The cities of Abidjan, Bobo-Dioulasso, Dakar, Douala, N’Djamena, Niamey, Nouakchott, Praia, Yaounde and their host city, Brazzaville, will meet, from 12 to 14 June 2018, for the Forum of MUFPP Mayors of Central and Western Africa.
Local governments are increasingly being recognized as key players in the sustainability and resilience of local food systems, especially at urban and metropolitan level. The New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, at the UN-Habitat III Conference, emphasizes food and nutrition security as one of the current and future challenges of growing cities, and suggests integrated territorial approaches and the strengthening of rural-urban linkages among the answers to tackle the issue.
In this context, at the request of several local authorities, the upcoming regional Forum in Brazzaville will focus on urban food issues for Western and Central African cities in the broader debate promoted by the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and as a contribution to the FAO City-City Cooperation Initiative (CtCi).
The three days of activities will consist in presenting the main challenges cities are facing in the region, the initiatives that they recently launched, issues that remain open, field visits and three working groups:
- Support to Production and Marketing – the City of Niamey set up farmer-houses, facilitating access to the services of small producers. It is also considering strengthening the marketing of local products through the creation of a selling counter for a great range of locally produced vegetables;
- Governance of Food Systems and Planning – Douala Urban Community is setting out to define the city’s food and nutrition security strategy and its action plan. It has set up a multi-stakeholder platform and is launching an analysis of its local food system in partnership with the University of Douala;
- Land pressure and creation of a land use plan – the City of Bobo-Dioulasso is facing a reduction in arable land due to rampant urbanization combined with the imbroglio of the existing land system. In response to this, Municipal authorities adopted the Land Occupancy Plan in March 2017. This municipal planning law complements the Master Plan of Urban Development (SDAU) and contributes significantly to the reduction of land insecurity.
Attendees from the ten central and west African cities will work for greater sharing of experience and learning among themselves and will advance to inspire their respective local authorities by checking and understanding what other cities are currently engaged in and implementing.
The Brazzaville Forum is a collaboration between the FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the MUFPP Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and the Municipality of Brazzaville that is hosting the event with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Previous regional meetings in Africa took place in Dakar (2016), Durban (2018) and the next ones are scheduled in Ouagadougou (2019) and Niamey (2020).