Strengthening the inhabitants voices at Africities & towards Quito
Organised by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) every three years, Africities is probably the most important continental gathering for people involved in local government in Africa. This year the forum will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 29 November to 3 December, and more than 5000 elected representatives, officials, and activists are expected to participate.
The International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) has been asked to organise a session within the conference to articulate the aspirations of inhabitants’ associations and urban residents. We have chosen the theme “The Inhabitants Associations & Local Authorities towards Quito ” to establish Africities VII as a stepping stone towards the UN’s Habitat III and the parallel World Urban Social Forum which will both be held in Ecuador in October 2016. Our intention is to continue to raise strong voices from residents and neighbourhoods that can push forward our desire for vibrant, autonomous associations throughout the urban areas of our continent.
The session will be grounded in the context of the Recommendations developed at Africities VI (Dakar, 2012) which called upon local authorities and national governments of Africa, as well as the International Development Partners and the UCLG-A to recognize and support the role of associations and networks of inhabitants. It is essential to promote community-led initiatives, especially participatory and inclusive urban planning that prioritises the needs of the poorest residents in development while defending the rights of all inhabitants to security of tenure and to dignity for all our peoples. We proposed several alternative policies and tools, such as a multi-actor Advisory Group to monitor and assess local authorities, inhabitants’ organisations and other stakeholders in order to face evictions. The session will revisit the Recommendations to assess whether or not any progress has been made, and to identify ways in which we can promote an alternative to neo-liberalism in our cities.
The IAI will be facilitating the participation of representatives from all the regions of Africa to Johannesburg while our colleagues in other global networks will also be participating. We hope you will be able to join us and to follow and support our efforts.