Africities Summit 2018
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Summit and Exhibition
November 20th to 24th, 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco.
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Welcome to Issue 2 of the Africities Newsletter.  With only a few weeks left before the most important democratic gathering in Africa takes place, the issue of increased participation of women in local government, policy formation, and decision making will take centre stage with over 25 sessions and special events scheduled over the Summit’s duration.

With more than 5000 participants expected, we anticipate an even greater presence of women at this year’s summit addressing gender equality, women’s safety, the alleviation of poverty for women and children, political and economic empowerment, and greater community participation and engagement.

This issue features the work of women as elected officials in the local government space and local stakeholders. Our lead article by Henriette Ekwe Ebongo takes a closer look at REFELA’s campaigns on street children, women’s economic empowerment and violence against women.  There is an interview with the Ghana Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Minister Haija Alima Maham, who discusses the challenges of increasing participation of women in local government; also with the Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon and President of the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), Célestin Ketcha Courtès, on the launch of the women’s entrepreneurship festival, to be hosted at the Summit Exhibition; a profile of the winner of Miss Geek Africa, an inspiring advocate for the increased presence of young women in the ICT space; and an enlightening discussion with the founder of the Huairou Commission on their work with grassroots women.  

In addition to our coverage on women, we hear from the Director of NALAG on mobilizing revenue and the Director of Transport at the World Bank who addresses inclusive systems of transport and urban mobility as a means to poverty alleviation in cities.

Whilst there is no doubt that youth are the future of Africa, it goes without saying that women are Africa’s beating heart. We look forward to seeing you at Africities 8. 
The presence of women at the 8th Africities 2018 Summit will add a special impetus to gender issues in local government. The Network of Local Elected Women in Africa (REFELA), is launching two campaigns; "African Cities without street children," and “Cities without violence against women and girls.” Local elected women are keen to establish their role as elected representatives, one of which is to build a democracy of proximity and gender equality.
REFELA Campaign: 'City without street children' at the Africities Exhibition, November 22nd
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This first festival will take place at Africities 8.  It will be a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to speak up and to give them the opportunity to be front of stage, to discuss the pressing issues and obstacles that this profile of African women face at the grassroots level in the countries they represent, and to seize the opportunities that are open to them and that they will share. It is an opportunity to challenge both male and female mayors of cities and local authorities for their unconditional support for women's businesses and their incorporation into local affairs, in order to influence the future prospects for the development of women's entrepreneurial leadership and promotion of gender equality.
Information will be provided by REFELA on its Award of Excellence program, to recognize cities and local and subnational communities who have participated in the campaign and made outstanding contributions to the economic empowerment of women and who have given greater visibility and commitment to greater gender equality in their local economy.
The festival will also include a roundtable and workshops presenting African women’s businesses and best practices, discuss challenges and the changing roles of women, give an overview of the evolving dynamics in the economic and social fields of Africa and provide solutions to women entrepreneurs. It aims to increase the networks of private businesswomen in Africa and to promote the implementation of private-private and public-private alliances.
This is a flagship event that will provide information to help women move beyond micro-projects and micro-credit, for micro economic activities, called "income-generating activities," and to believe in their abilities to undertake opportunities to climb towards the creation of companies, to encourage them by the implementation of positive discriminatory measures, so that they can have equal access to local business markets.
"Africities is a highlight of the dynamism of the African municipal movement, a highlight where we discover the dynamism of local elected representatives of the continent for the sustainable development of populations. Morocco, birthplace of REFELA (2011), is also the place for local elected women who are committed alongside male mayors for the positive transformation of Africa. This is the opportunity in Marrakech 2018 for REFELA to show what the network has done for nearly 10 years, the results obtained and the road traveled since Tangier 2011.

