African mayors and local government officials have, in a declaration authored during the Africities Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, endorsed the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as the right vehicle to develop the continent.
The summit, under the theme: “Building the Future of Africa with its People: The Contribution of Local Authorities to Agenda 2063 for Africa”, ended yesterday (Thursday December 3).
“We appreciate the approach of the 2063 vision of Africa. It enables Africans to operate within long-term prospects. Such an approach is part of the consideration given to the contradictory trends of the past 50 years – since African countries became independent. It makes it possible to build a strategic approach by articulating the need for in-depth transformation of African societies,” the declaration reads in part.
The leaders also said they appreciated the approach of Agenda 2063 as well as that of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which recognise the important role of local government in development. They, however, expressed outrage at the increasing incidences of violence in Africa.
“We observe, with fear, the rise of conflicts, violence and breaches to peace and security. We hope that appropriate solutions to these situations will be defined and implemented with the participation of local authorities. We affirm that local authorities are at a turning point of their responsibility to support the structural transformation of the continent in the areas of economic development, social justice, preservation of ecological balance and the reinvention of democracy. The implementation of Agenda 2063 must focus on sustainable development based on social justice and dialogue with communities, which in turn would restore confidence in local government.”
The involvement of women and youth was also emphasised. The declaration also denounced all kinds of discrimination, stigmatisation and xenophobia.
More than 5 000 delegates and development partners attended the five-day summit. The eighth Africities Summit will be held in Brazzaville in the Congo Republic in 2018.