Africities Summit to take place in Johannesburg

Johannesburg - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan says the forthcoming Africities Summit, to be hosted by the City of Johannesburg next year in December, will stimulate the local economy.

"We are confident that the summit will stimulate local economic activities, especially tourism, as we had witnessed with the 2010 World Cup," he said.

Addressing the media on the forth coming Summit, Minister Gordhan said it look at creative answers to the problems that are currently experienced by local governments.

The summit will be held under the theme "Shaping the future of Africa with the people: Africa local government contribution to the Africa 2063 vision".

According to the organisers of the summit, the theme is aimed at outlining government's vision for the coming 49 years.

"Ministers alone cannot solve problems. All of us need to cooperate to solve the problems. The biggest challenge is to turn inequality around," he said.

Minister Gordhan also congratulated the leadership of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) on the good work they were doing.

He acknowledged the importance of local government in playing a role in delivering essential services to the people.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said agreements will be reached at the summit, which will be an opportunity to reflect on urban migration.

"We will continue to push for development goals," Mayor Tau said.

The summit, held every three years, looks at issues affecting urban and economic development in African cities and finds ways to share knowledge and experiences.

It is organised by the UCLGA, an organisation that represents and defends the global interests of local government.

The UCLGA also focuses on increasing the role and influence of local government and its representative organisations in global governance.

The Africities Political Commission is composed of the President of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), who is presently from the West African sub-region, and the four Vice-Presidents from other four sub-regions of Africa, as well as the UCLG-A Secretary General who is an ex officio member of the Commission.

The last Africities Summit was held on 18 December 2013 in Brazzaville.

After deliberation, the Africities Political Commission chose the City of Johannesburg (South Africa), to host the 7th Edition of the Africities Summit.

It was selected as host city because of its record organising major international events such as the Metropolis Board of Directors and One Young World meetings earlier in 2013.

More than 5 000 participants from all the regions of the world including ministries, mayors and local authorities, senior staff of local and central administrations and representatives of regional economic communities in Africa.