ECA urges local authorities to harness economic and social transitions for sustainable development

Marrakech, 23 November 2018 (ECA) - Local governments have a tremendous opportunity to engage, own and translate Africa’s macroeconomic and social transitions into their own development strategies, said Lilia Hachem Naas, Director of the ECA Office for North Africa at the Africities 8 Summit, in an opening speech on behalf of ECA Executive Vera Songwe.

Hachem Naas, who attended the ECA session on Economic and Social Transition in Africa, further noted that: “The ability of African economies to achieve structural transformation and broad-based economic growth hinges on their capacity to create high productivity jobs in industry and modern services, which are located largely in cities and other urban areas.”

Addressing participants drawn mostly from diverse sub-regions of Africa and beyond on the topic of Economic and Social Transitions in Africa, Kotiti Diholo, Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Local Government and of Chieftainship Affairs, Kingdom of Lesotho underscored the importance of local governments in fostering economic growth through infrastructure and service provision, and the need for strengthened partnerships with the private sector to enhance local economies and boost jobs.

“The fate of Africa’s national economies depends directly on the performance of local economies”, Hachem Naas stated.

The ECA session on Economic and Social Transition in Africa took place on 21 November 2018 on the margins of the Africities 8 Summit, with the participation of delegations from several African member states and other international experts working on urbanization and cities.

At the end of the meeting, participants called for strategic partnerships to empower local and subnational governments across Africa to effectively engage economic and social transitions for sustainable solutions to their development challenges.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) joined the United Cities for Local Governments in Africa (UCLGA) and other stakeholders in commemorating the Africities 8 Summit under theme: “The Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories, The Role of Local and Sub-National Governments of Africa”. The Africities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s flagship Pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa. Its aim is to mobilize communities and local authorities in African countries, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level.    Free via Skype


Issued by:

Social Development Policy Division/Urbanisation Section

Economic Commission for Africa

P.O. Box 3001

Addis Ababa