FORAF commits to unlock potential of Africa’s regional territories (Saidia Declaration)
The members of the Africa Regions Forum (FORAF), convened in Saidia, committed to implement the mandates of regional governments, by releasing the full natural and human, tangible and intangible potential of regional territories in Africa to create wealth, jobs and opportunities for people.
In the “Saïdia Declaration”, adopted at the end of this first Forum held Sept. 8 to 10, FORAF members expressed their willingness to improve the attractiveness and economic performance of their territories and to manage the links between rural and urban areas so as to maintain an appropriate balance with the ecosystems and protect biodiversity.
They expressed their determination to contribute to the localization of national public policies of African countries, as well as to global and continental agendas (UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the African Union Agenda 2063, among others), for an effective and better impact on the ground.
They called on national governments and development partners to ensure that the financial means to implement these national policies and global agendas can reach the budgets of regional governments.
Forum members strongly supported the African Continental Free Trade Area as an important step in building an integrated Africa and pledged to work with the AfCFTA Secretariat and Afreximbank in its implementation.
Stressing that the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a gas pedal for the digital transformation of societies, they expressed their readiness to embrace the digital transformation of regional governments, the performance of operations and services to the people, and the relationship between public authorities and citizens.
However, they mentioned the existence of basic conditions for this digital transformation, mainly access to energy, information and communication technology equipment and qualified personnel in the digital field.
They encouraged FORAF members to join the open government initiative and called, in the same context, on UCLG Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the open government initiative.
The participants in the Forum expressed deep gratitude and consideration to King Mohammed VI for his commitment to African local and regional authorities.
They also highlighted Morocco’s gesture of friendship and fraternity towards African countries to support their efforts during the COVID-19 and in the face of the current shortage of agricultural inputs.
The presidents of the African regions participating in this Forum expressed their deep gratitude to the Sovereign for the constant and multiform support that the Kingdom of Morocco has never ceased to provide to their organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), since the body was headquartered in Rabat in January 2008.