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A PSI African and Arab Countries’ trade union delegation took part for the first time in AFRICITIES 2018, the eighth edition of the largest regional mayors' and local authorities gathering that took place in Marrakech, Morocco, on 20-24 November 2018. Organized by the African chapter of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), it was held under the theme of “The transition to sustainable cities and territories: the role of local and subnational governments of Africa”.
A PSI team led by PSI Sub-regional Secretary for English-speaking Africa Everline Aketch (PSI Nairobi), Daniel Oberko (PSI Lomé), Fatou Diouf (SATSE Senegal) and Hon. Roba Duba (KCGWU Kenya) took part in the event with the support of the PSI African Region and PSI Head Office, bringing for the first time the voice of local and regional government and public service workers to a regional UCLG event. PSI’s participation in Africities followed the invitation by UCLG Africa after the participation of the UCLG Director for the East African Regional Office in PSI’s LRG/Municipal workshops for English-speaking Africa that took place on 23-26 October 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.
PSI representatives secured speaking spots in three public panels, notably on “Innovation in public service delivery in Africa,” “Devolution and urban public service delivery in Kenya” and on the “Construction of a Mediterranean inhabitants’ network” (in cooperation with PSI allied organisation the International Alliance of Inhabitants IAI). PSI unionists alerted the audience to the dangers of PPPs and pointed to viable public solutions instead, highlighted the key role of LRG/Municipal trade unions in quality public service delivery, and stressed the crucial importance of basic LRG services when dealing with issues connected to the migrant and refugee crisis.
The delegation also voiced key PSI advocacy in various sessions including those on local strategies for access to water, sanitation and waste services for all; the role of trade union organisations and social partners in Africa; women’s leadership and gender responsive local services.