This year’s theme is a memorable one, because it looks at the sustainability of cities. It's about the human face of sustainable cities. A sustainable city is a city that puts people at the heart of all actions. It is a resilient city facing the inevitable effects of climate change. This is an opportunity for us in Marrakech to show that we are in line with the World Agendas, in particular, the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on climate. At Africities we are going to share our experiences on the Bangangté Commune Disposal Center, Sustainable Energy for the Safety of Women and Girls and many others. Local elected women are ready for Marrakech 2018." 
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Salissou Hassane Yari Latifa  
Miss Geek Africa 2018
"I heard people everywhere say that programming is for men and not for women, so I made this a personal challenge. I had to show that girls have their place and they can do better than men."
Miss Geek Africa is no ordinary pageant involving beautiful girls in fancy dresses. Here codes and mobile applications have replaced gowns and tiaras. In fact, a serious selection process allowed only 5 finalists to go through to the final stages of the competition from 200 participants in the first place.  And our star this month is no less than this year’s big winner.
Salissou Hassane Yari Latifa is a 21-year old female tech entrepreneur from Niger who designed an application that facilitates communication between professional medical staff and people witnessing a road crash to allow them to deliver first aid to the victims before professional treatment can be provided.
The application is called “SARO APP”, “SARO” meaning security in Haoussa, which is the second most spoken language in Niger where 37% of road accidents in the ECOWAS space, occur. The application’s main goal is to optimize the response time when an accident happens by sending the precise location to the relevant medical staff and making sure it is not a false alarm
Ladies and gentlemen we give you Miss Geek Africa 2018!. 
Video in French and English with subtitles:
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Janice Peterson 
Founder and Chair of Huairou Commission
Janice Peterson, founder and chair of the Huairou Commission discusses her work with grassroots women, issues on the safety of women in public spaces and the need to strengthen grassroots alliances with urban stakeholders.
She will be delivering a session at the Africities summit. SDA 4: TRANSITIONING TO SUSTAINABLE CITIES THROUGH GRASSROOTS WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP AND APPROACHES IN AFRICA that will feature demonstrations of grassroots women’s tools that enhance participation of local communities and engage grassroots women’s leadership, and a roundtable discussion and interactive debate assessing existing tools and their place in the planning of inclusive cities that work for all as well as strategies that promote collaboration and local partnerships.
Minister Haija Alima Halam shares her insights on the challenges women face that hinder their increased participation in local government.
Nii Felix Anang 
President of NALAG
The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) is preparing for the upcoming Africities 8 summit in Marrakech, November 20 -24, 2018. The association plans to use the Africities 8 gathering as a platform to show what NALAG  has achieved in mobilizing revenue.
“We intend to present how our association supports the various districts in setting up a new system for collecting revenues.  We will be coming to Marrakesh with a revenue system that we have put in place. We believe that this system will be of benefit to other local authorities on the continent.
Revenue mobilization is a real challenge for local governments. Our contribution in this direction will be enriching for our colleagues. We will also share our experience in reducing the use of paper in our administrations."

NALAG will deliver the following sessions at Africities 8:
STA 2: Ecological Transition in Africa
STA3: Economic and Social Transition 
Franz R. Drees-Gross
Director of Transport - Infrastructure Practice Group, World Bank

“Africa’s main barriers to accessible and sustainable urban mobility include the lack of awareness and political will. Sustainable mobility can be a powerful tool to fight global poverty and climate change, but it has so far not been leveraged to its full capacity. To do this, we need a broad coalition of governments, international organizations, businesses, civil society and communities.”
Read the interview with World Bank’s Director of Transport for the Infrastructure Group who discusses barriers to the creation of sustainable urban transport systems and the need for interagency, collaborative partnerships to achieve accessible and sustainable urban transport systems, as a means of improving urban mobility and alleviating poverty.

The World Bank will deliver the following session at Africities 8:
STS 12: Local strategies for access to mobility and transport for all
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Have a look at Africities Sessions on the Transition 
Overview of Africities Sessions on Local Strategies and policies
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