Appointed chair of Africa Forum of Local Managers Institute at Morocco Forum
The newly-appointed chairperson of the United Cities and Local Government of Africa Forum of Local Managers and Training Institutes, Ms. Paulita Wie, has called on African countries to take proactive measures to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment at all levels.
Ms. Wie is the deputy minister for urban affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Speaking at a 3-day Africa Forum of Local Managers and Training Institute in the Moroccan city of Saidia, Minister Wie said it is about time African governments develop sensitive policies and programs to enhance the capacity of men, women, children, and people with disabilities to have equal access to decision making on the continent.
Ms. Wie, who was appointed to her new post by the secretariat of the United Cities and Local Government of Africa Forum of Local Managers and Training Institute, expressed appreciation to the City Government of Saidia and Dr. Zarrouck, Director of the African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) of UCLG-Africa for her preferment.
She expressed appreciation to the organizers and said the government of President George Manneh Weah is grateful for Liberia’s participation that was intended to begin the formation or processes leading to urbanization in Africa.
“My presence as Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs demonstrates our country’s commitment to joint cooperation with all countries in Africa,” she said.
She noted, “The government of President George Manneh Weah, through its ‘pro-poor agenda’ seeks to create an enabling environment of jobs for our population, improve urban communities through infrastructure development, road connectivity, among others.”
She said Liberia has made some progress towards number 11 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which states that by the year 2030 cities and human settlements will be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. She expressed appreciation to UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance for collaborating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the completion of the country’s National Urban Policy.
Ms. Wie called on local governments throughout Africa to decentralize basic services to their people in regions, states or districts. “For Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal number 11, all of Africa must work collectively, including the weaker and stronger, the richer and poorer and with togetherness Africa will succeed,” she said.
She also called on local government authorities in Africa to be responsible for the management and development of their various jurisdictions.
“We should promote peace, reconciliation and good governance so that the lives of our people will be impacted,” she noted. The forum was attended by more than 300 delegates from Africa.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number eleven encourages governments to ensure that by 2030 there is access to safe and affordable housing. The indicator named to measure progress toward this target is the proportion of urban population living in slums or informal settlements, according to the UN. Between 2000 and 2014, the proportion fell from 39% to 30%. However, the absolute number of people living in slums went from 792 million in 2000 to an estimated 880 million in 2014. Movement from rural to urban areas has accelerated as the population has grown and better housing alternatives are available, making it challenging as to whether the goal could be realized by the targeted date of 2030.