South-South and triangular cooperation: Urban development

Urban/Rural Policies for the Creation of Decent Jobs

UCLG and the City of Chefchaouen in Morocco held a learning exchange for Northern and Western Africa from 24 to 27 September 2014 on the issue of Local Economic Development (LED) and Decent Work in Cultural Economies of Intermediary Cities.

Press release | 03 October 2014
CHEFCHAOUEN, MOROCCO - Under the leadership of the Mayor of Chefchaouen, the aim of this workshop, organized with the Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments (UCLG), was to share valuable knowledge and experience of the development of integrated rural-urban strategies, strategic involvement in cultural economies, heritage, and food production and markets, emphasizing the development of urban policies for economic development that respond to rural potential and needs.

The seminar brought together representatives of cities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, and Spain.
A roadmap was adopted at the end of the seminar, with the following text:

"The objective of this seminar was to share knowledge between cities of the north and the south, to identify and position the role of intermediary cities with regards to the rural and regional economies in the promotion of local economic development and its implementation.

The exchanges were based on the work of two working groups organized by UCLG, one on intermediary cities and the other on local economic development. These exchanges were possible thanks to the technical and financial support of the ILO in the framework of its strategy for the promotion of South-South and Triangular Cooperation and decent work as well as of CLG members and partners. Also, it was also made possible thanks to the hosting and efficient organization of the Chefchaouen municipality, UCLG, UCLG Africa and FAMSI. Reference was also made to the exchanges between Maputo and Durban which recognized the importance of theinformal economy in connection to urban policies.

At the end of this exchanges the participants:

1. Express their acknowledgement and their appreciation for the South-South and Triangular exchanges during the three days of seminar.
The workshop made evident the crucial role of local governments for the implementation of a local development strategy that takes into account the needs for decent work. These strategies are based on the particular situation of intermediary cities, particularly the synergies between the rural and urban spaces; their position as intermediaries, their capacity of creating linkages between cities and the national, regional and global economic environments regarding people, resources and goods.
Population growth requires a commitment all local actors for a local economic development that contributes to increasing social cohesion, reducing inequalities, providing access to decent work and contributing to poverty erradication.
Intermediary cities have a central role in redefining the relations between the rural and urban spaces of the same territory. A positive outlook on migration is required, because it is a condition for the strengthening of the economic dynamism and ensuring a balanced development of urban spaces.
The urban and territorial strategic planning in the framework of intermediary cities needs to consider the relationship between the rural and urban spaces, and to associate all the actors of development, particularly the enterprises, the social partners, the inhabitants and civil society. It allows to articulate the short, medium and long term. The South-South and Triangular cooperation is a useful instrument for its implementation.
Youth employment is perceived as a decisive challenge. Population growth in cities and rural areas is a challenge for education, professional training and the development of a competitive economic environment.
Women’s contribution to development is essential. Local governments can accompany the implementation of innovative projects, of cooperatives, which allow women to access a decent job and acquire more economic and social autonomy.
In many countries, the decentralization is an on-going project. Legal clarification and simplifications are necessary. Fiscal decentralization needs to be deepened and local governments need allocation of stables and guaranteed budgets.

2. Recognize the importance of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, which constitutes an exchange among equals and the encouragement of good practices and the identification of innovative projects.
Participants commit themselves to enrol and participate in the networks of intermediary cities and local development, to contribute to their development and to strengthen the exchange of good practices and the strengthening of capacities. They wish to be informed of the results of the meeting in Pasto (Colombia), which will be centered on the relations between rural and urban areas, particularly the food markets, the interdependence of labour markets, and urban strategy. They support the organization a new meeting in West Africa, with the support of UCLG, UCLGA, which main topic could be local economic development. Through this network and in connection with Ecoloc, the instruments of analysis of human, economic and social situations shall be shared.

3. Take note of the importance of the on-going discussions for the definition of a global agenda for development, poverty reduction and the access to decent work. The definition of objectives in the post-2015, the forum in Turin for Local Economic Development (2014) and Habitat III are occasions to promote the localization of development within the context of South South and Triangular Cooperation. Participants commit themselves to contribute to it. In the same sense, participants commit to support the promotion of local economic development and decent work in their countries and regional organizations.

Participants invite UGLG.ILO UCLGA, FAMSI, the network of intermediary cities and the LED working group and other partners that could be involved in the same subjects to strengthen their cooperation and exchange among themselves, and to elaborate common positions on local economic development and decent work. A first stage could be a seminar in preparation for the prep conference of Habitat III in Nairobi and the LED Forum in Turin. "