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Thursday, June 1, 2023

FORAF: ‘Saïdia Declaration’ seeks to make African regions clusters of sustainable development

The “Saïdia Declaration”, which emerged at the close of the first Forum of the Regions of Africa (FORAF) that held from September 8 to 9, 2022 in Saïdia, in the Oriental region of Morocco, has highlighted the need to make the regions of Africa structuring clusters of sustainable development on the continent and important milestones in the building of “the integrated Africa We want”.

Forum of the Regions of Africa (FORAF)
A session at the first Forum of the Regions of Africa (FORAF), in Saïdia, in the Oriental region of Morocco

The “Saïdia Declaration”, read by Professor Anyang Nyong’o, Governor of Kisumu County in Kenya, also affirmed the importance to call on national governments and development partners to make sure that the financial means of implementation of national public policies and global agendas reach the budgets of regional governments.

One of the key moments of the closing day was the presentation of the FORAF Roadmap which was drafted to give concrete objectives to all the presidents of the regions of Africa and invited them to strengthen their regional governments, financially, technically and democratically.

The actions presented in the roadmap took into account the 10-year plan of UCLG Africa, also known as GADEPPA 2.0.

The participants committed to collaborate with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) secretariat and Afreximbank and encouraged the UCLG Africa secretariat to conclude a MoU with the aforementioned institutions. The roadmap will be translated into an action plan that will be worked out by a working group composed of five members, with a person per region.

The work plan will be presented during the Panafrican Council of UCLG Africa to be held in Tangiers, from November 1 to 3, 2022.

Office bearers of the FORAF were elected during the assembly held on September 9. The Executive Bureau of the FORAF is now composed of four vice-presidents (of Amoron’i Mania Region Madagascar, represented by her Président, Madam Aline Mamiarosa; the Association of the Regions of Morocco represented by her President, Madam Bouaida Mbarka, President of the Guelmin Region, Morocco; the North Region, Cameroon, represented by his President, Mr Oumarou Ousmanou; the Gauteng Province, South Africa, represented by its Premier, Mr. David Makhura (who was represented by Mr. Lebogang Maile, MEC of Gauteng Province, South Africa); and as President, the Forum of Governors of Nigeria represented by Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria.

In his acceptance speech, the new president-elect of the FORAF emphasised: “It is about time that Africans stop agonising and start organising!”

The Forum of the Regions of Africa is said to be a concrete first step leading to the emergence of the “Africa of the Peoples” called for by Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and a major shift for a bright future of the continent.

Around 500 delegates from 30 countries including 21 African countries, and more than 80 Presidents of African regional governments participated in the event, that was tagged “an historical event”.

“The praise for this fruitful first edition organised by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), in collaboration with the Association of Moroccan Region (ARM), the Oriental Regional Council (CRO) and the Ministry of Interior (through the DGCT) went along with a massive expression of gratitude from the majority of the participants towards the Moroccan authorities in general, and particularly towards His Majesty, King Mohammed VI,” disclosed the promoters.

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