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Some actions

Some actions

Helping strengthen the African municipal movement: the Partnership for Municipal Development

Since 1991, France has been supporting the Partnership for Municipal Development in Western and Central Africa, for up to €1 million per year, in partnership with Canadian Cooperation and the European Union.

The PMD is a coordination and support structure for the decentralisation and municipal development processes. It works in favour of capacity-building, in particular through the ECOFILOC (building local finance and economies), CITACTIONS (basic local services), POLDEC (support for decentralisation policies) and AFRICITES (African Municipal Movement summit) programmes. It also contributes to the unification and recognition of the African municipal movement at the continental level, in particular through CGLUA (United Cities and Local Governments - Africa).

Strengthening up networks engaged in favour of governance in Africa, the Africa Governance Institute

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs supports the Africa Governance Institute, established in Dakar in 2007. The objective is to set up a pan-African excellence centre to promote an African outlook on governance, build capacity and ensure representation for the full range of expertise on public affairs in Africa. The Institute provides a place for African governance players to network and share experiences, and is aimed at providing fodder for the African Union’s governance agenda.

Supporting the Global Observatory Local Democracy and Decentralisation (GOLD)

GOLD is an initiative of the United Local Cities and Governments (CGLU), the global organisation of local authorities. Its objective is to capitalise on all of the information and knowledge available on local authorities.

The Observatory has produced, to this end, the First Global Report on Decentralisation and Local Democracy”, in conjunction with an international network of experts, and in particular with the support of the Research Group on Local Administration in Europe - the University of Paris I and University of Birmingham. This work offers, for the first time, comparative analysis of local governments in all of the world’s regions, around topics such as the evolution of local structures; skills, management and finance; and local democracy. It also looks into governance in major metropolises, the rapid growth of which is currently raising major challenges.

The Observatory has also created an information portal on and for local governments, which lists nearly one thousand links to the sites of associations of local authorities, research centres, international organisations, information fact sheets by country, produced jointly with the help of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, UN Habitat, as well as around one hundred annotated sites, thereby enabling quick, pinpointed research on decentralisation. The CGLU Local Finance and Development Committee and DEXIA, a specialist in collective infrastructure financing and financial services in the local public sector, are currently enhancing the site’s financial information (in particular the general level of local expenditure and capital expenditure).


Contributing to international debate about decentralisation and local governance - 7th United Nations Global Forum on “Reinventing State Governance and Building Trust”

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs co-organised the Forum on “Reinventing Government” held in June 2007 in Vienna. Coordinated by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), this international event has brought together all of the players committed to governance and development every two years, since 1999: political figures, high civil servants, local elected officials, international experts, NGOs, etc.

France jointly organised, in particular, the capacity-building workshop “Decentralisation and Local Governance” in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments - Africa (CGLUA) and the Alliance for Refounding Governance in Africa (ARGA), jointly-chaired by Mr Henrique Pereira Rosa, former President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau and Mr Jean-Christophe Deberre, Directeur of Development Policies at the Ministry.

As part of the implementation of France’s governance strategy, France’s objective is to actively take part in international debate in this area and support networks and expertise, in particular in French-speaking Africa, which contribute to the elaboration of governance suited to the challenges of developing countries.


Fostering the exercise of powers for local authorities in Morocco - Project to Support Decentralisation in Morocco (PAD Morocco)

The EUR 11 million PAD Morocco programme is aimed at improving the conditions under which the Moroccan local authorities exercise the powers granted to it. It works to improve the framework for relations with the State’s administrative department, the role of which is evolving from the federal to the regional level, to support the decentralisation processes. It is also aimed at tailoring the training offered to elected officials and local administrative and technical supervisors, by setting out a national master plan on training and instituting support structures, the so-called “Maisons de l’Élu”. Lastly, it steps in to foster stronger local project management, by conducting projects elaborated and overseen in partnership with French local authorities, through the experimental “Local Project Management Laboratory” system

Supporting deconcentration and decentralisation in Mauritania (PADDEM 2)

The Project to Support Deconcentration and Decentralisation Support in Mauritania is aimed at contributing to municipal and regional development through:

-  building resources and management capacities in the municipalities
-  improved access to public services for the populations
-  consolidation of local democracy and support for local initiatives
-  reinforcement of deconcentrated services in charge of advising the municipalities and ensuring oversight for the actions
-  the institution of coordinated and decentralised planning of State initiatives and partners in development at the regional level.

PADDEM develops its initiatives as a complement to the project supporting local development for the municipalities in Southern Assaba (Mauritania). This programme, under the United Nations Equipment Fund (UNEF) to which the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs contributes, is aimed at better tying together relations between civil society and the local powers.

Supporting the Local Economies Revival Programme - ECOLOC

The ECOLOC Programme, tested in some thirty Western African cities, is aimed at defining local economic development strategies through participation, based on complementary relations between the cities and rural areas that surround them. The aim is to foster the implementation of urban and rural investments, serving economic recovery.

It also encourages improves in local tax policy, still very weak in the region, requiring the institution of effective and transparent local economic governance. The final aim is to set up the instruments necessary for greater consistency between local projects and national programmes to fight poverty.

The ECOLOC approach is carried out in three stages. A research phase gathers retrospective and prospective information regarding the players, issues and dynamics on the territory, stated in quantitative, qualitative and spatial terms. Based on those results, the coordination phase between the central city and the local authorities from the hinterlands, aims at building a local development framework, based on a shared view of territorial development. The long-term objectives are broken down in short-term actions for the implementation stage.

For instance, the approach was launched on an experimental basis with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), where it enabled a number of concrete results. The municipality signed a performance contract with the State’s deconcentrated services (tax and Treasury), which made it possible to boost local financing from 1.1 to 1.7 billion CFA francs in a single year. Thanks to those additional resources, the municipality doubled its public infrastructure maintenance budget and made significant public investments in the urban and rural areas (conditioning and fruit treatment structure, railroad station). It is currently working to set up a project to improve basic urban services).

Supporting the participatory programme for urban social development in Mali

The French Embassy in Mali supports the Urban Social Development Programme in the 6 municipalities in Bamako and the urban municipalities of Mopti and Gao. This participatory approach, which brings together the populations of the most underprivileged neighbourhoods in Neighbourhood Development Committees (CQDs), the municipalities and the NGOs, is aimed at improving living conditions and access to basic services for all.

Territorial socio-economic diagnosis and monographic studies of the municipalities and neighbourhoods serve as a foundation for setting up top-priority projects validated by the CQDs, municipal authorities and region governors. Most of them are designed in response to issues with insalubriousness , access to drinking water and economic development. Municipal investment funds are set up and efforts are made to transfer project management to the municipalities. The programme is then assessed and the approach as a whole capitalised upon. To this end, a Geographic Information System (data collection, analysis and cartography) has been set up, serving as a tool that assists municipalities in decision-making.

Above and beyond its impact on local development projects, the PDSU makes it possible to build, in a partnership framework, a lasting participatory approach for defining development priorities and monitoring progress, complementary to the pre-existent process of drawing up municipal development plans and helping strengthen the decentralisation process and the legitimacy of public action.

Updated on: 15.10.09



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