We, the delegates at the Africities Summit meeting in Kisumu, Kenya, from 17 to 21 May 2022 on the theme of the Intermediate Cities in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union 2063 Agenda.
Having been honoured by the High Patronage and personal participation of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, in the presence of His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; His Excellence Danny Faure, former President of Seychelles, of Royal Majesties representing the Traditional Authorities of Africa, and an important delegation of the African Diaspora,
Given the change in the pattern of settlements in Africa from being a continent majority rural thirty years ago becoming majority urban in the coming ten years;
Acknowledging that small and intermediary cities currently host 60 per cent of urban dwellers and account for nearly 50 per cent of the African GDP;
Taking into account the 150 million people from Africa or African descent living outside the continent and forming the African Diaspora that is spread over the five continents and represents over 4 trillion dollars of purchasing power;
Recognizing that the structural transformation expected from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and called for by the African Union Agenda 2063, will not materialize if the continent does not leverage the huge opportunities offered by small and intermediary cities and their rural hinterlands and implement a more balanced spatial distribution of economic activities and jobs creation;
Understanding that climate change is here to stay and that the task of the day is for African local governments to adapt to the consequences of climate change and adopt more climate compatible and resilient pathways to the development at the level of cities and territories, including in intermediary cities;
Aware that the acceleration of the digital transformation of society puts pressure on cities and local governments that are summoned to revise their management and relations with the citizens and the other stakeholders, through the use of digital technologies and smart solutions, despite the limitations they encounter in terms of availability of infrastructure, equipment, and skilled personnel;
Fully sensitized to the fact that women and youth are the levers of the structural transformation of Africa and should therefore be more involved in the governance structures of cities and territories;
Declare the Following
We wish to make intermediary cities structuring poles of sustainable development in Africa by granting them a prominent place in spatial planning, and creating new territorial dynamics that promote exchanges and linkages between the rural and urban environments.
We affirm our willingness to establish a constructive political dialogue between the different spheres of government in order to abide by the principle of subsidiarity, an essential factor in the effectiveness of public policies.
We undertake to give priority to urban planning as an instrument for controlling the growth of urban and peri-urban areas by putting in place the institutional, legal, regulatory and operational instruments as well as the conditions for a participatory dialogue with the people.
We endorse the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, the Right to the City and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda and their translation into local development plans and call on African countries to develop concerted urban development strategies with adequate technical and financial resources in accordance with the United Nations New Urban Agenda.
We are convinced of the place of youth in the construction of the new Africa and call on the Mayors to create local youth empowerment councils aiming at their blossoming, their integration and their socialization in the city.
We adopt Culture as the 4th pillar of sustainable development by strengthening the cultural identity of territories to make it a potential vector of economic development.
We call on the Mayors to develop programs and action plans to fight precariousness and vulnerability, especially the ones of street children, isolated women, and dissocialized youth, to combat violence against women by participating in the actions of women’s groups, and to sign the African Charter for Gender Equality of REFELA and applying its principles in our local governments.
We affirm that climate change is a key issue for our territories and recommend to local governments adopt the necessary measures to prepare their territories for the consequences of climate change and invite them to adhere to the Convention of African Mayors for Climate.
We call on all States to sign and ratify the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development and to ensure the proper implementation of the principles it contains.
We call for a better distribution of public resources in favour of the development of intermediate urban centres and for greater attention to the public policies intended meant for them.
We call for better use of local taxation and an effective collection of local government taxes, notably property tax.
We call on the Central Governments to develop programs to strengthen connections between intermediate cities and their hinterlands in order to strengthen exchanges around economic watersheds by eliminating transaction costs.
We propose to strengthen the links between intermediate cities and the capital cities of the States by building secure road networks, railway infrastructures and air links based on local realities and to strengthen digital connectivity.
We would like the African Union and the African States to recognize the importance of decentralized cooperation and exchanges between local and regional governments so as to strengthen the knowledge and powers of our institutions.
We support the establishment of an African Erasmus scheme for committed young people, as enshrined in the 2063 Agenda.
We call on the entire African community to commit itself to the emancipation of women and young people by promoting economic support programs dedicated to women and young people, but also by facilitating access to decent and affordable housing, guaranteeing security, by preventing delinquency through campaigns to combat violence against women, and by offering young people integration and socialization programs through sport and culture.
We call on international partners to support the development of African intermediary cities by setting up dedicated programs and funding adapted to local realities.
We call on the partners, in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Aid Effectiveness, to align themselves with the ongoing decentralization processes in the African States based on decentralized or ongoing sector-based policies of decentralization.
We call on the international community to take into account the point of view of local and regional governments in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of global agendas.
We call for the emergence of a world where Africa is recognized as a continent contributing to the emergence of a united global society that respects the planet, the climate, the biodiversity and primarily men and women who form the same and common destiny