Amani Abu Zayd, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism of the African Union Commission. ATIF seeks to help local governments respond to one of the city’s 5 key functions: providing cities with basic services and amenities. The Africities Trade and Investment Forum (ATIF) brought together leaders of African cities and territories, private and public investors, and service providers. For the first time, a permanent platform for matchmaking has been launched between African local authorities and investors interested in local Africa. The idea is to explore business opportunities available in African territories and discuss investment strategies in line with the demographic, economic and financial context and potential of Africa. From there, partnership contracts will be launched, leading to the implementation of investments within local and subnational African governments.

«We need a cityfriendly vehicles and the city ecosystemfriendly financial experts because cities have unique characteristics. We see the African Territorial Agency as a fundamental instrument that needs to be developed organically, and the availability of regional offices can be a way forward due to different political and legal systems. We are excited to work with UCLG Africa on how to incubate this and bring it to life, and we hope to have good news about this in the future“Said David Jackson, director of local development finance for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

At the end of the session, UCLG Africa and AfDB signed a contract entitled: Municipal CFO initiative. The contract aims to strengthen the fiscal capacity and financial autonomy of municipalities in 2022.

Digital day

The ninth edition of Africities is the first since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The health care crisis has demonstrated more than ever the importance of digital technologies not only to ensure the survival of several sectors of the economy, but also to accelerate the transformation of territorial public services. This was an important milestone in the evolution of territories. On this day, participants talked about strategies for developing a digital master plan from and to territories, especially given the specifics of Africa.

“Mapping solutions from other parts of the world don’t always work. We need local digital solutions created by locals. The first step to making that happen is to improve people’s digital skills, and change their thinking to expect and use technology. ” – said Nicolas Sadzirak, Chief Pedagogical Director and co-founder of 01Talent.

01Talent Africa is a pan-African talent agency dedicated to identifying, developing and connecting 1 million high-level developers worldwide by 2035 through a combination of proven educational, sustainable and economically exponential models.

The digital day has also been the occasion for the launch of the African Smart Cities Network.

Culture Day

Culture is the fourth pillar of sustainable development. Culture is vital for cities, for nations and for humanity itself. During this session, consensus was reached to ensure the struggle for the rights of women, youth, indigenous and vulnerable communities, as well as the struggle to protect and promote all cultures threatened by hegemonic and global trends. There are many cultural challenges for local authorities: empowering communities in the field of culture, promoting non-standard creativity, supporting solidarity and peace. «Culture is not just a matter of entertainment or business. It is also a matter of our core values ​​for our peaceful and communal life on earth. Where there is culture in the form of art, music, fashion, theater, cinema, jewelry, there is peace Said Alfadi Seydnali, UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Ms. Roji Malik Lowe, new president of REFELA

The General Assembly of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) has renewed its leadership. REFELA is the most important network of local selected women in Africa. Mrs. Rohi Malik Lowe elected president for the next 3 years.

«Local self-government is the closest level of government to the people, so if you need to positively affect people’s lives, you need to take action at the local level. Moreover, we need to consider the importance of women in our leadership roles. When women are encouraged to be leaders, they outperform men, and statistics have shown that“Said Roji Lowe, Mayor of Banjul and President-elect of REFELA.

Africa is the future, so are its youth. And for Africa’s youth, elected officials, and students and academics, one of their main challenges and challenges is climate change. Climate change is an obvious and modern threat to everyone on the continent, but especially to Africa’s most vulnerable communities. Floods, desertification and deforestation, climate-induced migration, biodiversity loss, all these effects of climate change remind young Africans of how critical our time is and how much change is needed at all levels of government. Young Africans gathered around the YELO (Young Elected Officials) network to talk about ways to become more involved in decision-making. «We can’t wait, the planet can’t wait, our continent can’t wait, and our generation can’t either. We are now committed to climate justice“- said Satya Naida, Member of Parliament of Victoria,

The May 19 session on funds will be dedicated to the UCLG Africa Electoral General Assembly, Women’s Day, Youth Day and the Forum of Mayors for African Cities for Clean Air.

Note: Don’t miss the daily on-site press conference at 8:30 p.m. Venue: Media Center.

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