The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Des van Rooyen will convene a round table on the African Decentralisation Day on 10 August 2017 at the CSIR in Pretoria. This event will bring together about 60 delegates from various sectors discussing issues around local government.
Representatives from the following organisations are expected to attend this event: COGTA, SALGA, provincial and local government, National House of Traditional Leaders, DIRCO, African Union, National Youth Development Agency, Commission on Gender Equity, Department of Women, Foundation for Human Rights, South African Cities Network and the United Nations Development Programme.
Like all African Union member states, South Africa will also celebrate this important day which aims to contribute to the broader discussions on the continent geared to improving service delivery at local government level. These discussions will also assist to raise awareness of the decentralisation and local governance.
The African Decentralization Day (ADD), 2017 edition, contributes to this reflection and to the mobilization of all actors of local development for the effective realization of the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 which is both a forward thinking and planning tool advocating a people-driven development including women and youth.
The celebration of this day stems from Article 20 of the African Charter on the values and principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development adopted by Heads of States and Government in 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. This Charter is an international legal and consensual instrument that enacts consensual values and principles that AU member states must respect to promote, protect, strengthen and consolidate decentralization, local governance and local development in the 2063 horizon.
The year 2017 has been devoted to African youth through the theme entitled “Harnessing demographic dividend by investing in youth”, African Union (AU). This theme is based on two AU executives’ instruments on the matter: “the African Charter on the values and principles of decentralization, local governance and local development and the Agenda 2063”. The theme will be supported by the following Sub-themes:
- The effective participation of youth centered on gender equity of their representation in various organs of local governments, an issue for local governance in Africa.
- Promotion of ICT among youth and their socio-economic empowerment at local level: a lever for accelerating local economic development in Africa.
The Agenda 2063, through aspiration 6, intends to make Africa a continent where “development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth”. In other words, “an inclusive continent where no child, no woman and no man will be left behind or excluded, on the basis of gender, political affiliation, religious, ethnic affiliation, locality, age or other factors”.
On the basis of equal opportunity and gender equity, youth must also be among local elected representatives to guide decisions to actions that can provide realistic and achievable solutions to their real needs. In addition, for more equity and justice and in the perspective of a transgenerational sustainable development, youth must also be at the frontline of the quest for a better Africa and the first beneficiaries of the local economic development (LED).
These roundtable discussions will surely go a long way in assisting to deal with issues related to development at the Local Government Sphere.
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